Friday, January 21, 2011

Words About Sounds During Set-Up

This week, the folks at TAM have been receiving, uncrating, and installing the upcoming exhibition, "What's New, Pussycat." The show opens Saturday, January 22, 2011.

Audible, Tuesday midday:

*The whizz whirl of a cordless power drill, uncrating;

*The swish slurp of a paint roller, whitening temporary walls;

*The clang clatter of a metal tool, falling to hard floor;

*The scrape and drag and hop of a ladder, sliding and jumping rightward;

*The sloop riptt of tape being sliced open;

*The pafft of a cardboard box flopping to the floor;

*The kabash of a wooden crate being set down;

*The "I'll hold and you hammer,";

*The "That's how it's done";

*The hee-saw, hee-saw sanding of a small rectangle on the floor;

*The rrrr of a hydraulic lift of a delivery truck ramp;

*The zzzt of the same on a forklift;

*The clomp clomp of a power-walking museum staffer;

*The audible - sigh - of a museum boss;

*The pop! of a lone bubble wrap;

*The silence of 3,000 pounds of sand.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Handle With Care

This week, the folks at TAM have been receiving, uncrating, and installing the upcoming exhibition, "What's New, Pussycat." The show opens Saturday, January 22, 2011.

Text on sticker on backside of an artwork, or perhaps on part of work's crate:

"Handling instructions:

*Please handle with care. Surface is extremely delicate.

*Painting should be transported and stored in specialty made crates without anything touching the surface of the painting.

*Paintings can be temporarily wrapped in very loose plastic, but only for short periods of time and not in warm weather (over 80 degrees).

*Only wrap in plastic that has no creases (NO GLASSINE!)

*Only use bubble face out and then only over clear plastic and wrap very loosely.

*Only use cardboard on outside of bubble wrap.

*The surface of the painting should never be touched. This can be lightly dusted with a super fine lens cleaning cloth."

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Like A Koi In The Pond

So, why does the Torrance Art Museum need a writer-in-residence? That's like asking, why does a pond need koi? Or why does a parking lot need painted lines?

TAM, according to its website, "promotes meaningful experiences in the arts to strengthen creative and critical thinking skills; and builds bridges between the visual arts and other disciplines in the humanities and sciences."

The W-I-R post fits somewhere in the above; better still, that excerpt demonstrates that someone involved with TAM cares about semi-colons. That's a huge plus for any org considering offering a W-I-R program.

The best-known writer-in-residence project these past couple of years was Alain de Botton's gig at Heathrow Airport. The author and philosopher set up for seven days a desk in that behemoth London facility's departures lounge and produced a short, well-received book about the experience.

De Botton was paid by the airport's umbrella authority and a p.r. firm came up with the idea. The book was distributed free-of-charge to airport users. Anyone interested in funding such an arrangement for TAM? If so, then please contact the museum or this blog.

De Botton has said repeatedly that he was left alone as promised and wrote whatever he pleased. (Although the photographer's shots that accompanied de Botton's text were screened prior to publication for security reasons.) The former, at least, will apply to TAM's writer-in-residence program.

Curator Max Presnelli and his team have offered access to behind-the-scene meetings, as well as to occasions such as the days after an exhibition concludes, and works come off the walls, and artists come by to gather up their pieces. 

One of TAM's goals, presumably, is to demystify what goes on over at 3320 Civic Center Drive. The museum is also treating the written word as art – long an established art world tradition.This blog will delve deeper into the much of the above, and more, over the following months. 

This blog will also aim to be of some small assistance to TAM-goers. Alan de Botton was asked during his airport stint that eternal, vital question – where are the bathrooms?

At TAM, we understand, they're down the hall, to the left.