“I do not consider each blade of grass individually with equal importance—it is the whole field that engages me.”
If you install art, could you also consider yourself the artist? Ben Valentine posts on his experience maintaining an art installation made from plastic cups.
“For the past 16 weeks I’ve been volunteering my Monday mornings in the Variable Art Conservation Lab to clean and maintain the 6 room-size installations in the Tara Donovan exhibition, Untitled, which closes in less than 2 weeks on August 1st. Back in March I volunteered to help construct these complex installations under the guidance of Tara, her assistants, and alongside 15 other volunteers. The initial installation took this team more than 60 hours over the course of 8 intense days.”
“Looking back I think I had a false sense of agency on opening night, a false sense that my aesthetic had entered the installations in some way. Now, after spending all this time with Tara’s artworks, I’ve thought a lot about her process, and along the way regained perspective on the minor role I played in Tara’s work. Tara’s art is the unique process she discovered for each instance. Tara’s ideas have the artistic merit; I was simply a means to help realize them here in Indianapolis.”
“I no longer care about my specific contributions. When I’m working in the exhibition I focus on each installation’s overall aesthetic and its complete impression—and I can’t deny the intense feeling that builds when I’m realizing that each installation is more than the sum of its parts. The totality of her exhibition shows us a transformative beauty inherently present within the millions of everyday objects that surround, occupy, and consume us. Focusing directly on a certain section of one of Tara’s installations reduces the objects to everyday things. In the same way when I gaze on a field in nature I do not consider each blade of grass individually with equal importance—it is the whole field that engages me.”
Full post here.