man when you get out of rhythm you really get out of rhythm.

another ‘four day’ stint without focused commitment to blogging and I found myself staring at the ‘post box’ as it’s called and wondering how to regain my momentum. and oddly enough it’s not a dilemma of not knowing what to say, it’s a dilemma of having too much and trying to remember where to begin again, of how to collect everything I should have said between then and now. i don’t want to ramble but i’m just too excited by it all so hopefully you’ll bear with me.

it was a crazy past-week for openings and shows. and it’s an even crazier week ahead. Don’t forget to sleep.

the 10th (has it really been that long?) was the Project 1981 opening. I did manage to put some photos up on my Flickr account (oh there I gone and done it now! I said my Flickr! egads!) but I never got around to the meat of the show. I got talking with a friend at the opening about the dilemma of openings themselves. I mentioned that somebody else said I missed completely one piece in the show: because of the crowd, I managed to walk around a vitrine – I later went back to view it once the crowd started to breathe a little bit, but the point is that at openings, depending on the size of the crowd and the size of the space, sometimes seeing the work is just not possible. Not seeing it with certain comforts that is, like space, time and the absence of noise. My friend elaborated: I was told that the opening for the show was basically the run of the show. The work might stay up for another few weeks but it would be by appointment only, not ‘open’ per se. I was unaware of this and commented that it’s difficult because you want as many people to gather at the openings as possible, but you also want to see the work (or in the case of one piece to hear it, impossible at openings because of the noise volume of the crowd). As it would turn out the show is up for a couple extra weeks (the website indeed says until the 28th, by appointment), but for shows that really do only last a week, or a couple of days even, the problem of having the space and time to see the work and maximizing attendance is impossible to solve. But now that I think on it that we were even having that conversation, while immersed in the crowd, is the interesting bit – unable to enjoy the work as it should be but still able to exchange ideas.

two days later I returned to work, still sick at the time, and we had less than two days to complete our installation. while the largest group show I have seen installed in our space, the process was pretty chill and most things were dealt with simply as they arose. and while the opening was a success, I still can’t help but reflect back to the process of these installations themselves, which are sometimes easily the most rewarding part of organizing and installing shows:

scaffolding process
(and sometimes way cooler than the work you’re meant to be installing!)

moving ahead Thursday night was the ‘My Country’ opening at the Hungarian Cultural Center. The two artists – Andrea Dezso and Miwa Koizumi, both artists I have worked with on other projects before – are highly aesthetically driven. Miwa carried out a performance for the opening where she used paper-shredded ‘wishes’ written down by viewers to create these small geological-esque paper hill formations and other structures; Andrea’s main body of work on display were approximately 40 small embroideries that illustrated things her mother once told her, many of which manage to be simultaneously sinister and fantastical, touching on topics such as sex, semen, aliens, digestive tracts – you get the idea!

Somewhere in the midst of all this activity also, Manami Fujimori paid a visit out to Flux Factory. Manami is an absolute delight! She’s nothing but energy, completely excited to see work and the spaces of artistic production and life. She was writing about Flux Factory and the crossover of artists who also involve themselves within an arts organization. She’s full of interesting questions and I can’t wait to read her thoughts (it’ll also help kick me in the butt and remind me to finally develop a ‘press’ section in the blog already!).

Finally a 3-day weekend!

Saturday night was the Building Show opening at Exit Art. It’s been a while since I’ve managed to get to an Exit Art opening, but as always it was well-crowded and generally up-beat. I got into discussions with several people since the opening and found that some people are more put-off by Exit Art than I ever have been or even thought to be. Their argument was that too much of the work tends to be ‘redundant’ or copied, and they’re not convinced by the progression of shows over the years. On the contrary I look at the space (I’ve only ever been aware of their 10th Ave site) and I’m completely in awe. And I’m not simply talking about the physical space, but the whole package: the space, the work, the location, the crowd, it all works for me. When I consider how much of the rest of the city is clogged with tourist traps and shitty bars, of course I find haven in a place like Exit Art which has consistently made me think and wonder about it’s programme. Maybe it’s more-easy for others to come to finite conclusions about their opinions, but I like to keep my nerves on-end!

Continuing on, I managed to squeeze in a few house parties as well, including one hosted by Stacey Allan, an old acquaintance that I studied with in Chicago and recently ran into again (again again I should say). Twas good to see her and she had a great crowd, including some Canadian friends of hers that I got discussing with about ‘Artist-Run Centres‘, a phrase and organizational structure I was really only recently introduced to – was intriguing to have such a primary conversation conclude so well, and made me want to travel to Canada this year to view and exchange with some ARCs. And thanks to the President’s Day holiday I was able to enjoy a birthday party on Sunday night for Marcela Cussolin whom I recently befriended (oh who am I kidding holiday or not I would have gone and partiiiiieeed wooooo … ahem). Another great crowd, I told another friend of mine that it reminded me of parties in the Midwest, where people are generally warm, relaxed but enjoying themselves, where the kitchen is usually a focus area (after all that’s where the liquor is) and music is of good selection (speaking of one of the hosts, Chris, had one of the largest selections of ‘mash-ups’ I’ve seen, and was the first person I’ve ever seen to actually interface with Front Row on the Macintosh).

Marcela Cussolin with Andy and cake
Marcela Cussolin with Andy and cake (NOTE the cake was effing delish!)

OHHHHHH otherwise it was the same-ol’ same-ol’. Yeah, right. In other news I finally got cracking on my upcoming lulu book, working from a newly acquired Epson V350 photo scanner. That thing is a beaut! Most-importantly for my own work, and it’s such a simple design feature that really goes far, is the lid can detach and fold back so you can get large items on the flatbed! Wonderful! The other thing heavily weighing on my mind these days is baseball. Spring training games are just about to begin, and I’m about to do something I’ve never done before, which is invest in a major league sport: I plan on purchasing the ‘premium’ package that allows you to listen to/view every game online. I thought of doing this last year but got deterred because of a couple of reasons; but this year I’m committed to it, I want to see specific pitchers pitch, certain batters hit, and follow more games and players. It’s a hefty investment but it’s not about a financial question, it’s a love for the game.

And the week ahead is nothing easy. Is February always this busy? this weekend initiates THE weekend of art fairs around the city, and for the first time I can say that I’m possibly not interested in them. Of course I’ll end up attending one or two, but I won’t be thinking if I don’t see them all then I’ve fallen short, the way I have in the past (oh the guilt!). Truth is there’s always more going on than one can achieve, so one can’t imagine to do it all. Okay okay, you could imagine, but like I’ve said being from the Midwest means practical living and if I can’t do it all then I’ll just do what I like and be happy with that.

See you next time, folks!

Related websites:
Flickr folder for Project1981 opening
Flickr folder for the Building Show opening at Exit Art
Flickr folder for Marcela Cussolin’s 26th Bday party