Friday, March 6, 2009

(Two Days and) Tonight: FOR A LIMITED TIME ONLY!!!

(I must be a "bad news, then good news" kinda woman.)

I was a bit disappointed thinking that I had passed the 150# mark (forgetting that one of my 40 pound bags was used for the Beverly Arts Center Show. It was only toting installation equipment.) I've only arranged 110 # of birdseed for the Art Center Highland Park. There will need to be a next time.

I am also regretting not bringing my camera cord to be able to post images. I didn't think about the ability to VPN from Chicago and get all my horribly named files in order.

So after two solid days of installing- I have one large birdseed doily in the gallery space with a wee floral bit of floor sweepings arranged as well. The show opens tonight, and the outdoor lace... 3 trees and one bare patch were all completed by 3:30 yesterday. I guess the practice of creating them over several years has paid off in speed.

Other than the first two regrets--- the installation trip "For A Limited Time Only" has been phenomenally smooth, enjoyable and enlightening. A fun learning experience of great people, smart ideas, and just enough logistical hold ups to make it reality. The only real issue with installation was the delightful crowd that had amassed for my work---of the six-legged sort inside the bags of stored birdseed. So I moved the doilies supplies outdoors faster. The need for a dark seed for the gallery space prompted an enjoyable trek to Home Depot a' la Olga Stephan. Since we haven't met in person before, it was great to be able to listen to art, life, physics talk and bond over computer programmer spouses. I've gotta watch "The Elegant Universe"... A huge thank you to Annie Heckman for giving me a ride to and from the gallery, and perhaps even the airport tomorrow. She's been wonderful company and cut about her generosity has sliced two hours of commuting out of my schedule each day (not including my bumbling about to find said transport).

The weather has been more than cooperative- it's a balmy 60.. in Chicago, in March. Wow. Rena got a bit nervous about the size of the gallery space and the weather, so one of my outdoor pieces has been expanded to be included inside. It will be a gallery visitor's job to move it handful by handful outdoors. They are also welcome to rearrange the floor-based work.

I just cranked out the statement for the show. It's been honed by wonderful conversations over the past few days with the fellow artists installing in the space: Annie Heckman, Wendy Kveck, Marci Rubin, curator Olga Stephan (who made the entire event possible), and with my gracious host, Kristen, and a special shout out goes to Kip and Julie for their comments at my "Holding Pattern" show in Nebraska City. I've had the phrase "loamy architecture" running through my head for the past few years and put a smattering of it in my statement.

I'm having friends come down for dinner beforehand--- I miss my girls terribly.

So lots of gratitude for the experience and generosity of the people I've encountered. I'm looking forward to seeing several sorely missed faces at the reception this evening.

I'm hoping for a crowd and the utter destruction of the interior work by the end of the evening. I haven't opened up the work for interaction without my presence before- I have been conducting the "birdseed doilies" as a workshop with all ages... and am excited to see what happens. My control freak tendencies and then ambivalent mode switch may be tested, but I think my relationship to the work has fundamentally changed from its outset. I am happy to see it be a truly low-maintenance installation for the gallery. (The Art Center was gracious enough to let me store my materials so I could fly with just a backpack and not have to ship the sacks.) If all goes as planned- there will not be much of the interior doily left by the end of this evening. As for the outdoor doily- I've already been befriended by some squirrels when laying out my first piece yesterday morning. I am interested to see how much it changes in the course of a day.

I'll post images as I get them emailed from others or when I return to MO on Monday.

Here's the statement for the show. It gets closer to "the matter" than any references of futility, since my approach and outlook have changed.

"My birdseed doilies are a record of labor. They celebrate maintenance. The forms are created in an improvisational way, using generic geometric forms and alluding to delicate handiwork, mandalas, and kolams. As some daily activities lapse into chaos or fade without our attentions, the drawings serve as a reminder of a brief fixing of the transitory. Gallery visitors activate the work by walking across it, altering the configuration, and dispersing the protected interior installation by the handful. The responsibility for removing the work during the run of the show falls into the hands of those who enter the space. The exterior works feed wildlife, insects and are carried by wind and rain. The visual and literal disintegration of the works is not a statement of futility, but a reference to the acceptance of the porous architecture of our own bodies and the beauty in use and entropy."

Bring your cameras folks, catch it before it's gone!

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