From their original exhibit, Tonya Harding Nancy Kerrigan, to the current Nicole Richie's 2007 Memorial Day BBQ which they created with gossip blogger famed for "Pop Culture Died in 2009", the space they are creating in the tiny loft across from a 7-11 is the comforting celebrity shrine able to be campy and simultaneously respectful of the golden days of media we all miss dearly. And don't you deny that.
They met me at the museum, which itself is definitely surprisingly subtle. Beside a gas station, and empty lot under the bridge, it is not what I had expected, having received an invite to "Nicole Richie's 2007 Memorial Day BBQ", sponsored by Svedka. But the museum itself, the second location since it's 2015 opening, is just what anyone fiending for that glitzy second-hand fame that was the quintessential feel of the 2000's craves. Matt and Viviana are equally inviting— their obvious excitement is contagious, a good quality to have as curators of such a niche subject. They gushed in a heartfelt manner to me about their goals with the space, and in having the themes they do...
How did it start?
We started the THNK thing as like kind of a joke, but then we met a lot of people who gave us artifacts, made art for us, and it was cool connecting with artists who maybe like live somewhere where they can’t really get things in a gallery. We try to feature women, LGBT artists, thats who we feel most connected to. But also it seems like those are the people most connected to the exhibits. We aren’t making fun of anybody, and a lot of times, we get like, straight guys— especially with THNK, and they show up and go “Why don’t you have the lead pipe to hit me with?” and it’s like, then we turn into insane people yelling at them.
Do you guys feel like pop culture died in the 2000's?
A certain part of it did. His whole theory, tabloid culture, it all died in 2009 because social media, twitter, became big and people got the information right to them... Tonya was kind of the birth of reality TV. Two figure skaters, who were part of a scandal where media was changing everything, it was all-consuming. The second that ended, it was the bronco chase for OJ. It was so huge. Then competition shows, Survivor, and the Kardashians and Simple Life. It just was a major thing as that decade ended.
Have you ever heard from any of these people?
For Tonya Harding Nancy Kerrigan, we spoke with both of their agencies when we started. I feel like we got their approval. For the Olsen Twins exhibit, we never “officially” got word from them but one time we tweeted out that we wanted Frappuccinos, and twenty minutes later a courrier came with two Frappuccinos. We have no idea who they were from, so we are just going to keep thinking it was them. Kim Cattrall sent a representative, didn’t come herself. And then this one, Paris tweeted about but then realized it wasn’t about her so she deleted it. I mean thats it, but Lindsay is fully living yacht life. Britney is very busy with Vegas.