The fourteen works included in the project, nearly 10% of the Guggenheim Bilbao Museum Collection, fall into different typologies. Some of them are quite complex due to the kind of technological components they have. The project started off with one of the works with electronic systems: Installation for Bilbao, by Jenny Holzer. It comprises a row of nine columns on which texts written by the artist flow in streams of red and blue LED lights. After talking to Holzer and checking with her about her ideas for the conservation of the piece, a partial re-engineering of the work is taking place. Next-gen RGB LEDs, which provide brighter, richer colors and deliver greater energy efficiency, are replacing the original LED lights. Also, new hardware, software, and wiring are being installed.
Another work containing electronic systems to be updated is Daniel Buren’s Red Arches, a structure consisting of phenolic boards with a double (inner and outer) lighting system. In this case, the work’s surface and lighting will be fully renovated, maintaining the original remotely controlled lighting and motion sequence. Also in the electronic systems category is Shadow and Mouth, by Juan Muñoz, a piece featuring two human figures that seem to be talking to each other.
Among the pieces with hydraulic systems are Fog Sculpture #08025 (F.O.G.), by Fujiko Nakaya, consisting of nebulized water sprayed into the environment; and Puppy, Jeff Koons’s sculpture made of nearly 40,000 flowers and featuring an internal irrigation system with 114 outlets for the supply of water and the necessary phytosanitary products. Sergio Prego’s Sequence of Dihedrals, a sculptural-architectural intervention specifically conceived for one of the glass curtain-walls of the building, belongs to this typology as well. The piece comprises a number of aluminum panels that move with the help of a pneumatic compressor until they are perpendicular to the Museum’s glass curtain wall.