The Studio of Eric Valosin

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Day 1 of Thesis Install

Installation has begun for the MFA thesis show at Magnan Metz! It's already been full of surprises and adjustements, but I suppose a gray hair or two is a fine price to pay for fine art (I'm more and more convinced with every installation that MFA stands for Master of Fixing Accidents, or something along those lines). I'm very excited with the way things are turning out though, despite the bumps in the road...

10:30 am - arrive to fresh white walls, just waiting to be covered!

and almost-white pedestals...

...nothing some gallery paint can't fix! Did I mention the scenic view of the previous show's work which has not yet been removed (actually quite interesting work), and can't be moved because the person who was supposed to come never made it in? In all fairness, it was technically a day off for the gallery, and they were exceedingly helpful and generous in facilitating our installation as much as they did. Honestly we couldn't ask for a more accommodating and flexible gallery staff to work with. Which is a good thing, because boy did we have our work cut out for us...

I practically packed my entire studio into a piece of luggage. Sort of the artistic version of a clown car (stepping out in oversized red shoes you would see 5 cans of paint, mixers, a hammer, T square, extension cords, exactos, a digital projector, 2 computers and their assorted cords, a roll of paper towels, 3 rolls of tape, a drop cloth, extra bags...).

The gallery was also generous enough to provide a projector and HDMI device for me to use.

Well it seems all the gallery paint must not have made it onto the pedestals and walls because they used it all to paint over all the electrical outlets...

...1 hour and 10 minutes of prying, chipping, and torquing later, I finally got the plug cap off. No joke. Nearly noon and I can now plug in a projector. By this time most everyone else arrives to start working too. 
Gallerist: "how's it coming?" Me: "Well we've managed to make a big mess! ...Now we just have to do something with it..."
An increasingly big mess. They were very kind in letting us do very bizarre things to their gallery, like drilling a hole through the floor to drip salt water through apparatus from the ceiling (Marta Kepka)...
...or lining a wall with sheet metal for magnetic panels to be adhered (Aneta Wegrzyn with the help of Graham Preston), or hanging 300 lbs of knottled clothing from the ceiling (Flavia Berindoague)...

...or controlling all the lighting in the gallery in order to make a wall painting disappear! (Yours truly).

This projection negation piece started with the idea of a deconstructed religious triptych. Historically the triptychs provided a reveal, a sort of epiphanic moment, when the panels are opened. This vaulted stain glass/triptych like image exists in a state of partial reveal, with only on half of what would be the triptych opened. The imagery is then deconstructed, fragmented, and reoriented. Further, the patron of a triptych would have found himself inside of it, painted into the narrative. In mine, the viewer now finds himself by his shadow, which reveals the image itself. No longer is that personal moment limited to a specific individual, either.

And yes, that is a different projector, very perceptive of you! Turned out the gallery projector did not throw the image wide enough (without moving the pedestal all the back into Jamie Levine's creepily realistic hybrid sculpture's living room), creating too small a final result. My projector would work fine, but the problem was that my projector, though capable of exactly what I needed, does not have the proper inputs to work with a thumb drive or their HDMI device.

 Plan B: to use my projector with a different cable connecting it to the HDMI device. Off to RadioShack to buy an A/V cable (6ft is really their shortest one?!) ... that turned out to degrade the image quality severely. After much deliberation, I decide to go with plan C: my projector and my old PC, which would be hidden in a slot in the pedestal.

...now if only the pedestal had a slot... 

Back off to Home Depot to buy wood to build a shelf for the top of the pedestal. And apparently they can't cut lumber in Manhattan, contrary to what I expected, but they will let you rent a jigsaw and carry the 40lb piece of 4ft long MDF through the city to cut it yourself inside the gallery. A few cuts, coats of paint, wood glue, and a shop-vac later, and we're back in business!

 6:00 pm now, and I can finally start projecting the image to be painted (what I expected to start at 11 am)

When all was said and done, I did manage to get the image to project the right size, at the right quality, and get the whole image taped off to be painted tomorrow morning.

And here we are, with tomorrow morning technically having already arrived! Next, to paint and start wrestling with the ambient light. Looking forward to it, believe it or not! I have to say, I'm suppressing a great deal of jealousy towards Kevin McCaffrey, who completely finished installing his fantastic drawings by noon...

Who am I kidding, I would probably just end up finding a reason why they needed a hanging system that would take me the rest of the 3 days to install.

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