Featured Proposals

The following proposals were selected and exhibited in the Sackler Center for Arts Education at the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York from February to May 2008 as part of Cai Guo-Qiang: I Want to Believe:


The Museum as Miniature Golf Course: An Art Safari for All Ages

Our concept originates in the comedy and significance of Marcel Duchamp's addition of the Urinal into the 1917 Society of Independent Artists exhibition.  From that point artistic practice and conversion has taken certain fragmented turns and separations throughout the 1900's.  Our project will consist of a miniature golf course situated on the rooftops of multiple Brooklyn buildings.  Each hole of the miniature golf course will increase in complexity, addressing issues of structure along with artistic reference.  The project is expected and hopes to have a level of humor that perseveres along with the entertainment aspect of the game.  Without trying to teach art historical iconic emblems, we wish to enact a situation that applies a matrix to the conversation and how it is represented.

Proposed by Anais Daly and Josh Duensing


Museum of Muchas gracias de mucha gente

Proposed by Akiko Yasuda


Angel Island Monuments

Students at PS 42 designed and built paper mache models for monuments to honor Chinese Immigrants who where interred at Angel Island, that became operational in 1910 and was billed as the "Ellis Island of the West".

Nearly, a century later and through the context of "Everything is a Museum" Students Sculptures and writing converge with the history of the Angel Island Immigration Station transcending time and space, forming a Museum of Monuments to the Chinese Immigrant's experience.

In 1970 an Angel Island Museum was established in one of the old barracks, as far as we know, no other monuments currently exist.

Proposed by Jennifer Cecere, teaching artist, Learning Through Art Program,
Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum
Linda Ho and Eric Carbone, teachers
and students at PS 42 in Manhattan.


Museum is Skin Deep

Once considered avant- garde, much of high art has become public icon while low art (tattoo) has gained prominence as high art with its own television shows among other venues. It seems inevitable that the two will merge into a single showcase.

In Museum is Skin Deep, the "collectors" can tattoo their favorite images from history, displaying and sharing their culture and beliefs wherever they are worldwide.

In the example to the left, the Western works are arranged in chronological order from 30,000 B.C. to the late 20th century from deltoid to wrist. The museum is best displayed when the arm and hand gesture refers to the measure of Creation as depicted in William Blake's "The Ancient of Days" (1824) on the right.

Proposed by Bruce Richards


Street Food Community Museum

A vehicle of socio-cultural capital will be created through a combination of gathering, eating, conversation and storytelling. This vehicle is manifested by the street food cart, its vendor-facilitator, and the public.

In a transparent space on a corner lot on the island of Manhattan NY, members of the public will be able to eat from and sit at an installed street food cart. The street food cart installation and accompanying vendor -facilitator will rotate bi-weekly, introducing street food from all over the world. The food cart is recontextualized since visitor-participants will both enter a space to access it and sit at stools to relax and stay a while. An intimate nature is created by the stools placed around the cart, the city sounds partially muffled by glass walls, and the conversation and storytelling facilitated by the street food cart vendor.

Two carts and vendor-facilitators may also be present to represent different ethnic foods and cultures from the same region that do not traditionally interact or co-exist. An open conversation by enlightened vendor-facilitators would increase understanding of the cultural divide among all parties present.
Some proposed installations for the first year of operation:
Mexico (tortas, tamales)
Japan (various noodles, takoyaki, nikuman)
Middle East (falafel)
Netherlands (herring)
Brazil (Pão de queijo)

Proposed by Stacy Fisher and Daniel Lewis


Waiting in the Museum

Some studies have suggested that people spend an average of three seconds looking at a single artwork in a museum.  Yet there are many places in life, especially in transport, where groups of people stand for long periods with nothing visual to contemplate.  Waiting in the Museum suggests filling these spaces with art, lending creative life to these areas and giving people the time and opportunity to slow down and truly observe an artist's work.

In addition to the work of Cai Guo-Qiang, this installation features art that was stolen from the Elizabeth Stewart Gardner Museum (in 1990) and from the Emil Buehrle Foundation (in February 2008).  In this context there is a further suggestion that our public spaces have been stolen from us by advertisers and must be recovered and returned to public benefit.

Proposed by Alex Schneider


Museum of Globes (MoG)

Until relatively recently you could find a globe in nearly every home and classroom. Where have all the globes gone?  My museum seeks to preserve the legacy of globes.

According to a National Geographic report nearly two-thirds of Americans aged 18 to 24 could not find Iraq on a map. Sure, countries change names, new ones emerge, and borders are redrawn, but are these reasons to throw out all the globes? In our global village, the globes are missing.

Taking on the appearance of a giant gumball machine The Museum of Globes (MoG) would collect and display globes that have disappeared from public view within the enormous globe known as the Unisphere. The Unisphere located in Queens, New York, the most "global" of US counties, was constructed as a symbol of the 1964 World's Fair.  MoG would assume the role of a central lending library and exhibition space for displaced globes, inviting anyone who wanted to reclaim a globe for their home, library or classroom to rescue a miniature world.

