link below to Carl Skelton's Guggenheimlichkeit essay which gave the "Six Feet Under Series" its curatorial frame:

Original Proposal:

During  a one week period, we propose to fictitiously  close down Whitebox Gallery.  The action is simple and requires minimal physical intervention.  The work is more concerned with the implications of such an act, rather than the physicality of it.

The intervention will involve some kind of notification to passersby that Whitebox has been closed by the Cultural Bureau of Homeland Security (CBHS).  A web URL for additional information will also be provided for those who wish to find out more information about the official reasons behind the closure and about the Bureau in general.

Another group of initiatives will be letters of protest that will be sent/circulated by us and other artists/activists we are currently working with.  We are currently working on a list of possible groups (e.g., 16Beaver, x…x…x, x…x…x, x…x…x) which will be enlisted in helping generate questions/outrage over the closure.

All of these actions will try to generate a public debate among cultural workers and institutions about the ramifications of "heightened security and policing" of the "Homeland".  Furthermore, they will seek to question the role and responsibility of cultural spaces/workers in contesting and calling into question emerging social/political problems.

How did this proposal emerge, How does it relate to 6Feet Under & our theme?
The proposal emerged from some discussions we were having about how to best work with the variables presented to us by the Six Feet Under series. 

The variables for us were as follows:
A. The gallery is closed.
B. We have a window which provides a surface for an intervention.
C. We are working with a limited time frame, both in terms of production as well as the time frame of the viewer.
D. A theme based around an essay about the current role of museums (marked by certain themes such as museum as end in itself, engendering  certain homogeneity, a certain lack of content, a certain emphasis on design, consumption, passivity)
E. The opportunity to make work that responds to this unique site.  Our notion of site here is in the larger sense of the word.  In addition to the specific location of this show (i.e., Chelsea, New York City, the U.S); site here is also the unique time (i.e., an interesting moment in U.S. politics internally and in relation to the rest of the world), the site of "public art", and the discursive sites that the latter three implicate.

Our idea can be read as a response to these variables.  We would like to see "Guggenheimlichkeit" more as a provocation, with ruptures in its narrative and inconsistencies in its arguments.  We do not believe it is intended to be a clearly spelled out idea of what is wrong with museums or even where museums are headed. However, at its core we find a certain frustration with consistency, which we agree with and which relates to our proposed project.

How can the theme of "normalcy" or "consistency" be seen as a provocation?

The Chelsea gallery district now blows your mind mostly with its consistency.
It is a provocation to break rank.  To stop producing what falls in line, at the department store, at the check out stand, at 24th, 25th, 26th street.

We are faced with a certain normalcy and lack of contestation in art spaces and more entrenched cultural organizations.  In approaching the theme in this fashion, we wonder what the role of museums, Chelsea galleries and other cultural institutions will be within a state of heightened security and anxiety over terrorism.  For us, Whitebox represents one of the few spaces in Chelsea that has opened itself up for a variety or programs (some that do not "fall in line" ).  Therefore we believe that it is an interesting and plausible place to be the object of censorship by the newly formed Cultural Bureau of Homeland Security.

A tremendous amount of energy has gone into the production of elaborately extroverted graphic design, marketing, and printing. Inside, however, all the boxes contain the same plastic bag, which is NOT on display. In the bag, there are pellets, or flakes, or colored balls, made of different proportions of a standard mixture, the varieties of which span a very narrow segment of theFOOD<->CANDY spectrum

More relevant than sheltering artworks or hearkening back to a traditional notion of art museums, what we are wondering is what is left of social engagement within the art context (whether it be museums or spaces such as Whitebox or more mainstream galleries in Chelsea)?  Can these spaces be more than just containers for artworks?  If "the interface is where the action is", then an interface to what? Can the interface be a meeting point for effecting social change/transformation rather than passive consumption of normalcy? Can the interface be directed to connecting issues - social, political, and cultural?  These are the questions we are interested in exploring within this project.

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