|August 2012 - May 2013|
The mother of all projetcs. A2 paper, nine months (with some breaks inbetween), some 145 hours...
Conclusion: I'm not doing anything of tis size again for a loooong while but boy am I satisfied.
No… not the DA-gallery. I mean the physical gallery where I work. Having worked there for 4,5 years I’ve met all kind of artists and seen all kinds of art. Aside from planning and booking (+ a lot more) it’s also my job to provide company and assistance to the artist on the day we construct the exhibition. (Or as we say: at the hanging.)
4,5 years makes close to 50 exhibitions (a bunch of exceptions excluded) of both male and female artists, and during that time I’ve come to notice a few worrying things concerning how some men and women act when they come to the gallery.
More often than not, men come relatively prepared; they read the gallery quicker and take lesser time to arrange their art in their preferred position before attacking the walls with nails and hammer (or dragging the podiums around). They go by trial and error and are less worried by minute details; if it doesn’t fit the art gets moved around and 5 millimetres off is something to shrug at because no-one will notice it anyway.
More often than not, women think about the positioning of their art instead of just trying it out to better see what fits or not. Women act more uncertain, take longer time to make a decision and every piece of art has to be correctly positioned before moving on to the next one (a method which is very time-consuming indeed). They also tend to adapt a slower working pace.
Men seem to focus on the bigger picture, the exhibition as a whole, and are a bit more hands-on which is why they work slightly faster and slightly more effective. Women seem to be more careful and thoughtful, which might feed the indecisiveness and the desire to make sure that the right individual piece of art is in its right place.
It would be very wrong of me to say that every artist act like this, because they don’t. I get fast working women and indecisive men too, as well as combinations of them both. It’s just that this has happened enough times over the years for me to take a notice. Sometimes I wonder what has brought this on, why they act like a stereotype for their respective gender. I mean... It’s 2013 and we still can’t let go of ideas and patterns of how we are supposed to act.
Well done for reaching all the way down here. Here’s a question for all of you who are active exhibitioners out there in the physical world: have you notice any of what I’ve seen? Men and women acting very specifically in and around the art world?