Finished the Abahuni installation at work earlier today. It looks pretty good. Of course, the reception isn’t tonight; today only our doors opened. The reception proper is next week. At that time there’ll be a dance-performance and live sound-mixing event, which will be recorded and played back for the rest of the show. So it’s actually premature to look at the show now, or criticize it so.
And it’s always tough to look at art from within the work: having just built and constructed the show, it’ll take some time for that activity and those memories to fade before one can step back (or ‘out’) of the work and come to terms with it.
The ‘into/out of’ maneuver is an important underpinning for fabricating any body of work, as an artist. You have to keep what you are fighting for in your work at the forefront, but at the same time you need the ability to step out of the work, analyze where it’s at, what it means, and also just build it. It must be made.
These maneuvers are especially important in group or collaborative art projects. Highlighting my own dillemma with into/out of, I’m involved with the next exhibition at Flux Factory, a show with a title too long to reprint. Normally a builder for their shows, now I’m taking on the role of artist. I’m not interested in being an ‘artist’ who helps ‘build’ the exhibition. I’m fighting for my work. But I need to step out of my own role on occasion and see how the two (my work and the fabrication of the show) overlap, and how the two might help define each other (such is my interest in group efforts: mutual definitions). I don’t simply want to impose my work on the structure currently being built; I need – even – my work to co-exist with the space, to work within it and alongside it.
Again, I’m not building anything for the show. I don’t see my role in this show as such; I’m working to come to the space near-completion of the construction, and to build inside and into the show, for the opening and throughout the course of the exhibition. That maneuver is the work.