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Sue Bush
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MoCA Seeking Items From Public

12:00AM / Monday, October 02, 2006

North Adams - On Sat., Oct. 7, MASS MoCA will hold a special collection day for items to be used in the upcoming Building 5 installation by Swiss artist Christoph Büchel.

Collection hours are from 10:30 a.m. – 1:30 p.m.. Complimentary donuts and coffee will be available to everyone, and those whose contributions are accepted will receive a free pass to the gallery and an invitation to the opening of the exhibition on December 16, 2006.

Creating A Temporary Community

Büchel’s project will create an imagined temporary community housed in sea containers and trailers and include a soccer field, a cinema, a playground, voting booths, an interrogation cell, a ransacked store, a psychiatrist’s office and more, all of which need to be chockfull of authentic objects.

This vast and highly detailed world unto itself will examine the promises and pitfalls of today’s international political landscape through a series of vignettes based on media coverage of current events. While the work is still in progress, the artist has made an initial list of objects he needs for the exhibition.

“His needs are specific: threadbare cots, broken lamps, defunct computers, old tarps, moth-eaten rugs and more -- things that may be gathering dust in your garage or basement are among the things he's looking for," said Nato Thompson, MASS MoCA curator. "On October 7, MASS MoCA staff will be on hand to receive and review the items. If we select your items, there is a good chance they will become sculptural materials and incorporated as part of Büchel’s work. You’ll have a blast seeing how he’s used the materials in unexpected ways.”

Community Participation Encouraged

“We hope many in the community will choose to participate in this major exhibition which will provide a through-the-looking-glass perspective on the politics of democracy today,” said Joseph Thompson, MASS MoCA director. “In one of the works, for example, Büchel will investigate the emblematic forms and metaphors of relief shelters; he needs things that you might take with you when forced with a decision to abandon your household on short notice. Imagine if you and your family or housemates had to suddenly relocate to a relief shelter for one week…what would you bring to survive? To keep yourself amused in tough times? To try to stay comfortable?”

Because the items cannot be returned, MASS MoCA is seeking only items that community members have slated for discard, the more worn out the better.

Kaput computers, cranky cots, broken lamps and dreams of disaster are welcome

The following items are needed:

old microphones and mic stands

shopping carts

suitcases

birdcages

gas and jerry cans (but, please, no gas or flammables)

desks

chairs

lamps

tables

countertops

bedside tables

shelving units of all kinds

old computers and defunct electronic equipment

an ATM machine

a gavel

national flags of all kinds

neon signs

jukebox

pool table

darts

beer promotional materials (lights, signage)

cash registers

fabrics of all kinds

school desks

a couch

soccer goals/nets/balls

football goal posts

fluorescent light fixtures

fans

coffee makers

Persian-style rugs

photo albums (but no valuable photos)

religious artifacts, large and small

a speaker’s lectern

umbrellas

crates

bunk beds

cots

sleeping bags

blankets

pillows

emergency preparedness equipment

display cases

books

tarps (plastic or canvas)


Donors are asked to make sure their donations are on the list. MASS MoCA cannot accept items not listed. Donors who have items that are too large to easily transport can bring a photograph on donation day or call Bridget Hanson at 413 664 4481 x8103 to discuss other options for pickup.

In 2002, Büchel transformed the two-story New York gallery Maccarone Inc. into a series of cutup rooms by hacking through the floor, bisecting existing spaces, and installing an exterior roof to create his installation on the top floor of the gallery.

In his 2004 exhibition at the Swiss Institute in New York City, he divided an apartment with a concrete wall, making it seem like the dwelling of two roommates who do not get along. Ken Johnson of The New York Times wrote of this exhibit, “the main excitement of Mr. Büchel's ingenious construction is the Alice-in-Wonderland feeling of entering a mysteriously eccentric and possibly nonsensical parallel universe."

MASS MoCA, the largest center for contemporary visual and performing arts in the United States, is located on Marshall Street in North Adams on a 13-acre campus of renovated 19th-century factory buildings.





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