Art of the Day/My Internship Experience as an Assistant Curator

20 Jan

Untitled (Part of De Noche series). by Laurence Salzmann (born 1944). Photograph, 2005. Belongs to private collection.

Notes from

De Noche/By Night consists of photographs Salzmann made during Easter of 2005, during which he accompanied many thousands of pilgrims on an annual pilgrimage to an oil-rich Andean Plateau in Argentina’s Juyjuy province. This series also divides itself into two parts, one representing the ecstasy of the spiritual journey of the pilgrims; the other documenting the more secular activities of the night such as hanging out in a pool hall, embracing one’s lover in the shadows or chatting with a friend on a street corner before making one’s way home.

…vamos componiendo una figura absurda, dibujamos con nuestros moviemientos una figura identica a la que dibujan las moscas cuando vuelan en una pieza, de aquí para alla, bruscamente dan media vuelta, de alla para aquí, eso es lo que se llama movimiento brownoideo, ahora entiendes, un angulo recto, una linea que sube, de aquí para alla, del fondo al frente, hacia arriba, hacia abajo, espasmodicamente, frenando en seco y arrancando en el mismo instante en otra direccion, y todo eso va tejiendo un dibujo, una figura, algo inexistente como vos y como yo, como los dos puntos perdidos en Paris que can de aquí para alla, de alla para aquí, haciendo su dibujo, danzando para nadie, ni siquiera para ellos mismos, una interminable figura sin sentido.”

“…with our movements we sketch out a pattern just like the ones flies make when they fly around a room…a right angle, an ascending line, from here to there, from back to front, up, down, spasmodically, slamming on the brakes and starting right up in another direction, and all of this is drawing a picture, a pattern, something nonexistent like you and me, like two points lost in Paris that go from here to there, from there to here, drawing their picture, putting on a dance for nobody, not even for themselves, an interminable pattern without any meaning.”

My comments:

I picked this photograph in honor of its ties to the incredibly fascinating week-long internship I just completed this week at the Gershman Y gallery in Philadelphia. The artist of  the photograph above was going to exhibit artwork in an exhibition coming up at the Gershman Y in February, and I got to meet him personally because I went with the curator, Miriam Seidel (a Swarthmore alumna), whom I was assisting for the week, to Salzmann’s apartment to choose the photographs she would use for the exhibition. The photograph above is not part of the exhibition (I don’t have a digital file of them so I can’t use those here, although it would be more fitting), but it was a riveting experience to visit a professional, exhibiting artist’s studio for the first time and actually look at his work as an assistant curator who was helping to put together a show.

This was just one of the many interesting things I got to do during my internship week at the Gershman Y. Another exciting task that Miriam asked me to do was to research contemporary artists who deal with the theme of injustice that she could then show alongside documentary artwork of the Dreyfuss affair from the University of Pennsylvania’s collections. I was excited to be able to present her with a variety of possibilities based on what I found in my research, which I will be featuring here as art and paintings of the day over the next week.

In unrelated news, this semester I’m excited to be taking Modern Art History as well as Foundation Drawing, a Studio Art course that basically teaches untrained art lovers like me how to draw fundamental forms. I plan to post a page on this blog to document the new things I learn in these courses, such as vocabulary words, theories of drawing, etc.

One Response to “Art of the Day/My Internship Experience as an Assistant Curator”

  1. tara January 20, 2013 at 7:52 pm #

    exciting half week anyway.. check spelling in first sentence of blog, two words look like you hit the wrong key.

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