Square footage is a hot commodity in New York City, and what little we manage to find is rarely dedicated to anything other than the necessities, like multiple shoe racks and IKEA bar stools. But two Brooklynites have decided to make the most of their Williamsburg abode by creating a literal museum in their hallway. Of what, you ask? The infamous 1994 figure skating conflict between Nancy Kerrigan and Tonya Harding.
Matt Harkins and Viviana Rosales Olen, both alums of UCB, found inspiration in the ESPN documentary The Price for Gold on Netflix, and decided to honor the ladies who ignited the media in the weeks before the 1994 Olympic Games. Through the wonder that is Kickstarter, the pair opened THNK1994, their tribute to one of the biggest controversies in the world of figure skating.
The twenty-five-foot long, four-foot wide hallway now houses memorabilia, fan art, tabloid relics, a diorama of Harding’s famous triple axel, cross stitch portraits of each skater, and calligraphed tweets, among other things. Many of the prized items came from figure skating journalist Lois Elfman, who wanted to meet the two creators and subsequently donated her artifacts free of charge. Others came from friends, artists and their own personal collections.
Aside from being general fans of the sport, Olen and Harkins want to create a place where like-minded fans could learn about the two women apart from the frenzy of the 1994 media and beyond. And while the experience leans in the direction of performance art, they insist that it is not meant to be a joke. “If we’re making fun of anything, we’re making fun of ourselves,” Olen stated to the Washington Post, “We’re coming into this with upmost respect.”
They are hosting an offsite gala to commemorate the opening, like true gallery operators, at the Standard Toykraft theater on April 18th. Interested patrons need to make an appointment and prepare some sort of Internet verification to prove they are not going to pull a Harding. So if you find yourself with nothing to do on a random Saturday, pop on by, relive 1994 for a bit, and begin to seriously question why you haven’t memorialized your favorite sports controversy in the emptiest corner of your living room.
Images c/o: The Washington Post, @mattandviviana