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“Pop” goes the Guggenheim

August 3, 2011

I did a post a little while ago (“If a Sense of Time Went Traveling”) about the idea of historical sites or museums following the “pop-up” trend and erecting temporary locations that would allow them to share their site and meet the community in a place where the community might more easily encounter them.

Today’s New York Times highlights the first major NYC museum pop-up, hosted by the Guggenheim on a formerly empty lot in the East Village.

There will eventually be three labs, each with its own mobile structure designed by a different architect, and each dealing with a separate theme pertaining to urban life — in the case of the lab opening on Wednesday, “Confronting Comfort.” All three will travel to cities around the world, in a project slated to last six years. In each city curators will invite leaders in fields including architecture, art, design, technology, education and science to participate in programs: lectures, workshops, games, performances and film screenings. All events will be free to the public.

The labs are the brainchild of two Guggenheim Museum curators in their early 30s, David van der Leer and Maria Nicanor, who stress that this is not some sort of ephemeral museum.

“It’s a new hybrid, a place where we can learn from each other,” Mr. van der Leer said…“We wanted the Guggenheim Labs to be in the middle of an urban environment where people live, work and hang out.”

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