Thursday, November 19, 2020

Lately, with pictures

My two-person show with Sarah Rose opens tomorrow in person (I know, no one is going given the state of the world) and virtually on Saturday with a zoom thingy. This is my old brick wall piece that I was content to throw over the office wall but then I was told it would be MUCH better if I suspended as it was originally built to do.
Yesterday, I asked Bill to help me light and of course that meant being roped into doing other things, like poking monofilament through holes that my eyes could not handle. We are both in the stage of our lives where we need new correction to our vision but haven't figured out ideal solutions. I can't even get an appointment so I keep hoping I can figure it out in Korea.
If I don't support it with the pedestal, the left side goes way down so that's why it's not completely free hanging. Also, I added backlighting today and the pedestal helps to hide the floor lamps. This is in the alcove of the main gallery, where Sarah Rose is showing.
She and Nadia drove up from Penland and unloaded and installed and lit in record time. I was worried about Nadia getting home with the big van in the dark in the North Carolina mountains but she made it safely.
I was worried about the floors because the previous show had a piece where the artist smashed TONS of glass on the floor. I warned the ladies and you can see the vacuum and broom in the back. Unfortunately, SR still got cut up by the glass shards that remained. I think that even before college students become interns, much earlier in life everyone should learn how to clean a floor.
The final installation. I'm using the exaggerating lens, obviously.
I love these bark lace pieces. SR was so good at this when I taught bark lace making at PBI in Michigan several years ago so I was not surprised that she graduated quickly from bark lace bananas to bark lace furniture.
Since the space we are showing has no budget, I hosted the ladies, and SR told me her trick for de-seeding pomegranates: do it underwater! This option is great because then you don't create a murder scene/stains everywhere. I peel the rind first because I always dry and save for dye.
On Friday, I started by trying to set up all my pedestal work and mark the pedestals that needed to be taken from the back room through the main gallery, across the parking lot, through the courtyard, and down and up a step to the annex gallery. There was only one old dolly so it took a while, and too many of these pedestals are actually weighted with cinder blocks and sealed so they are monstrously heavy. I wanted to pry them open and take out the weights because truly, that is overkill.
Shawn, who runs the Davis Foundation part of the whole compound (which owns both buildings), was very helpful in figuring out the pedestal groupings, getting the heavy ones in, and then getting them back out once we figured out which to keep and which to ditch. He had great tricks, like tipping them onto their sides to create different heights and surfaces. He also noted how difficult it is to show work as small as mine. In between LONG installation days, I'd spend nights fixing things like these underwear (first, pinning them to a handkerchief, and then sewing a sleeve to hang them).
The real bear was going to be the bricks. My person wisely suggested the alligator clips (I thought 100 would be overkill but I could have used more!!) and I got tin versions of split shot sinkers, which filled in when I ran out of the clips, and also was grateful to Pati for turning me onto these pin clips.
When I first loaded the bricks, I felt optimistic, like this would be fine, no big deal.
At the gallery, it was actually very helpful to see how brick walls actually fall apart.
My view from the top of the ladder. I definitely forgot the clips were on the shelf a couple days ago and they scattered all over the floor.
I had first masked the bricks on the ladder and Shawn devised a very smart system, which was to hang a rail and then use binder clips to secure the monofilament. I had thought I would tie on, but after trying that once and comparing to the clipped version, I knew he was right.
I had strung in small sections to make transportation easier and also because I had no idea how I'd actually rig once I got to the space. This is 100% an installation that is best built in situ. I should have kept the top rows like this but started to fiddle with them right away.
Because I wanted the wall to clearly be disintegrating/not functional, I played around with distancing.
This was only the first 9 rows. I had to attach the next set, and they weren't all spaced the same way because I had an idea at home that I knew was extremely iffy but did anyhow.
The whole adage about measuring twice and cutting once is apt. I knew that there was no way mathematically that this would work, but I kept going.
At this point, it became clear that I was trying to smash two things together that were not supposed to be joined. That meant taking down a whole bunch of bricks, pulling out the threads, re-piercing, re-stringing, and re-hanging.
After this stage, it was clear that I needed more intact rows at top. If these were all on one thread, that would be fine, but they're sectioned with sequins holding the tops and bottoms, so if I pull on one, it only goes so far before it hits a sequin/knot. And if I want to re-tie one, I have to do enough around the one line to even out the pulling on either side. And then I have to let out more thread at the very bottom.
The big gap is caused by the sequins all hitting mostly on one row. To raise the bricks, I'd have to retie all 19 times two (undoing the sequin from both the top and bottom lines. I know, none of this actually makes sense).
At this point, I should have STOPPED. This would have been FINE.
Instead, I tortured myself some more.
And more.
And more! This is what happens when I am alone without someone to drag me away.
The combination of installing at a place not equipped to properly hang a show (e.g., the fire hazards of the lighting situation, the damage done by too much Magic Eraser scrubbing, non-matching paint colors, and so on) + hosting the ladies (and then my person, who lost power for a few days) = insufficient sleep for five nights in a row + losing my mind + being worried I was getting sick. I'm feeling better now and the upside to hosting is that I stock my fridge like a Serious Grownup so I've been able to eat well the entire time.

Saturday at 5pm Eastern Time is our virtual opening, and you can register here for free.

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