Editorial note: This Curator Diary is an editorial feature documenting curator and local Bushwick hero Jason Andrew’s trip to Asheville, North Carolina to mount an ambitious exhibition of work by Jack Tworkov. The column will explore the day-to-day process of curating. Andrew is curating Jack Tworkov: The Accident of Choice, which opens tomorrow, June 17, at the Black Mountain College Museum & Arts Center (56 Broadway, Asheville, North Carolina) and runs until September 17, 2011.
Day 3: Wednesday, June 15
6AM. Tired. Body sore. Brain fried. And I’m quite sure that the apartment where I’m crashing is full of ghosts. The Ghosts of Tucson. Ute Indians scream out my home state. Still in recovery mode from the three shows opened last week during Bushwick Open Studios, 1, 2 and 3.
Hit Green Spade again for a soy latte… and starving for another one of those egg white biscuits with turkey bacon (they must put crack in ‘em).
Emails with Julia in London. Coordinating the next ballet. August in Asheville and November in Brooklyn.
Arrive at the museum and meet the handler that will be assisting in the install. We’ll call him ‘Randy.’ I quickly learn that he’s very efficient, but the way he man-handles the work has my nerves on edge. I think I’m getting an ulcer. Let’s just say he doesn’t have the most delicate touch in Asheville. Had the conversation that I don’t hang shows working such and such off center. Useless to attempt to convince anyone of my organic approach to feeling the work out in the space. And certainly Randy is in no mood.
Rights for reproduction nightmare. Seems that Baltimore lost paper work. Follow-up with Baltimore Museum. Then triple check with Walker Art Center, + Hirshhorn. Spelling errors in proofs for the catalogue. Yikes. Anxiety building. Art is hanging.
Interview with Emily Nathan from Artnet. Following up on her article on Bushwick Open Studios. It seems a bit like she thinks she is discovering Bushwick for the first time.
Half the exhibition goes up quickly and easily … still unsure of spacing and placement of a section of works … running out of time cause Randy has to leave at 2pm.
Finish mapping out the show. Leave to fetch lunch while Randy does the fine job of finishing up. In-house lunch with Alice (Museum Director). Spinach salad. I tell her how amazed I am by all that she does with a small staff of one and a half (a great girl named Bridget works part-time).
Bridget proof-reads parts of the catalogue. She is a gem. Confirm lunch with former Cunningham dancer Ann Dunn to discuss our project for the Masonic Lodge.
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Alice arranges for local professor/writer Arnold Wengrow to come with students to talk with me about curatorial practice and arts writing. Conversation took a dive when I realized that all the artists and the historic events I was mentioning … none of the students were aware of! None knew what I was talking about! Whoa.
Talk about curating from the gut; recognizing and following instinct; avoiding the “gallery plan”; how I came to work for the Estate of Jack Tworkov; the practical application of organizing and mounting shows that you can’t learn at Grad school like how to have tea with a collector every month for a year so that they’ll eventually lend a painting to one of your shows … they are cute kids … potential is boiling in them.
Review labels and wall text. Jolene recuses me as I spiral … You know your done for the day when you think that the vitrines might look better arranged on a diamond formation!
Flood Gallery. Jolene introduces me to new art and all that’s new in the River District. If Jolene of Flood Gallery ever meet up with Chris Harding of English Kills the art world would become a utopia for us all. We talk about the struggles of artist and art groups.
Jolene: “I got news for you, the apocalypse was yesterday. It’s tomorrow that’s causing all the trouble.”
Jinx: “Trying to get an audience to understand our art is like reading Shakespeare to earthworms … then again, I kinda like earthworms.”
Tour River District in the rain. Meet up with Jinx who apparently was wrestling with a dog and the dog bit him on the leg. Margaritas at Magnetic Field.