<br/>Photo: Andreas Brunglinghaus / Director Noterdaeme, 2006 
Director Noterdaeme, 2006
Photo: Andreas Brunglinghaus

Open Letters

Between the years 2003 and 2009, Filip Noterdaeme wrote 25 open letters to museum directors, curators, artists, and other art world insiders.

He never received a reply from any of them.

In late 2010, he created a limited edition boxed set that contains hand-signed copies of all 25 letters in individual, sealed envelopes.


For inquiries about purchasing a boxed set, send inquiry to info@homelessmuseum.org




A Facial Tonic for the self-described "Grandmother of Performance Art"

On October 5th 2009, Director Noterdaeme, inspired by an evening spent in the company of performance artist Marina Abramovic, sent her an open letter and gift sample of his Abramovic-inspired facial tonic, the notorious Eau d'Abramovic.
Read Noterdaeme's letter to Miss Abramovic here.


Mission On The Bowery - The Letters

In the fall of 2008, HOMU Director Filip Noterdaeme created a series of street performances on the Bowery on the Lower East Side in Manhattan. For 4 consecutive Sunday afternoons, Noterdaeme positioned himself with his new portable HOMU booth at the intersection between the New Museum of Contemporary Art and the Bowery Mission, linking the two institutions through his performance and handing out open letters he had written for the occasion. Each Sunday's experience shaped the letters of the following week, one new pair of related letters for each Sunday. As a collection, the letters aim to capture and reflect the absurd realities and contradictions that shape the New Bowery.

Letter I: Dear Stranger
Letter II: Dear Art Museum
Letter III: Dear Artist
Letter IV: Dear Amateur
Letter V: Dear A. (a homeless man Noterdaeme met on the Bowery)
Letter VI: Dear Amy (a young assistant curator from the New Museum)
Letter VII: Dear Ms. Phillips (the Director of the New Museum)
Letter VIII: Dear Jesus Christ


A Gift for MoMA's Star Curator Klaus Biesenbach

On January 12, 2009, Director Noterdaeme sent Klaus Biesenbach, the chief curator of MoMA's Media Department (and the person in charge of MoMA's new commitment to incorporate performance art in its collection), a symbolic gift with a letter of encouragement.
Read Noterdaeme's letter to Biesenbach here.


Creative Capital Wants Artists To Hone Their Communication Skills

On June 17, 2008, Filip Noterdaeme received an open invitation to participate in a workshop on communications sponsored by Creative Capital, a nonprofit organization based in New York. Responding to the invitation, Noterdaeme praises Creative Capital for offering artists such a life-altering opportunity.
"I can think of at least one struggling artist who truly changed the world once he sharpened his public speaking skills -and learned how to use his body language to great effect- his name was Adolf Hitler."
Read the letter here.


The Museum Mile Festival is "Not for Artists"

On June 3rd, 2008, Noterdaeme launched his Museum Awareness Campaign during the city's 30th Museum Mile Festival on Fifth Avenue. Robin Schatell, the event director in charge of the festival, took issue with Noterdaeme's presence.
Read his follow-up letter to her here.


About Explosions and Implosions

In this letter, sent to Guggenheim Foundation Director Thomas Krens in February 2008, Noterdaeme comments on explosive artist Cai Guo-Qiang's retrospective at the Guggenheim Museum and the artist's curatorial choice to include projects by both Krens and Noterdaeme in his side how, Everything Is Museum.
"I can't help but point out how our respective proposals complement each other perfectly, like the Yin and Yang of the museum world. Yours is all about museum expansion via the Guggenheim brand, while mine is about museum implosion, shown with my Incredible Shrinking Museum (ISM)."
Read the letter here.


