Geoff Edgers is back with the second part of the statement given to him by artist Christoph Büchel detailing his difficulties working with Mass MoCA. Some of the items are trivial (the project does seem to have been seriously delayed, but the Thanksgiving holiday couldn't have contributed that much, and should have been anticipated by everyone, including the artist) and others are debatable (Büchel has now repeatedly insisted that Mass MoCA could have performed the building and installation work involved faster and cheaper than it did--I'd like to know what figures this is based on and how realistic his opinion is.) But all in all, it's a pretty damaging picture, if accurate. I know that they've talked to the press a bit, and it may be that they are not saying more or producing any documentation as a deliberate strategy, but I'd hope the museum would be more forthcoming if it has information with which to dispute these claims. It looks bad to me, otherwise. Strangely, the reaction online, for what that's worth, seems to me to run against the artist, at least as far as I have seen. I can only guess at why: Mass MoCA is a well-liked institution and not a wealthy one, Büchel's project seems an outlandish one even to many people in the art world and not necessarily something to go to the mat over, and most damaging of all, the speculation that this affair may simply be the result of a sort of performance intended to subvert the work. I don't really like even discussing the last point, since if it's not true--and we have nothing beyond speculation to suggest that it is--it's incredibly damaging and unfair to the artist. On the other hand, if it is true, to me it seems a move beyond any acceptable artistic gesture even broadly conceived, an act of bad faith that (again, if true) did damage to an institution.
But right now, it's Mass MoCA that needs to demonstrate that they didn't cause this problem. Büchel's laid out specific allegations; we shall see if they respond and rebut any of them. Ultimately, he may be acting like a total jerk about the whole thing, though I'm in no position to assess the merits of his legal case. But it was their responsibility to shepherd this project to completion, and he's saying they failed in basic ways to do so.