Note: This post is part of my “Museums Project“, a collection of 200+ high-concept ideas for museums.
Perhaps this should be called “The Museum of Where is Everything?” Or “The Museum of What Did I Just Pay For?” Or “The Museum of Cracks and Holes”.
You pay your entry fee and go into the first gallery.
Not only is it empty but the walls are replete with cracks and holes, the floor is a mishmash of tiles, and parts of the ceiling look like they’re about to fall on you.
There’s other visitors in the gallery. And they are examining the holes in the wall with glee.
At the MOH, the art is in the cracks, behind the walls and obstructed from view.
You walk up to a crack that someone has just pulled away from. Eyeing you, they exclaim “That one is super cool”.
You take their old position and look at the crack. Into the crack. There’s something in there, behind the wall. There’s a light and you can see about two feet in is a small painting the size of a book. It sits in a space that looks like a little two foot tall gallery. In fact, the effect is that you are looking into a full size gallery at a painting that is twelve feet tall. The gallery looks a lot like the one you are standing in, except its in far better condition.
You have the realization that when you are viewing the art, you are the only one in the room viewing it. You are the only one in the universe connecting with the art. You and this art are having an private moment right now.
The lights inside the tiny gallery flicker and go out. It’s time to see what else is in here.
You see another patron is picking something up from the floor. No, they’re not picking up anything. They are squatted down, looking into one of the many crooked and cracked tiles covering the floor. They stretch their neck upward, then look at the floor again. When they move on you take a look.
Standing above it you can see the small tile is actually clear glass. You can see through it, down into the floor a few inches. There’s nothing to see. Then you see some scrolling LED letters spelling out a message to you. What does it say? It says “look up”. You look up. You look up and see a message through a hole in the ceiling. What does it say? “Look down”. How clever. You move on. Some of the art moves, some is audio, some is physical, some is just too hard to tell.
You explore the room more and discover other delights.
Moving on to the next gallery you see there are penny-sized holes in the walls and there are book-sized holes in the walls. Some of the holes are low to the ground and some are so high you can’t reach them. A docent offers the use of a periscope.
Some of the holes are long slits and as you work your way down the slit you see a long painting or diorama. There are groups of holes, each focused on a different piece but when you see the different pieces you understand the story it’s telling.
One piece on a pedestal has many holes. You look in some of them and you see eyeballs. The eyeballs of the other people looking in the art are reflected around inside with mirrors. This is sort of awkward.
Other groups of holes require you to make the right choice. Through some of them you can’t view the art at quite the right angle. Or perhaps you see one perspective of a piece and through another hole you see a different perspective of the same piece.
The next gallery looks more like a typical gallery. There’s a painting on the wall and sculptures and objects to look at. And wow people are looking at them. Closely.
You realize it’s the same idea, but this time you look through art to see other art. You look through a painting of a horse being ridden by a general. The hole is in the horse’s eyes. Through the horse’s eyes you see wide open fields. You look through the general’s eyes. What do you see? You look through a flower vase, what do you see? Maybe some of this art is the same you saw in the first gallery. Maybe some of the art in this gallery only shows you pictures of cracked walls and erratically tiled flooring.
Will there be descriptions of the art? Can you look through those? Might those be behind the paintings you look through? Can we look through mona lisa’s smile or eyes?
Notes for design: The museum needs to be quiet. It is not a joke or a funhouse.