This is Part I.
Well, I’m sure all four of you are wondering how the opening of my show went. I suppose I should start at the beginning when I went to install it on the 7th.
Unfortunately, I left a little late. That was my first mistake. I had planned to leave at 5:00 AM, but I left at 5:20 instead, which made my drive take nearly four and a half hours. I arrived late at the gallery at 9:40 AM. I was supposed to be there by 9:00. If I wasn’t fighting rush hour, I could have been there closer to 8:00 to grab breakfast but no time for that now. I unloaded my car and got straight to work.
I placed all the pieces on the floor according to the original plan, but the plan was also to let Craig decide how to better move things around, which he did.
I’d also planned on filming a timelapse of me putting the drawing installation up, but that wasn’t feasible because there were just too many things going on in the gallery by the time I got to putting the ephemera on the wall—too many people moving around and passing by. So that plan flew out the window.
There were a few other plans that went to hell, like using a variety of pins and tacks I brought with me. I specifically wanted to use a few different types of sewing pins (colored glass head pins and T-pins) to place the drawings, but just getting the stuff on the wall in the first place took so much time as it was I got too exhausted to go through the trouble. I mostly used colored push pins and some colored tape. And I also brought the wrong band-aids I would have liked to use.
Using sewing pins is really just for looks, and placing them is a really slow process. You have to first hammer in a hard metal pushpin, pull it back out, then push the sewing pin into that same hole. You can’t just stick a sewing pin into drywall.
Everything is actually sticking to the wall with looped drafting tape on the back sides. Just looping the tape took more time than I anticipated.
Meanwhile, Kelly Berg and Debbie McAfee had been shuffling in with their work and setting up too, which was why I couldn’t do the timelapse. I was also pouring in sweat. I looked like I’d been in the rain. I was literally dripping, sopping wet. It was 80 degrees that day (probably more inside the gallery) with 78% humidity, and I’m still in menopause. It wasn’t good! I felt like I was the only one sweating like a fat hog. I’d gone through all the paper towels from the bathroom wiping my face and neck off. It was disgusting. I was disgusting. Look away! Save yourselves.
A few hours later, without any breaks, I could hardly stand anymore, so the three of us went to lunch, which was really enjoyable. I’d already spent time with Debbie before, but it was very nice to get to know Kelly a bit.
When we went back to the gallery, I thought I was going to be there until closing, but I only did a little more. I realized I was completely spent and the wall looked pretty good as it was. Maybe I would have liked to make it perfect—the way I had envisioned it in my mind, but I hadn’t the energy. The drive had wiped me out and I had been awake since 3:00 AM. By 3:00 PM it was time to check into the hotel and take a goddamn shower.
After the shower, I passed out. I don’t remember the rest of the night. I really don’t. Except, I know I ate a burrito at some point for dinner.
The next morning, I met Alan Shaffer at the gallery for the photo shoot. I needed these for the catalog. And I had bigger plans for that day too. I’d hoped to make a short film of the entire installation, starting with walking into the gallery and panning my way around the show. I didn’t do that either. My name was not yet on the wall, and a few other things were not yet completely installed. Plus, Alan wanted me to look through his camera for every shot he was about to take. I wanted to be on the road back home by 11:30, but we weren’t finished until noon.
I did take a few still shots of the installation myself though. But it wasn’t until I got back home that I realized that we, or I, forgot to have Alan shoot one last painting for the catalog. I could have just about died. I beat myself up pretty well about that one. That was a huge mistake on my part. I had to use one of my photos of that painting for the catalog and I just hope it’s good enough.
I formatted the catalog from home on Friday and sent it off to the printer. I ordered many copies for the art talk on the 1st in hopes that they will all turn out okay. No proof. There’s just no time for a proof. I have to keep my fingers crossed that I didn’t make any awful mistakes. I’ve been making a lot of mistakes lately, so I really hope the catalog turns out okay.
I’ve been making mistakes because I’ve been stressed, and spaced out. I have both anxiety and DID (Dissociative Identity Disorder), which is a spectrum. I don’t have the kind where I am unaware of my different parts/personalities. Some people have what used to be called Multiple Personality Disorder or split personalities where they can be (to a greater or lesser extent) unaware of their other parts. On the other side of the spectrum is being in a state of unreal feeling most of the time, especially in times of stress. It comes from early childhood trauma and it’s a kind of coping mechanism, like a flight or flight response. I understand it. I just can’t control it.
So, I’ve been out of it. I mean, really out of it.
My next blog installment will be when Hannah and I leave the next morning (Saturday the 10th) for the opening, Part II.