Proposed by Sharon Vatsky


"A dialogue."

Dear Cai,

I talked to you in the elevator at the Guggenheim because I couldn't help it. I've been wanting to talk to you since last February 2007. I'm an artist from Spain, first solo show in NY in 2002 at Lance Fung gallery. My work is about the feelings that appear when we are confronted with something that seems about to fall down, or be destroyed, or disappear. Last February, while installing a site specific piece in London, Lance told me that one of your gun powder drawings would be in the opposite wall. That image interacted with my work in such a way that my installation changed. I told that to Lance and he replied: "Yes, you should let him know."

I believe that projects begin with dialogues, with questions that cannot be answered, which we might not even want to answer. I believe in the strength of believing in something, in believing that something might happen if we work hard enough and try to make it happen.

My proposal to "Everything is Museum" is the Guggenheim's cafe, where I talk to people about my questioning, about the important role that process and chance plays in every single thing that we do. I came to New York because this city allows me to have dialogues with people I would have to chase around the world if I did not live here. I work today as a part time educator at the Guggenheim because it might allow me to talk for a couple of minutes with you and build a museum from there. Dialogues can also be museums, Cai, you know that very well.



Proposed by Gema Alava


Rachel's Shell Museum

The museum will be in the shape of a nautilus shell. It will be a curving spiral, like one ramp of the Guggenheim.

The collection has been formed in California, Florida and Long Island. (See photo "Highlights of collection.")  Further donations will be welcomed.

The exhibits are interactive, visitors can touch, "if parents say it's ok."

For programming, Lewis will lead a tour for students and parents of Rachel's school (Children's Workshop School, PS 361).

Proposed by anonymous


Museum of Regular People (MRP)

In this museum, regular people are on view. You can ask them questions that might occur to you if you saw them riding the subway or walking down the street.

Proposed by Sarah Mostow


Par King

A parking deck is converted to a museum. With American culture still strongly embedded in automobile culture the parking deck is a publicly accessible space that has increasingly come to represent progress and development for town centers and urbanity.

Objects occupy lower floors of the parking deck and viewers are encouraged to walk through these levels as they are returning to their vehicles or exiting the town below.

Objects can be themed by floor or floor can be divided into various regions for different artist or themes. Everything is mounted adjacent to the walls and viewers walk along the parking isles giving them safe passage through the museum while drivers en route to higher levels in search of parking are initially driving through the museum.

The parking deck provides the ability to display larger works in a semi-controlled environment that is protected from mnay of the elements like rain. Also, additional spot lighting is easily available by connecting to power supplies that are already present within the parking deck.

Proposed by Basem Hassan


The Gondola Museum of Transitory Sensation

As you glide through the air from Roosevelt Island into Manhattan this museum will offer you a moment of mental weightlessness. Being off the ground your physical situation is altered and your mind may be open to sensory challenges. In a short amount of time you travel from a quiet island to the busy streets of the city and that transition can take many shapes.

The shows displayed in this exhibition space will be focused on audio, color, and kinetics. The windows will be the main area for visual works and the fact that the observer is already in motion can make kinetic work even more interesting. There are numerous solutions for how sound pieces may be displayed. Whether it is through an interior speaker system, head phones or otherwise, the sky is literally the limit. The windows go down low enough for children to look out and this will be a museum which they can visit for a fun experience and to treat the senses with some extraordinary stimulation.

Proposed by Johanna & Ella Sims


The Incredible Shrinking Museum

I dream of a museum about nothing for a society that has everything. This museum would have no guards, gates, or windows, no foundation, no roof. It would have no labels, signs or symbols, and would not follow any bureaucratic rules or respond to administrative boards. It would reject grand mission statements and defy any predefined purpose.

This museum would offer a respite for all of us who are fatigued by the "facts" and "artifacts" we are constantly being subjected to and that leave us no time for close examination or doubt. It would fire up our imagination and revive utopian dreams for a jaded art world.

I envision this museum in the shape of a massive block of glycerin soap. Visitors would be invited to carve their way into the structure, making it accessible through gradual excavation. The exvacated chunks of soap would become the museum's only artifacts and be free for the taking. Thus, the museum would be disseminated among its visitors until it is used up.

I call this museum the Incredible Shrinking Museum.

Proposed by Filip Noterdaeme


"Why Can't Museums Go Underground?"

My niece and I have two important things in common. We both love to visit the many museums and galleries in New York City together and we also enjoy our long chats about what kind of art and culture we will experience as we ride on the New York City subway trains. A fun game we like to play as we navigate through the different boroughs of New York is to imagine how might transform a little niche, a well worn corner, or some neglected space we see, all too frequently, down in the subways that could use some immediate attention and sprucing up. We both agree that some uplifting art that references the rich history of the city and its multi-cultural inhabitants is just what is needed. And why not? Since there are endless folks from all over the city and around the globe who pass through the dingy halls of our subways, why not make the experience more pleasurable? After giving it some serious thought and considering how many of us navigate up and down the grubby stairwells or wait impatiently on desolate platforms for trains to come. It occurred to both of us that only occasionally might we find an "interesting" or "captivating" public artwork featured among the grime. We would like to raise the bar and take it a step further by bringing the museum and its rotating schedule of exhibits down into the subways for everyone to enjoy.

