Monday, June 1, 2015

phase 6 - each art-thing is a responsibility, conclusion

An excellent approximation of "how I feel today." ;) 
It's been a tough week, but I'm happy to say that the Commedia dell Arte shipped Monday morning, right on schedule (two thumbs up! :)). It will be included in the upcoming show Vermont Studio Center Showcase at Studio Place Arts in Barre, VT.

Part one of the past week - framing, packing, shipping:
all together, framed with corner covers

I'm going to go into some detail here relating to phase 6 - each art-thing is a responsibility, and including more nit picky details than most people would probably want (fair warning!)

Framing and packing (well) is hard. Just some of the things to keep in mind:

-these had to be trimmed to fit. I left margins accordingly, but trimming them involves sitting them face down and cutting back to front with a razor - this requires pretty extreme cleanliness and care
-remembering to peel plastic from inner cover and dust with a static, dust-attracting cloth.
- remembering to start the corner only to peel the cover the front (otherwise its inaccessible once the piece is in the frame), but...
- leaving the front plastic on until the right before it goes in the box.
- making sure the direction of the piece matches the placement of the d-rings on the back.
- adding foam circles to the inside of the plexi so that the glazing isn't uneven and sitting on the surface of the artwork.
- corner covers
-the wire should loop back around the d ring so that the length of the wire doesn't change when it's hung
-cardboard to cover the front as soon as the plastic is removed
- they go in the box back to back and front to front - so that (even with the cardboard between) there's no way the wire on the back of one piece will come into contact with the plexi of another
- foam on the bottom, sides and top of box
-inner box goes inside a second box

If this seems painful to read about...agreed! It's an aspect of the job that isn't my favorite thing. So why bore you with the details? (Well, one thing - it's a cheat sheet for those who may need to do this for themselves - :)), but also, I think it relates to phase 6. Framing and packing carefully are an art-responsibility, and while I may not love it, I was a studio assistant for a good long while, and when the need arises, I'm do know how and am able...

And yet, it's on the "I prefer not to list." At first, I thought, "well, that's just because it's time consuming and expensive," (certainly part of it!). While those are good reasons, they aren't enough to explain the degree of dislike I feel. I think pointing to the cost and time is a justification that obscures the fact that, for me, framing makes the work sort of petrify - it feels like a living thing that's become a piece of taxidermy. Once it's framed, it's an object, and I don't interact with it in the same way anymore. From that point on, I'll only ever think about it in terms of what knowledge/skills can be applied to other work, never again for itself, as something that could grow or change.

This is weird and difficult to explain (much easier to say "framing is expensive" which is both true and easily understood by everyone!) But maybe a more challenging aspect of art-responsibility is trying to understand and acknowledge why the work is the way it is? The avoidance of anything rigid and/or heavy is sort of true for me across the board. I like paper and fabric and things with small movable parts. It's even true of the blocks themselves - very early on, I changed from linoleum (which I kept cracking) to thin flexi-blocks. If I hadn't, I probably never would have done the "25 blocks in a month mini-project" last July and likely wouldn't still be working with blocks today.

I feel like this is an issue that may need more attention and in a long term way, but until I can offer some viable alternative, framing remains an art-responsibility. Even though initially, it seemed like I was setting aside a lot of time to complete these, it turned out that I was pretty much right about how much time/effort it would take [oy!]. I didn't have to rush, but there wasn't lots of spare time either...

But I can't frame and pack all the time ...

Part 2 of this week- carving and printing the other wing

Then, spraying over and drawing on top of the prints (left with added gray and white ink and color pencil vs. spray paint only on the right).

Then, assembling...

I mentioned last week that Goltzius and the trip to Philadelphia exactly a year ago have been on my mind lately. Taking a year (or more) to think about art-things is sort of frustrating, but I think it's true of most people - that a setting contributes to the recalling of memories made under similar conditions - like thinking of past barbeques on the 4th of July. I think summer art-thoughts at summer time, and winter art-thoughts during the winter. 

But I digress...while in Philadelphia, I also visited the Mutter Museum and photographed skeletons, so when I needed a place holder for the body...not sure whether it will stay this way [hmmmmm - more to come!]

And in para-art news: along the way, there were flowers and rainbows!