Monday, May 31, 2010

30 Days of Dinner Time, Day 30

In the window, Mr. André Callot... a talented artist, master of humor and good friend. We went to grad school together at University of Chicago, he's finishing his degree as I write. As a nod toward the quieter and more isolated aspects of dinner time, André graciously received the instructions of eating alone. This is also the final night of 30 days, a quiet send off looking ahead to what new awaiting and unseen artwork will engage my continuing practice.

For dinner André brought General Tso's Chicken from a not-so-great Chinese restaurant in his local Hyde Park (André's review). He also brought the book "When Humor Becomes Painful" as reading research for a paper due before graduation. This book seemed perfect even for viewing this final dinner... André could have made his experience incredibly funny had he wanted, but instead it sat at the semi-painful line of reality with a twist of irony and a dash sweetness for good measure. I couldn't help but feel incredibly maternal for his presence as I watched, respecting his independence but feeling that he should soon receive a hug.

Two men came to see the piece in it's final night. They read about it in the Tribune article and wanted to see it before the close. After answering their numerous and rich questions, they began to share with me their favorite artists and art pieces through years. Realizing how deep their exposure goes, I became incredibly grateful both for the information they were sharing and also for their attendance. The piece (perhaps any artwork for that matter) becomes in part only as strong as its response. For those who stumbled across Art on Armitage during May, I have been impressed by their openness and willingness to embrace it. For those who simply love art and go to where it is, I am equally grateful that they'll carry with them the memory of 30 Days into the next art adventure they pursue. Like bees spreading pollen to plant more lovely flowers, art viewers who engage are planting seeds for future beauty and growth.

As I write this, the gallery has been totally de-installed. The table and chairs are back in our apartment where they began, out of the way and waiting for a future use. I'm sad it's over but overwhelmed by what I've seen and processed this month. Finally my body is wearing down; no voice and incredibly tired, I am experiencing the physical evidence that 30 days are enough days.

Thanks to those who've been faithful readers. I hope you find more in the photos, write-ups and conceptual skeleton of this piece than I could have imagined. Please send me your thoughts as they come. I very much look forward to what comes next.

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