And so together we began to research the concept and embarked on an official scouting mission to find out just how many neglected spaces we could spot together. We all know the kinds of spaces these are. The eyesores we set our gaze upon day in and day out that resemble an odd combination of some prehistoric fossil amidst a dreary grey backdrop of stalactites that thrives among the urban decay. We never want to get too close. We routinely rush past these spaces day to day and have desensitized ourselves to their existence and need for attention and TLC. And so after losing track of our tally of these strange locales, we decided something needs to be done. We came up with the idea of enlisting local artists, schools and community members to infiltrate the underground and transform the countless spaces we spotted into creative site-specific installations of various media. We came to this conclusion because we "want to believe" that art unites us all. And by incorporating art into our daily lives, and in such places one might not expect to encounter it, it just might transform us. It might even draw us away from our cell phones and iPods for a few precious moments to absorb the newfound beauty that surrounds us.

Proposed by Kimberly Marrero and Candice Licalzi (Kimberly's niece)


The Museum of Memory: A Moveable History of Saved Objects in Our Mother's Steamer Trunk

This museum is a trunk our our Mother's. It was given to her by her Russian Grandmother in the 1950s. Sometime during that decade, she painted it gold and wallpapered the inside for no reason that she can remember or explain. It held her keepsakes in it for many years. It was a fixture of our youth. Once in awhile she would open it and let us through the doorway into her past. After her last move to a smaller place, she gave it to me.

It now houses my memories. Our childhood (my sisters and mine) lives in this museum. Wild open prairie skies, ribbons from track meets, our late father's luggage tag, my sister's first real pair of shoes, a ring from our mother's high school. These are memories in solid form. Each piece is a part of the visual narrative. Each piece is a part of a living breathing museum. Each piece is awash with nostalgia and heavy with meaning and memory. This museum held things precious to our Great Grandmother Tatiana after she arrived in Saskatchewan in the early 1980s, was then stored in our Grandmother Kaytya's home for many years. It held our Mother's memories, and now it holds ours.

Open the lid, and enter the museum. This is our story.

Proposal: This museum may be displayed in one of three ways.

  • The enclosed photo collage
  • A more in-depth photo collage prepared with acrylic on canvas
  • The actual trunk is in storage in Western Canada with all the actual pieces in it. It could be shipped here, but shipping time and cost would need to be considered.
  • Proposed by Diana Ganske Kazakova in conjunction with her sister Jennifer Ganske


    Cool Contemporary Art Factory at Campbell Pond

    For our museum proposal we chose an abandoned factory in the Southmountain Reservation (Millburn, NJ). It sits right on the edge of Campbell's Pond and is surrounded by a forest full of wildlife, rocks and waterfall--a magical place!

    The old pier could be fixed and have boats ready to disembark, so that works of art could be viewed on the water--floating on small rafts. The old smoke stack could be used in various ways: we would send balloons out of it, with lights inside and poetic messages attached for whoever may find them in a distant place. We would install speakers on the smokestack to play cool music. The building itself has plenty of space for art shows inside, but we would also want to use it to show graffiti art on the outside (there actually already is some!) The open area surrounding the factory building would be a wonderful place for social gathering. Our ideais to serve ice cream in a variety of international flavors. There could also be 'creative' tables for families to make their own art work, using art supplies, but also natural items found in the surrounding forest--these works too could be brought out to float on the lake.

    Proposed by Frankie, Sylvia, Emilia and Nicky Meo


    Round-able Museum of Art

    It is a talking museum; a museum that encourages interaction and conversation. The Round-able Museum is striving toward this state of "roundness," a state of harmony, where people can have an unusual experience from interacting with the art works but also with other visitors and museum staff.

    The architecture reflects this strive towards "roundness."

    The museum also asks the exhibitions to collaborate with a culinary chef or culinary field/practice. There is no "gift shop"; in its place there will be a section for 'culinary action' and also for viewing the 'culinary' action'. The smell of the culinary adventure will permeate throughout the exhibition space, and invasive even when viewing art works.

    No cameras in the museum.

    The works in the museum may be touched. Artists exhibiting must be aware of the fact that visitors are allowed to touch the works in the museum. Museum guards, instead of using their energy to protect the art works, may channel that energy to engage visitors about the works. Guards will have comfortable chairs to sit down in, with an additional chair placed next to the guard to encourage visitors to sit down and chat with the guards.

    Proposed by Karen Shueh
    assisted by Dean Shueh (Daddy Shueh)