Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Convenience Gallery: Day 37

What do I do with Convenience Drawing? I'm heartbroken to see it go. Soon, another work will take its place, and this one will only be a memory. I am sad so sad. So really, what remains? Does it make sense to retain the material? Then it's sculpture. Does it work to peel off the vinyl oh so carefully, saving it for another site? Even Santa's elves would have difficulty with that kind of craftsmanship; It would drive me bonkers. So, what to do? Think about the next work. Still, I'm just wondering, how cold and cruel is that? Disregarding this work like a bundle of garbage? For that is what the remains of my installations become, balls of used tape and vinyl, ripped and torn, thrown out with yesterday's news. They join all of the scraps and remnants from the installation process, all of the bits of material that were cut away to reveal the final work. I pick and choose what to notice, what is included in the artwork and what isn't. What I want to leave people with is this: when they walk past this site in the future, those who saw Convenience Drawing will be able to remember what was there, remember the space created with the lines, and recollect an experience that is no more. Gone. Vanished. Poof. It's not like wall painting, which is covered up with another layer of paint, and the work is forever sandwiched between microns. Super thin painting. Mine is truly gone. Zipped off and thrown away.

I asked myself on Day 13: When is the work complete? What is completion for an installation? When it's removed? I have given life to a work before it is installed by documenting its development. Will documenting the denouement of the piece provide a sense of completion, of nothing left to be said, rather than the abrupt finality of removal? I'm not sure. Once a piece goes up, I'm on to the next site, thinking about what to do next. Sometimes, obsessing over a work that is installed is like crying over spilled milk. It's done, out there for all the world to see, completely exposed. There's no going back.

Perhaps I can donate the material to the gallery. They can do what they would like with it. That, however, seems like passing the potato. Or TNT. "Here, I don't want this. You have it." I guess the question to be answered is, where is the work? What part of the work is the work? What would it be like if for the de-installation I removed the building and the vinyl stayed intact? It's like going back to the days of my drawing research with the Light Drawing Installation, seeing those lines floating in mid air. A pile of rubble and the lines hovering, attached to the air molecules. That would be really cool.

Now I'm sitting here waiting for the sun to set. I've been waiting for this opportunity for the whole installation period, a perfect, winter sunset, and the sky turning to that shade of blue that makes my heart melt. I one day scurried down here thinking I would make it for the right time and colour, but by the time I got here it was too late. Sun set and sky dark. Another day, I was in Brampton, and on a few other days I was just lazy and didn't want to drive all the way down here to stand in the cold and wait for the sky to change. Like Monet. He was committed. But today is perfect, just like I asked for, and the sky is blue with fluffy clouds, and it's not too cold outside. I have my camera ready on my tripod, and so I just wait for the sky to change.

Photo: Drawing Research: Photo Documentation of Convenience Drawing, 2006

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