Hirshhorn Museum to Get Video Facelift

Artist Doug Aitken to create video wall art for exterior of museum

The Hirshhorn Museum in Washington is perhaps as well known for what's on the outside as what's on the inside.

The building of the contemporary art museum looks like a giant concrete donut or tire. Now, an artist from Los Angeles wants to tap into all that unused space and create an art installation for public view, the Washington Post reported.

Doug Aitken has proposed projecting a single work of video art onto the entire 360-degree span of the building's exterior. He said that the first time he emerged from a cab in front of the Hirshhorn he had a vision of it transforming and coming to life.

Hirshhorn curators are on board with the idea and technical tests have begun on how to execute the project. In the next couple of years, you could see the 722 running feet of concrete surface transformed into a palette for video art. What the video will be is unknown. 

The video project is just part of a facelift envisioned by Aitken. He also wants to transform the lobby of the museum. Right now, the first thing visitors encounter when they walk in is the bookshop.

Hirshhorn Director Richard Koshalek said as soon as you enter the museum, it should be an educational and illuminating experience, not a commercial one. The idea is to move the shop to the basement, and there's a plan to bring art to the bookshop, too.

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