After months of remotely working through every aspect of an exhibition, it is only during the installation that for the curator, it all becomes physical and real. Finally, all the planning and decisions are there before us:
Sometimes this is our first look at the actual object; sometimes so much time has passed since we’d first seen the work, that it’s new again.
During January we were awfully glad that we are c-two, as c-one just couldn’t have managed.
Ginger arrives….Though this is the third stop of the show’s tour, lots has to be determined on site. A preliminary floor plan had been developed with Evan, but of course, once in the space, new realities come to the fore.
Having a Preparator who is game for anything and understanding of the changes and issues that undoubtedly arise in the space is so crucial. Ulrich’s own James Porter was happy to oblige my rethinking/shifting/changing on site, which made the process smooth. With only two days in the gallery, it was tough leaving before all was complete but I left knowing things were on the right track to completion for their January 24 opening.
I took the opportunity to meet with colleagues now in Wichita, across town, director of WAM, Patricia McDonnell, and to meet the new curator, Lisa Volpe. A lovely dinner together at Larkspur gave us the chance to share our upcoming projects and catch up. Before leaving Wichita I also had a delightful studio visit in Randy Regier’s NuPenny “store front” and studio. Despite being exhausted after a long day installing in the museum, I found myself happily listening to Randy tell me about his process and back story. He was such an amazing storyteller that I forgot how cold it was in his industrial space.
Art is, of course, the center of it all for us. But, no matter where we are in the world, we can also always find the best eats and shops. Reverie Coffee Roasters and The Donut Whole were two dynamite spots. Armed with an amazing cappuccino and a sinfully delicious donut, I came, I saw, and I installed Evan Roth//Intellectual Property Donor, round 3.
Judy arrives….Since we last worked with Krannert Art Museum, the gallery floors have been refinished and new LED lighting has been installed, freshening up this great space. When I arrived, so had all the art work, and it was unpacked and lined up in the gallery. The cliff hanger was that the platforms to support most of the works in the exhibition, that were supposed to be on site, had to be completely re-made as they were not made properly, nor in the specified material. So last minute shipping of materials from west coast to east, where it was to be cut, and then to the midwest offered lots of nail biting, cliff hanging drama. Never daunted, we used butcher paper, cut to size as mock ups, to lay out the show. It was great to be working with Preparators Walter Wilson and Eric Lemme again, consummate professionals, unflappable, inventive and precise. Also on the team were a few graduate students from the school of the arts, who helped propel us along.
Laura Wennstrom works on Edgar Orlaineta’s wall of masks made from chair seats and backs.
Walter Wilson drills holes while Alex Schutz holds the template in place for Elmgreen & Dragset’s clock, a very tricky operation and installation.
Laura and Harvey Opgenorth install Gabriel Sierra’s hatrack piece.
By the middle of Friday, when I left, I could envision the gallery, we were so far along. And with the storm of the decade about to hit, I may just have to keep on envisioning rather than meeting Ginger at Krannert this Thursday, for the opening celebration.