Noterdaeme Aims for Top Guggenheim Position

In this letter, sent in December 2007, Filip Noterdaeme aims for the big time by offering Thomas Krens, Director of the Guggenheim Foundation, his candidacy for the position of Director of the Guggenheim Museum (the position became vacant in August 2007, after Lisa Dennison, the former director, defected to Sotheby's).
"As the new director of the Guggenheim Museum, I would commission Giorgio to design new uniforms for the museum's security guards, turn the museum shop into a Penny Arcade, and build a dirt-track circuit on the building's rooftop for motorcycle racing."
Read the letter here.


Bloch-ing the View

On June 16, 2007, Director Noterdaeme sent a letter to Marc Wilson, Director and CEO of the Nelson Atkins Museum of Art, admonishing him for omitting controversial post-minimalist art in the contemporary art galleries of the Museum's new extension, the Bloch Building.
"To deprive the public from engaging with works and ideas that may illuminate contemporary life and culture is also to relegate culture to pleasantries and jeopardize any real chance to foster a common culture across differences of race, ethnicities, gender, education, and class."
Read the letter here.


Museum Directors Must Wash Hands

In February 2007, Noterdaeme sent a special gift to MoMA Director Glenn Lowry.
"I'm sending you a custom-made plaque engraved with these words: Museum Directors Must Wash Hands. I had it made specifically for you."
Read the letter here.


Presenting HoMu's Newest Acquisition: The Egg on Schiele

In January 2007, Noterdaeme invited cosmetics industry mogul and art collector Ronald Lauder to visit HoMu BKLYN and admire its newly acquired Egg on Schiele.
"I must caution you: My Schiele is NOT FOR SALE."
Read the letter here.


Glenn Lowry and the Art of Real Estate

In this letter to Glenn Lowry, the director of the Museum of Modern Art, sent in January 2007, Noterdaeme proposes to turn MoMA into a mall.
"Museums are indeed no longer in the business of showing art, collecting art and educating people about art, they have moved into the business of real estate, and no one has mastered this transition better than you."
Read the letter here.


Antiques for the Homeless

In this letter to antique dealer Karl Kemp, sent in January 2007, Noterdaeme urges Kemp to drop his laughable million-dollar lawsuit against a homeless man and create a daytime lounge for the homeless instead.
"There is no need to overextend yourself. After all, you made it clear that your concern about the homeless' well-being is limited to your business hours."
Read the letter here.


Two Guggenheims for the Real Estate of One: Guggenheim Plus and Guggenheim Zero

In this letter to Thomas Krens, the director of the Guggenheim Museum, sent in December 2006, Noterdaeme proposes the creation of a subterranean Guggenheim Museum to make more room in the original building for parties.
"Seeing that the original Frank Lloyd Wright building has become so popular for corporate parties, product placement and other PR schemes that trivialize and effectively desecrate the art, I propose to remove all the art from its galleries..."
Read the letter here.


HO Cracks: A New Look for the Guggenheim Museum

In this letter, sent to Thomas Krens, the director of the Guggenheim Museum, in May 2004, Noterdaeme offers an original solution for solving the problem of the ailing fašade of the Frank Lloyd Wright building.
"I urge the Guggenheim Foundation to capitalize on the building's growing state of decay rather than having its fašade repeatedly restored at high costs."
Read the letter here.


The Champagne Campaign

In this letter to Bernard Arnault, Chairman of the Luxury Group LVMH, sent in April 2003, Noterdaeme urges Arnault to sponsor a Veuve Cliquot Shelter for Homeless Women and a Dom Perignon Shelter for Homeless Men.
"By participating in the Champagne Campaign, LVMH could reaffirm its wish to 'give back something that is in the general interest and thereby share [its] economic success with everyone.'"
Read the letter here.


HoMu in Search of Headquarters

In this letter, sent to Thomas Krens, the director of the Guggenheim Museum, in February 2003, Noterdaeme asks for permission to built HoMu's Headquarters on the unused rooftop of the Guggenheim's Frank Lloyd Wright building.
"This partnership would doubtlessly attract new audiences to both our institutions, and we are convinced that the uptown cultural community would embrace HoMu's presence on the Upper East Side."
Read the letter here.