Chapter 6: At Home

Daniel J. Isengart as Madame Butterfly, Café Broodthaers at the Homeless Museum of Art, Brooklyn 2005
"Everybody had to stop by Café Broodthaers for a serving of the Broodthaers Menu. Usually everybody tried at least something. Some ate everything. In general the mussels were more popular with women and the milk more popular with men. Those who were on a diet, and most americans usually are, did not eat the yolk of the peeled hardboiled egg."

Homeless Shoes, 2005
"Celerie Kemble adored shoes. There were shoes in every closet and in the hallway and under the grand piano and one day I found a lonely pair of Manolo Blahniks in the dishwasher. Filip Noterdaeme delighted in this little story of ingenious cosmopolitan shoe care and asked me to encrust a pair of plexiglas mules with rhinestone letters to spell the word HOME on the right strap and LESS on the left strap."

Filip Noterdaeme with MoMA HMLSS on 53rd Street, 2005
"Filip Noterdaeme announced that he would display it in front of the Modern on the first anniversary of its reopening. When the day came, we went to 53rd Street. We took along the valise and Florence with her little microphone stand and the sound device. We stood there for many hours and Florence appeared to be repeatedly asking, HAS. ANYBODY. SEEN. LOWRY, a funny sound bite I had taken from Brazil, the Terry Gilliam movie. All in all MoMA HMLSS was a perfect expression of the inside of the Modern for those kept on the outside."
To find out more MoMA HMLSS, click here.

Daniel J. Isengart singing Klaus Nomi Songs at Galapagos Art Space, Brooklyn 2006
"There were good nights and bad nights. On the bad nights I sounded more like a drowning cat than a countertenor and I was always very nervous before each show not knowing if it would be a Nomi night or a cat night. We also brought the show to the BAMCafé and there it was all Nomi for a long time and then suddenly it was not any more."

Daniel J. Isengart and Filip Noterdaeme Switching Roles at the Swiss Institute, NYC 2007
"At the end of the presentation I revealed that we had taken them for a ride and that he was I and I was he. At that, they lost it, they just lost it and told us they thought we were completely and totally out of our minds."

Evee Lynn at Home, NYC ca. 2007
"We talked about everything, about life and America and her history of growing up an orphan in Vienna and Berlin and having then been trained to become a ballerina and survived the war and how she had become an international varieté star in the Fifties and then had had a nervous breakdown and gone through electroshock therapy in the Sixties. One day I brought her a Sony so she could begin recording her remembrances for her memoirs. Evee Lynn teased me and said, naturally you want me to write my memoirs because I had this amazing talent and had to work hard all my life while you always had it easy because you're a lucky child."

Daniel J. Isengart and Filip Noterdaeme at HOMU BKLYN , 2007 (Photo by Chester Higgins for The New York Times)
"The Homeless Museum having been written up in The New York Times had now become official and there was no denying of its existence. That week, landlords and museum directors all over New York City were talking about Dan Shaw's article and wondered what sort of artist had created such a defiant elaborate send-up of the contemporary museum world, a place so embarrassingly evocative of the museum world's obsession with real estate and yet so endearing in its candid depiction of insouciant domesticity."
To read The New York Times Article, click here.

Fat Minimalism at Grand Arts, Kansas City, 2007
"Then the chicken fat had to be melted and poured and cooled, little by little. Finally Filip Noterdaeme and I assembled the solid fat sheets into sculptures. By the end of the day we had a Fat Morris, a Fat Judd, a Fat McCracken, and a Fat Andre and neither of them looked anything like a CD rack from Ikea. The smell of fried onions was in them and around them and on our hands."

Foreign Affairs at the Canal Chapter, 2007
"Opening night was an adventure. There was of course a guest list. The rule was, one had to be on the list to be let in, but it turned out that the door person Mike and Jason had hired was illiterate and this caused for a great deal of confusion for everybody who was lining up around the block waiting to be admitted. In the meanwhile I was pacing the floor upstairs in the loft frightfully nervous that the police might see the line of people and close Foreign Affairs even before it opened."
Watch a video of Foreign Affairs at the Canal Chapter here.

Filip Noterdaeme and Daniel J. Isengart at the Museum Mile Festival, NYC 2008
"It was quite a scene around both of us that day. I was once again singing Brecht's radical socialist songs to everybody and anybody in front of billionaire Ronald Lauder's Neue Galerie, and Filip Noterdaeme was parading up and down Fifth Avenue with Florence Coyote in her pram and handing out his MAC brochures that urged everyone to please support New York's poor needy multimillion dollar museums."
To read Filip Noterdaeme's Open Letter to Robin Schatell, the curator of the Museum Mile Festival, click here.

Filip Noterdaeme Wearing the Barnes Foundation Makeup, Brooklyn 2007 2007
"Concluding that the Barnes Foundation needed not a full makeover but a cosmetic makeover Filip Noterdaeme asked me to create a special makeup line in four shades, Cézanne Brown, Van Gogh Yellow, Renoir Pink and Picasso Black. He called it the Barnes Makeup Foundation."
To read more about the Barnes Foundation Makeup, click here.

To continue to Chapter 7, click here.

The Autobiography of Daniel J. Isengart is available in local bookstores and on AMAZON.