The Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden needed to be energized. And Richard Koshalek, the director since April at the modern and contemporary art museum, had a long list of ideas to do just that.
Among the things his institution needed, Koshalek decided, was an extra space, one that would provide a conversational tent for the dialogue he wanted to build with new partners and artists. And so, voilà: On the drawing board is a 145-foot-tall temporary inflatable structure that's intended to sit in the concrete-bound courtyard and balloon through the top of the building. If the museum decides to go forward with it, the structure will be installed in May and October, starting in 2011.
"We have a very strong interest in curating public space," Koshalek said on Tuesday afternoon. "We want to turn the symbolic center of the Hirshhorn into a center for international dialogue. The issues are going to be very broad, so we can attract a pluralistic audience. It's also going to be based on very strong partnerships and collaborative efforts."