Last Saturday I undertook the challenge of installing an exhibit in 4 hours in front of a group of people who were both participating as well as observing. I am not sure if this has ever been done before but in its aftermath I believe demonstrated the power of arrangement and presentation.To me it was performance art. Many elements comprising a greater work of art, the exhibit itself. The process was available to see and experience for those who were there.Art in and of itself can be presented in such a way as to add value or to devalue it from a singular and as a larger whole perspective. As artists we must always complete each work to its intended presentation state whatever that might be. By not paying attention to this part of the art making process we devalue ourselves especially when others you are showing with have resolved this part of their work.
The image above is where we started. A group of apparent disparate work waiting to be assembled in its highest form as an exhibit. Presentation cannot be under estimated. A painting when finished must now be presented or it is incomplete. This applies to all mediums that we use. Upon acquisition the work then surrenders itself to the placement and place it will be installed. When all of these elements align we have the potential for magic. Art in its highest and most valuable form is something we all should want.
In my mind a work of art is comprised of 3 elements. The first is idea or concept. The second is expression. The material manifestation of the idea aligned with our personality and ability. Third is presentation. How is this work shown and then presented to the public whether the public is your own house or a museum. A work is incomplete if all three are not addressed.When an artist gets these right opportunity is created and we stay out of our own way.The takeaway is that there are practical measures we can take to get the most out of what we do and understanding all three elements intimately is critical to success and fulfillment of purpose. At worse I would suggest to begin to think about how your work will be perceived when shared with the public. What can you do to give your piece justice in the sea of other works that will be seen side by side with yours?