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What’s the real deal with MASS MoCA?

It's not TX, but we've been following the story (and polling on it, and message boarding it): Roberta Smith reported in the 9/16 NYT that MASS MoCA opened the Christoph Büchel installation Training Ground for Democracy despite the fact that the project was unfinished, the artist had walked away from it and the museum and the artist were involved in a lawsuit over the mess. In her article, Smith quotes Büchel as saying a budget for the show had never been agreed upon. MASS MoCA, in their blog today, says the budget was indeed agreed upon, then doubled, and furthermore the show is closed to the public (and has been since May 21). What gives?? Either Smith did a poor job researching her piece, or Büchel and/or MASS MoCA aren't being completely truthful. I begin to wonder whether, rather than being a case of an intractable, bureaucratic institution mucking up an artist's vision then showing the unfinished work against his wishes, this may instead be a case of an unprofessional artist making unreasonable demands and abandoning a project like a diva. Or perhaps the real story is somewhere in the middle, in which case Smith's story comes off as awfully one-sided. At the end of the day, it's MASS MoCA's job to communicate clearly, leave a paper trail, be generous of spirit with an artist but draw the line at absurd demands (like the burned-out shell of a 737 — what, Büchel had been watching too many episodes of Lost? Did he really think that was going to happen with a total show budget of $160K?).

also by Rainey Knudson
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