LMCC: This Bomb Is Not A Bomb

The Lower Manhattan Cultural Council has issued a press statement today after this morning’s New York Observer story about Chris Hackett. (The work in question is an operational suitcase bomb.) They say:

LMCC lost its World Trade Center home and the life of an artist on 9/11.  We are very sensitive to the traumas of violence and terrorism.  LMCC will not include any work of art in the “A Knock at the Door” exhibition that could in any way endanger the public.  There will be no hazardous devices on display.  The point of “A Knock at the Door” is to explore the relationships between artists and authority in the post 9/11 world, not to create risk or condone violence.

The Transom thinks that the press people at LMCC have great careers as celebrity publicists ahead of them. They’ve certainly mastered the language of the official denial. (Also, the whole 9/11 thing is sort of reminiscent of the upcoming Pentagon-sponsored 9/11 and-oh-wait-also Support Our Troops march, no? Establishing a connection through assertion? A wee bit of a canard? A little hiding behind the flag? Yes? No? Hmm?)

From The Transom’s interview with curator Seth Cameron last Friday: “And in this case, when I asked [Mr. Hackett] originally, I said it would help my conscience a little bit… to know that you’ve rigged [the bomb] in some way. To know that there’s more precaution there, even if I can’t see it. And his position is that he won’t tell me yes and he won’t tell me no. I’m guessing there’s more safety than he’s letting on.”

Mr. Hackett hopefully hasn’t lost his sense of humor. As he put it to The Transom last week, about his cellphone-triggered bomb at the art exhibition’s opening, “If there’s a long line for the bathroom, I can totally clear the house by saying I have to step outside to make a phone call.”
—Choire Sicha

LMCC: This Bomb Is Not A Bomb