11 June, 2011

Master's degree #2 and the exhibition

We had the most excellent time with Patti & Maggie last weekend. It was like a girls' weekend (+Stu, but he fits in nicely with the girls) with lots of eating and drinking and time outside. It was so great to have them visit before we move, and celebrate a little early about being done with school.

But this week was a big one. Thursday, I woke Stu up with the sweet sounds of me wretching in the toilet...I guess the whole morning sickness thing comes back when you feel stress? Because Thursday morning was my thesis defense, which I had to survive to graduate that afternoon! Aside from the sickness and then my class mate's alarm malfunctioning and thus us beginning an hour late, it all went very well. I now have a few edits to make before turning it in to the department for grades and archiving. And, most importantly, I now have a SECOND master's degree under my belt. Woot! Now the bigger question, am I employable?!?

Well, I darn well should be as a curator, since I also finished installing the small show I put together at Moderna Museet this week! It looks really professional, IMHO. Here is a little information online in English (though, admittedly, with some typos. Where did my italicized titles go, or that last 's'?)
I took pictures over the few days of installation, which I will post here whether you are interested or not. This blog has the secondary function, aside from communication, of 'archiving' our experience here, and I think its a project I want to remember. Regardless, it has been a lot of fun. I have felt a little insecure about some decisions, but I've still had to make them. I have done a ton of research and planning and installation, along with the *amazing* staff at the museum (I cannot get over how professional and nice they are!) It feels pretty good. And admittedly, it also felt pretty good when both the museum's director and deputy director came through and gushed about how good it looked. Almost like they were surprised about how good it looked, but regardless, I'll take the praise!

Day 1, a bunch of empty display cases

Day 2, placing the artworks, wherever they would actually fit!

"Closed for Re-hanging"

All of the works in their right places, display cases in their right positions.

Day 3, putting on the glass covers

The very funny conservator cleaning the inside of a case, while making Anchorman jokes about being in a glass cage of emotion.

Day 3, wall texts in place! Wow, I hope people read them.

And, we're done!

I love this wall. I love Henri Matisse. Holy wow, I got to put a Matisse in my school art show!

In the middle is the TV screen showing a sound piece in conjunction with one of the books. There are also two other screens showing book films I planned (and Stu edited!), from a selection of works in the show, with the idea that visitors can better see the three-dimensional object via film than they otherwise can under glass.

And then there are lots and lots of artists' books. Each book has a corresponding 100-word text to give it some context, so I hope people read them. You may not even realize what you are looking at without them! And each also had to have a specially designed cradle for it, so the conservator and prints & drawings technician worked incredibly hard to make these in a very short time span.
One of the other curators (one the museum actually pays for their work) wanted to use a few of the works I had already earmarked for exhibition, in addition to needing nearly ALL of the large display cases in storage for another show. I held on to the artworks, diplomatically, but since he had left post-it notes on so many of the best display cases, the technicians and I had to scrounge for whatever could be found. Surprisingly difficult, but it all worked out. I didn't have to cleave any of my darlings due to space issues. It just meant I could not group the books according to any particular theme; they just got placed where they fit.
There is no real 'opening' event. We had talked about it quite a bit, and early on, I had been excited about it. But in the last few weeks, I'd just gotten too busy and tired to pursue an opening or to think of a curator's speech, so it opens to no fanfare this morning at 10am. If you are in Stockholm any time this summer, go see it!


  1. Terrific! Wish I could see it in person! Congrats on a job well done!


  2. Looks fantastic. I will have to check it out!