Guggenheim finds Incredible Shrinking Museum (ISM)

Filip Noterdaeme ISM (The Incredible Shrinking Museum) 2004-2006 model (glycerin soap) [view of installation at HoMu]

When I wrote about Filip Noterdaeme's Homeless Museum (HoMu) just about a year ago, I included the picture above and copied the artist's own description of a project, The Incredible Shrinking Museum (ISE), which he had begun some time earlier. It was one of my best memories of the HoMu tour:

"ISM (The Incredible Shrinking Museum)" is a project for an interactive museum consisting of a sixteen-foot cube of glycerin soap. The cube is subject to constant change through exposure to the elements. In addition, visitors will be invited to exploit the structure like a mine until is it is used up, the goal being to reach out to a new audience and challenge visitors to think about their role as active participants in the shaping and destruction of culture through direct participation in the realization and, ultimately, the deconstruction of a museum.
Yesterday I heard that a model of the ISE had been installed inside the Guggenheim Museum as part of an exhibition by Cai Guo-Qiang, "Everything is Museum". In spite of my huge delight in Noterdaeme's museum-critique concept, I thought his announcement was merely another of his excellent projects; the email seemed especially suspect because the setting was the Guggenheim, a museum criticized by many in the art world for its franchising history and its unsubtle relationships with corporations and commodities. But as his subject line, read, "You Can't Make This Up": When I replied asking him for clarification, I found out the news was both good and true.

Oh, by the way, yesterday the Guggenheim announced the resignation of its director, Thomas Krens. This news is also good and true.

Art Fag City has more, including an image of a different model, one representing the ISE already under deconstruction.