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A0016 – Murgida, 9/10

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For 9/10, Lucas Murgida built a wheeled cabinet, locked himself inside, and waited on a New York City sidewalk for someone to take it.  The two-day covert intervention took place in September 2008 as part of New York’s Conflux Festival. Festival visitors who were aware of the project searched the city for Murgida’s cabinet, but an unsuspecting trio of participants found it and rolled it to a commercial kitchen, where the jostled artist finally emerged. The cabinet was a Trojan horse, presented as an abandoned object and turned by its unknowing adopters into an invitation to invade. Murgida made use of the sidewalk’s capacity to turn private property into public offering.  By stowing away during the object’s transition from public back to private, Murgida undercut the reliability of the threshold between city street and locked interior. This key opens the locks on the outside of the cabinet, but it is not what the artist used to enter and escape—he used a lock concealed on the inside. A copy of this key was left for the cabinet’s new owners, turning it into a functional gift. The “false” key that makes the cabinet useful also functions as a metaphor for feigned security and surrendered control.