It may sound like an adaptation of "The Emperor's New Clothes" but James Franco's new art project with Praxis (Brainard and Delia Carey), a conceptual art duo from New York, is very real. The project is called the Museum of Non-Visible Art (MONA) and has people wondering if it's "either an example of subtle creativity, an extremely shallow con, or a hoax. "
On its Kickstarter campaign website, the project is described as:
As an extravaganza of imagination, a museum that reminds us that we live in two worlds: the physical world of sight and the non-visible world of thought. Composed entirely of ideas, the Non-Visible Museum redefines the concept of what is real. Although the artworks themselves are not visible, the descriptions open our eyes to a parallel world built of images and words. This world is not visible, but it is real, perhaps more real than the world of matter, and it is also for sale.
For potential patrons, Franco and Praxis warn you that: "When you contribute to this Kickstarter project, you are not buying a visible piece of art!" But they assure that your investment will be worthwhile due to the participatory nature of the project. Although buyers will not receive a painting or sculpture, they receive a description, and are free to do what they wish with this description:
You will receive a title card with a description of a piece of art, as well as a letter of authentication. You may mount this card on a blank wall in your home or gallery. What comes next is up to you! The artwork comes to life—and takes on full personal meaning—in your imagining and describing of it, both to yourself and to your visitors. You may also choose to sell the non-visible artwork to another collector, to exhibit it elsewhere, or to lend it back to Praxis when we take the Non-Visible Museum on tour.
Works for sale include (for a $25 pledge):
By James Franco - Film -Red Leaves - His imagined short film based on William Faulkner's short story "Red Leaves." It relates a story of the EARLY inhabitants of Faulkner's fictional Yoknapawtapha County. A stunning and beautifully conceived work of art. It is a portrait of a culture on the brink of destruction.
Check out all the works (or title cards) for sale here.
Watch a video of Franco and Praxis explaining the project below.