March 25, 2008
I went to the Museum and installed my work this afternoon after a hellish few days of toil and setbacks. I had problems with the images for my books and so wound up spending countless hours Sunday and Monday printing them a different way, and stabbing and sewing spines late into the night. But the installation at least went smoothly: I had lots of help, nothing got broken and I only found one extra page that had somehow snuck into one of the books by mistake (I sheepishly glanced around to make sure the museum security staff weren't looking before slowly, carefully tearing out the page, as if the works presence in the Museum should prevent me from altering it anymore. I couldn't very well leave it in, it was right at the front).
Some photos from the installation in progress (keep in mind it's not yet properly lit):
You can see that the original plan for hanging the prints was completely scrapped. I like this much better now that it's hung; it's simple and elegant and I think they look pretty damned good. Obviously the bits of paper won't stay, they're only there because the ends of the wood pieces were painted after the prints were already nailed in.
Each dress has a tag containing the dates worn and reason for withdrawal, and a book containing images of each state of the dress (each image again stamped with its corresponding date). The books are a simple stab binding with thin, flexible covers; after changing my mind a couple of times about the binding, I decided that the Chinese account-book structure would best reflect these acts of collecting, arranging, cataloguing, and list-making that have been present throughout the project. The tags were initially going to be attached to the dresses, but ended up attached to the drawers instead because each dress is folded differently inside the drawer. I like the look of the tag and book side-by-each much better than my original plan of the book sitting alone in that large space. Everything in its place but also every space filled.
There was lots of talk about whether or not it's okay for visitors to touch the dresses, as there will be a wall text inviting them to explore the drawers and look at the books but to please not remove the dresses. I don't really mind people touching them, because clothing is meant to be touched, but I don't want them messed up and placed back imperfectly folded. I guess we'll have to wait and see, and if necessary I'll walk over there every few days and check on the piece, making sure the books and dresses are all in their proper places.
Stacie asked in the comments yesterday if I'm sad. I am, a little, but not because this project is ending. I think I'm definitely ready to move on to a new body of work, although there will certainly be resonances of this project in my work for a while. I was digging through my print drawers this afternoon looking for things to show at the open portfolio session of the Southern Graphics Council conference this week, and all of the many, many prints I had to choose from contain the residue of these dresses. I wish I still had some dresses to print from, and I'm glad I'll at least have the one more dress to make (the one for opening night) so that I can catch a few more of those fleeting dress impressions.
I do feel at a loss for what to wear. Today I wore one of the skirts from way back when the project began, with a t-shirt, and it felt really strange to be wearing a t-shirt with nothing over top of it. I sort of felt like my belly was too visible.
I'm still working on a big pile of prints that are all tied up in the Wardrobe Project, and am going allow myself some time just to work through finishing up some of that, taking as much time as I need to work this project out of my system while I think about what I might like to do next. I do think that my next big project will be less about clothes and more about the categorizing and listing side, the establishment of rules and routines. But, who knows. Some days I think that I'd be perfectly happy just making and selling clothes for a while and not worrying about embarking on any more big research-based projects for a while. In the meantime, though, does anyone know where I could get one of those old factory time-punch-card machines?
Posted by jodi at March 25, 2008 07:54 PM | categories: exhibition
Your project looks great. It must be really weird for it to be over after all this time.
Office Depot sells timeclocks. I like this one.
Posted by: elabeth at March 25, 2008 11:25 PM
wow. and so ends an era. wish i could see it all gallery-ized.
Posted by: jacey at March 26, 2008 12:14 AM
congratulations on this culminating event. i have enjoyed watching your process, processes, rationales and ideas materialize....and how very nicely you have pulled it all together. thanks for sharing your journey
Posted by: sc at March 26, 2008 07:55 AM
I cannot wait to see this in person. It looks amazing in the photos!
Posted by: Carrie at March 26, 2008 09:25 AM
and now the fun begins. Excited about the final dress for the opening? I so want to see it in person. I can already feel myself removing a dress from a drawer, my bad.
Thanks for giving us a piece of this.
Posted by: johnk at March 26, 2008 09:28 AM
wow, jodi. i've just been catching up on some of this thesis blog, and wish i could come see the project in person at the gallery. it looks amazing. congratulations!
Posted by: Shannon at March 26, 2008 11:16 AM
i can't remember if i've ever commented on either of your blogs before or not, but i have been following at least since you began this project, and i just want to say well done. =] the work and care you put into it shows even through internet photos, and i wish you the very best with your exibition and your future work, you deserve it. bravo. =]
Posted by: amy at March 26, 2008 12:12 PM
Jodi, it looks great! Wish I could see it in person. I have one of those timepunch clocks - it needs new ink. You can HAVE it if you pay shipping. Warning: it's a little bit loud in the clock whirring department.
Posted by: NJStacie at March 26, 2008 12:57 PM
Good luck with the opening! Your project looks great. It was really nice to meet you at the conference. I look forward to seeing you again next year.
Posted by: miss mildred at April 1, 2008 11:55 PM
Your installation is just gorgeous! What a beautiful way to display the dresses (in the drawers). You must be so relieved to be almost there.
Posted by: Kylie at April 2, 2008 04:34 AM
This is great work, really inspiring.
Posted by: A.N.W. at April 20, 2008 02:20 PM