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How The Nasher Can Get Back At Museum Tower

Let’s be clear: what I am about to present to you will in no way fix the damaged relationship between the Nasher Sculpture Center and Museum Tower. In fact, if implemented to my specifications, my proposal will probably permanently ruin any chance that the two entities will come to some sort of peaceable coexistence. I’m not necessarily suggesting that the Nasher do what I am advocating. I’m also not not suggesting that. But they probably won’t, because it involves pornography. Obviously.

What we are talking about here is the nuclear option. The “break glass in case of” scenario. This could either rush a settlement or prevent one from ever being reached. Because it is a giant middle finger.

1. Since the Nasher is an art museum, the best way to attack is via art. A version of this idea has been proposed already, rather brilliantly, on Glasstire. My suggestion is, in one way, less outright aggressive and, in another way, even more so. So, at some point in the next few months, the Nasher will acquire a new piece from a name-brand artist. It would be poetic justice if it was James Turrell, since Museum Tower has crippled his Tending, (Blue). But he might want to wash his hands of the whole thing. So, someone else — it really doesn’t matter. Someone big. We are making a splash here. We are not hiding it. This will get as much publicity as we can muster. This is an acquisition of an important new piece by an important artist and it is a very big deal. Not just for the Nasher but for Dallas as a whole.

2. The piece itself: the dimensions and exact shape are up to the artist, but the important part is that it is tall enough so that its top is not visible from the Nasher itself. Visitors can only see the sides. In fact, the top’s lack of visibility is part of the piece. Something about the unknowable, the unwrapped box, Schrödinger’s cat — you get the idea. We’ll figure it all out in the artist’s statement. Essentially, what I’m picturing is sort of a giant box. Maybe 20 or 30 feet tall.

3. The location is near the east wall of the Nasher, parallel to Museum Tower. A piece like this needs a stage.

4. Okay, the top. It’s a video screen, angled slightly toward Museum Tower. Again, no visitor to the Nasher will be able to see this. This video screen plays one thing and one thing only — all day, every day. That one thing: the kind of pornography you absolutely cannot unsee. Nothing illegal. I’m thinking — and definitely not picturing — something simple. In gentle terms, let’s say an octogenarian couple that still has lusty loins after so many years.

5. The owners of Museum Tower will protest that their residents are deeply disturbed at the images they are being exposed to. The Nasher’s Jeremy Strick will be caught by surprise by this, because, as he says, “The entire idea of this piece, the absolute bedrock of what the artist is saying here, is that there are things in everyone’s life that they don’t know, that they cannot know, that they do not want to know, and the top of everyone’s box, so to speak, is different. For some people, the top of their box is the malice that lurks within their hearts. For others, it is old people aggressively having sex. We support the artist fully. It is a shame so many others do not support him, and the idea of art in general.”