When art installations get bored
May 27, 2011 2:33 AM   Subscribe

Looking for an article about artists living in a New York museum as installation.

Sometime probably between 2000-2005 give or take a bit, I read a long feature piece about a group of artists who were basically given a big room in a museum to live in for an extended period–a few weeks, I think–to do whatever they wanted. This was in New York, but not Manhattan; I'm leaning toward Brooklyn or Queens. An underlying detail was that the museum was somewhat neglected, allowing the artists to get away with the stuff below. Not in the sense that the place was falling apart, just not very popular or well-visited. (This may no longer be the case. I mention because I have a nagging feeling it was PS1.)

It started out with them just doing stuff in the assigned room, but after a while they decided to start testing their boundaries in various ways, resulting in more elaborate and invasive stunts. Some of them actually burrowed through a wall to create a little secret room they didn't tell everyone in the group about. Then they started messing with other exhibits to see if anyone would notice they'd added stuff, for example. I also kinda remember something being done on the roof.

As for where the piece appeared, there's a strong chance it was either the New Yorker(duh), Atlantic, or Harper's; definitely in print, anyway. Does this sound familiar to anyone?
posted by Su to Media & Arts (5 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
Best answer: The Flux Factory at the Queens Museum of Art? "Devil's work: secret doings at the Queens Museum of Art" ran in Harper's in 2004. (Snippet; you need to be a Harper's subscriber for the full article, but this might give you a lead.)
posted by MonkeyToes at 3:36 AM on May 27, 2011 [1 favorite]

And a bit more on the secret room.
posted by MonkeyToes at 4:39 AM on May 27, 2011

Sent you an email.
posted by ryanshepard at 6:51 AM on May 27, 2011

Response by poster: MonkeyToes gets it, with bonus points to Ryan for the scan, saving me a rummage in the basement. I didn't remember it was three months. No wonder they started messing with stuff.
posted by Su at 9:03 AM on May 27, 2011

Yep. I was a part of Flux Factory for a while (not during that project, though) and this was definitely that installation.

The same collective also did Novel, in 2005, which involved three writers living in their Long Island City gallery space. They were really into people as zoo animals living art exhibits, for a while there.
posted by Sara C. at 9:18 AM on May 27, 2011

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