The third thing Kitty Hawk did when she took over the Museum of Modern Terrible Dead Art (MoMTDA, pronounced “Mom: TA-DAA!”) was find out who had the Time Sheath. Most in the art world would have been taken aback by the discovery that their new employers, a semi-defunct choogly-type band, possessed a time machine, but Kitty was from Miami and seen weirder shit. You may recall that the second thing she did was lowering the museum’s standards and increasing the fundraising. You may also recall that those are two things, and you know what? Good for you, recalling all that stuff. Look at you, recalling above your grade level. Proud of you, champ.
Kitty realized her first day that for the museum to get better, the art had to get worse. She was competing with Netflix, for Christ’s sake: she needed spectacular crap, inspiring works, green and orange right next to each other. People liked seeing a show, but you couldn’t keep them away from a hanging. Gimme shit! she said.
Well, she asked. Consultants were brought in. There was testing, and focus grouping. Opinions were solicited, and adjustments made. Kitty secretly owned pieces of all the firms that did the work, and ignored everything everyone told her and went with her gut.
Children and people on drugs: these were the core audiences. Each child comes attached to 1.3 adults, and people on drugs spend money like shitheads. Bright colors and pictures with multiple, conflicting perspectives: kids and dopers will stare for hours.
Video installations, too. Kitty had all of Ned Lagin’s nude self-portraits removed from the second floor gallery, and replaced them with video installations on giant HD screens. Then, she bought a lot of couches and updated the museum’s app to allow visitors to switch the art off and turn on a baseball game or something for $4.99 every ten minutes. That lasted two weeks until she had a bar built and left sports on the TVs all the time.
“We don’t have a liquor license.”
“Don’t need one.”
“We’re running a bar in the Hal Kant Wing.”
“We most certainly are not. It’s art. It’s a ‘bar.’ Comment on bars and, you know, America or whatever. Free speech issue, really.”
“I don’t think it is.”
“Doesn’t matter what you or I think. First it matters what a lawyer thinks, and then it matters what a judge thinks, and then it matters what another judge thinks, and they take forever to make up their minds. While everyone briefs each other, drinks are to be sold. For art’s sake.”
“Is it art? Is it?”
“Marina Abramovic is bartending.”
“I paid her. What is this? Oh, heavens, what is this?”
“Just delivered today.”
“Why was it delivered?”
“Why does it exist?”
“That wasn’t in the paperwork.”
“Should I hang it in the bar?”
“Hell, no. Put it by the front door. Give the people what they came for. And if there aren’t t-shirts already available in the gift shop, then you’re fired.”
“Yes, Miss Hawk.”