Proteus Gowanus has created or taken in numerous Projects-in-Residence, located in spaces adjacent to the central gallery. Some of these projects grew directly from our yearlong exhibitions, while other initiatives were invited to join based on their shared love of books, their wide-ranging intellectual curiosity, and their desire to engage the general community in inclusive interdisciplinary explorations. Projects sometimes grow and take off from Proteus to establish new spaces of their own or disband so its members can move on to new creative enterprises.
Museum of Matches, a Project-in-Residence created by artist Sasha Chavchavadze, was open to the public at Proteus Gowanus from 2005 – 2011. A “one-room Cold War museum,” the installation of art, artifacts, documents, photographs, and books merged and matched Cold War history with personal history, inviting visitors to share their Cold War memorabilia and stories. Documentation of the project, and its current iterations, including lectures, publications and exhibitions, can be found at Museum of Matches.
The Morbid Anatomy Library, a project of Joanna Ebenstein, was a project-in-residence at Proteus Gowanus from 2009-2014. During this time, the project grew as a private research library and collection. The years at Proteus allowed the Library to open its doors to the public, making available its collection of curiosities, books and artworks relating to death, medicine, art and beauty.
In the summer of 2014, Morbid Anatomy spread its wings and flew to a full-size space, establishing The Morbid Anatomy Museum, a 4,200 square foot non-profit institution located nearby at 424A 3rd Ave (Corner of 7th St), Brooklyn, NY 11215
Observatory was a Project In Residence at Proteus Gowanus from 2009-2014. Established by a group of artists and bloggers attracted to the interdisciplinary nature of Proteus Gowanus, Observatory presented programming inspired by the 18th century notion of “rational amusement”, exploring realms where art and science, history and curiosity, magic and nature overlap.
Joanna Ebenstein – multi-disciplinary artist, author of Morbid Anatomy and founder of The Morbid Anatomy Museum
Michelle Enemark – author and photographer of Curious Expeditions; Atlas Obscura
Pam Grossman – curator and author of Phantasmaphile
Wythe Marschall – writer and co-founder of the Hollow Earth Society
G.F. Newland – animator and illustrator
Salvador Olguin – a writer and poet who works extensively with Mexican cultural artifacts related to death
Dylan Thuras – video editor and author of Curious Expeditions
James Walsh – video and book artist
The Bureau of Unknown Destinations was a Project In Residence during the winter of our Migration year, 2012. The Bureau was the project of artist Sal Randolph during her three-month Proteus Gowanus artist’s residency. Visitors seeking to experiment with their migratory impulses were offered a booking for a day’s journey, with a free round trip ticket for a train adventure. The travelers also received a notebook, a task and a small pencil to record their journey. As the instructions dictated, visitors could “Begin your day by tearing open a sealed envelope and revealing the mystery of where you will find yourself by noon. Set forth, free of decisions, into the great (or perhaps, in this case, the small) unknown. Test your sense of destiny. Have lunch someplace new.” The project culminated in a delightful exhibition of the traveler’s notebooks, filled with sketches and commentary.