All original images and text are copyright 2008-2018 Liz Sweibel

Saturday, September 24, 2011

It's been hard to come here to write, not just for the usual reasons, but because I've been trying to find a way to express my disappointment with the exhibit.  It has to be said.  The gallery was basically unprepared, noncommunicative, and uninvolved.  It is a weak, uncurated show.  I did the best I could with minimal direction, a space entirely wrong for my work, and scarce time, and am eager for it to be over.  I'm not promoting the show, and am fighting embarassment because I feel responsible for the gallery's shortcomings.

While I was excited by the openness the opportunity seemed to offer, my dealings with the gallery turned that into a point of vulnerability.  The install time was so rushed by the gallery's delays in preparing the space that making work on-site became impossible; I ended up pulling older work into the exhibit. The work is fine; the presentation is not.  I could have done something new and exciting with the space had I any sense of the gallery's vision for the exhibit and some lead time.  A big, lost opportunity.

I've been deep in the semester since late August.  It's been easy to draw strength from teaching and so I've kept my focus there (and by necessity, given my work load).  But when I peel that back, I am again questioning how my work should go into the world.  While the drawings are still active, I'm thinking about video.  Having the freedom to make work for the Internet and self-curate seems like just the thing now.

Yesterday, on the street, I saw a woman hitting her son (or grandson) with her umbrella while she yelled at him.  He was about 13 and apparently had mouthed off.  Feelings I've been keeping at bay (or letting work blanket) surged up.  I was horrified and wanted to help.  And in the end?  I kept going, deflated by the tragedy and thoughts of this young man.  There's cultural differences operating, but I cannot understand how any thinking being could administer such abuse, and with such an absence of consciousness that its public visibility was a non-issue.