The installation/logistics group was one component of many, including research, publicity/ marketing and curation. Over the months spent planning the exhibition, I came to realise the extent of work involved in putting together a show from scratch involving over thirty artists.
Summer was a quiet time for the installation team, apart from sending out the installation request forms.
The installation team's busy period came towards the end, with a flurry of activity. The group had a large proportion of international students, which made meeting up over the summer break difficult. During a meeting at St Martin's library towards the end of the break, Rosie and I (who became a new member of the installation team) got together to firm up the installation groups tasks. We clarified our responsibilities which we identified as:
Transporting artwork to and from the Crypt
Help with installing the work (though the artist responsible for supplying their own equipment)
Providing basic kit from the A/V store
Providing tools (sourced from woodwork)
When term started, the installation team met up with curation to discuss proposals; along with compiling a comprehensive list for A/V. Rosie joining the installation team had a really positive effect. She detailed what installation would and wouldn't do and communicated this effectively with the class, which was beneficial for everyone. It was her idea to put all the installation requests up on google drive (which I wasn't familiar with prior to this project) to bring them together in a central location. People could then access their proposals and update their details if their idea had changed. I learned a lot from her approach and it's something I will aim to adopt on future projects.
In the past I've felt I didn't want to come across as bossy, but I realise it's better to be clear in your communication on a group project. Which is being assertive.
With the framework of duties and responsibilities in place there was a sense of purpose in installation, everyone was clear about their roles. Articulating from the outset the responsibilities of the installation team, as well as the artists’ obligations, meant avoiding lots of questions and confusion further down the line.
Adam came through with a discounted van for the return journey and the set up went smoothly, mainly I think because installation had communicated effectively. A few things could have been packed better but mostly everyone was there to help out. I took responsibility for the tools and A/V kit we had sourced, ensuring everything got to and from the venue. I wanted to be sure we didn't alienate the technicians.
There were strict rules about drilling into walls in the crypt space but we managed to get round that using existing holes and being creative. It was a challenge for me to be in the installation group at first, as DIY isn't a strength and I worried I would mess up someone's work. However, I came to realise I had to improve my skills in this area and this was an opportunity to do so. I will have to install my own work at some point without help, so I embraced an introduction drill and basic tools workshop from a friend before the exhibition, in order to prepare. Most people installed their own work but I was able to convincingly use a drill by the installation set up.
Over time, the groups became rather porous and a few people merged with different groups as their original work reached a conclusion, such as research.