What is the Homeless Museum of Art?
The Homeless Museum of Art (HoMu) is an art project that presents itself as a legitimate cultural institution to articulate a dual critique of the cultural institution as enterprise and the cult of the artist as shaman. Created in 2002 by New York-based artist Filip Noterdaeme, it was inspired by the artist's increasing identification with the homeless as individuals who have fallen through the cracks of a very loosely knit, Darwinian society. Blending absurdity with sincerity, HoMu challenges the integrity of major cultural institutions that have succumbed to the lure of real estate business and commerce. The deliberately ambiguous name of the project, Homeless Museum of Art, points to the artist's perception of urban real estate monopoly as a threat to both human dignity and urban culture.
HoMu is NOT an anthropological museum about homelessness or the homeless.
Where is it?
The Homeless Museum of Art does not have a permanent public venue. However, it sometimes manifests itself in public areas, as in the fall of 2008, when Director Noterdaeme brought his portable HOMU booth to the Bowery for several Sunday afternoons, positioning it between the New Museum and the Bowery Mission, one of the few remaining faith-based homeless shelters on the Bowery.
In March 2005, Noterdaeme transformed his private residence in Brooklyn, NY, into a showcase for the Homeless Museum of Art and called it HoMu BKLYN. For the following two years, Noterdaeme hosted open houses at HoMu BKLYN on a monthly basis.
NOTE: As of April 2007, HoMu BKLYN is no longer open to the public. Affiliates from cultural institutions and members of the press may request a visit by sending an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
What kind of art does it exhibit?
The Homeless Museum of Art boasts a growing collection of original art works inspired by the taboo of homelessness and the hijacking of cultural institutions by corporate values. With the exception of the Signature Series, a collaboration between Noterdaeme and homeless individuals, all art works are created by Noterdaeme, with the assistance of his partner Daniel Isengart. The HoMu Collection includes interactive, multi-media installations, paintings, drawings, sculptures, and video shorts.