Since I’m going to be spending the next few weeks getting ready for the Hartnell exhibition, I thought I’d give you all a blow by blow account, like I did last year for PhotoLucida.
First, let’s put this exhibition in perspective with respect to the amount of work the artist does. There are shows in which someone provides the walls and the photographer does everything else; in others, the photographer delivers loose prints, and twiddles her thumbs until it’s time to show up at the opening reception, soak up the accolades, and drink the champagne.
The Hartnell show is somewhere in between. We’ve already seen that the curator picks the work that goes in this show. When it comes time to hang, Eric will also have a big role in deciding what prints go where. He will also provide cover glass, mirror clips, screwdrivers, and some elbow grease for the actual hanging. I will provide work ready for hanging. I will handle the publicity and the reception. If there’s a catalog, that’s on me. I will prepare an artist’s statement and get it ready to hang. I don’t know how we’re going to handle the wall tags yet; I will either print them myself or provide the copy to Eric. There will be no sales at this exhibition, so we don’t have to worry about who takes care of that.
A word about my experience level. I’m not an old hand at this, and neither am I a neophyte. This is my sixth solo exhibition as an artist. I have also been involved on the other end, supervising exhibitions at the Center for Photographic Art: two group shows last year, solo exhibitions for Martha Casanave and Wynn Bullock images so far this year (although I handed most of the later work on the Bullock exhibition off to Nancy Budd, our Executive Director), a John Sexton exhibition opening today, and two more shows that will open later this year and early next year.