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The Risks of Large Group Exhibits

When, Why and How to Participate

Our community gallery opened this past weekend a very large and eclectic group exhibit on collage. As I was quite pleased with the outcome of my previous exhibit at this gallery, I felt inclined to join in and exhibit a piece, despite the fact that I am not thrilled with collage techniques nor am I thrilled with extremely large eclectic group exhibits. The first, as I often associate collage as a school exercise (too many years as an art teacher, I guess) and I feel that as a subject, not as a technique, it has been worn thin. The second, as large exhibits that have very loose boundaries regarding space, quantity and size, often turn out looking like a flea market or garage sale at best.

Missing Dante” – Collage, Pare, Acrylic, Stickers, neon, wood, clear plastic sheet.

With this in the back of my mind, along with a general good vibes, a positive outlook and a basic naivety, led me to quite a disappointment. I was in for a surprise and great dismay, when during the week of setting up, I dropped by, not finding my work on the walls only later to find the work hung, hidden and buried on a movable room divider next to the tv screen showing video art. In my previous blog I spoke about “Missing Dante”, a collage with neon lights. My disappointment was felt. The size of the divider was too small a space for the, leaving not enough “breathing room” or soul. The lights clashed with the video and the work was hidden from the eye. In general, I had issues with the exhibit as a whole. Some of the works were enormous and other works got lost in the hanging. Some works I seriously doubted as being collage. I went home very perturbed. What bothered me the most was the place and space allotted for the work. Following morning got up, notified the curator that I would be arriving to take that work down and replace it with a different work more suitable for that space and place. By the way, the technique and idea were the same. The size and some of the materials changed. Well, I think I started WW3 with the curator, who wasn’t pleased at all. Well, that makes the two of us. As the exhibit was still in formation and the shout-out was very general and the artist had the say on which piece to display, no harm was done except to one’s ego. Both works are great. It is vital that a work be displayed in a proper supportive environment otherwise it looses from its greatness and glamour. The first needed a totally different space. The second thrived in that corner.

“In The Thick of The Woods, The Straight Way Was Lost” – Collage; paper, wood, acrylic spray, plaster, plastic. 42/42 cm


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