It has been a few weeks since I decided on the theme of my show at the Lauderhill Arts Center. I have done a number of things in preparation for this show. I designed the title for the show so
that the marketing material will have a consistent look and feel. I have created events on Google+ and Facebook and invited friends. I requested addresses and mailed physical invitations!
Yes, good ol' USPS stamped invites with RSVP cards!
I discovered that I have somewhat of a mailing list. As I began to consider the people to whom I would send a physical invitation, my list began to grow. Not only did I send invitations to those that supported my art and career, I sent invitations to those that rejected me last year.
I requested addresses vis social media for those that wanted a physical invite. I wanted people, for whom distance may be an ins sue, to have a participatory role in the show as well. The RSVP cards simply had two options:
1. I will see the show.
2. I will not see the show.
I also left space for comments. The RSVP cards collected before the opening will be displayed on the wall as another aspect of the idea of rejection. Anonymous.
Designing the marketing material, highlighted the fact that there was no artwork to represent the show. Usually, the marketing material for art shows has an image of some sort. Images are on one side of the postcard with show details on the back. This time, this show had no image. How would a viewer perceive a print of an email on the one side saying, "...unfortunately you were not selected..." and show details on the other side? I didn't want to confuse. I had to design the show title to communicate accordingly.
I am excited about the fact that there is no image to promote or describe. It adds to the concept of the show. The absence. It is exciting for me to tell people that there are no images in the show. I mean really, how else would you describe it?
This show is in line with my thought process for producing artwork. The idea is always paramount. Everything else that is brought into the process is meant to support the idea.
The next item that I will work on is the catalog essay. I have to decide how much I am going to share about this very personal experience. Everyone will read this. Yikes! How do I touch? How far do I go in talking about my experience? These are the questions I am going to tackle this week as the opening date for Rejected and Hoarded inches closer.
As a resident artist at the Lauderhill Arts Center, I have the opportunity to curate exhibitions in the gallery space. My month is this March. I have known for months that I had this time to create an exhibition. I was not able to come up with a new project and work with the limited resources that I have. I dreaded moving forward.
I was not aware that I have been creating the content for this show all along. It took a year and had various collaborators. I concept for the show in March came to me early Saturday morning. What if I stopped reaching so far outside of me and work with what I have been dealing with the past year: Rejection. Yes, Rejection with the capital R. 2013 marked the year of rejection for me, save getting representation and being accepted into a workshop, I received email after email denying inclusion of grants, residencies, and exhibition opportunities.
When thinking about the last year, although I have been looking for spaces to share the work in various spaces and creating the work in the studio, the work never left the studio. The work in the studio is a reminder of ideas not exposed, stored small secure space, away from dialogue.
This show is about reveling this part of my life as an artist. This is another way to connect with my audience. This is a first for me in reveling the failures. More than just the private failures one experiences when creating art. These are more public failures since there are other parties involved. Those who knew the outcome before I did. The strangers that held a possible future experience for me. My secret collaborators.
The gallery walls will be covered in the disappointment, in the form of rejection letters. My studio will be filled with the work that was denied, hoarded unintentionally.
This show will also include a performance. I am thinking about live-streaming the performance. The performance is tentatively scheduled for March 22, 2014.
I am collecting addresses to another collaborative piece to includde in the show. If you are interested in participating, email your mailing address to me: firstname.lastname@example.org.