The exhibition that has been so alive and pulsing with everyday-changing artworks is today being wrapped, packed and put in boxes. The packing made me think about what is the lifetime of an exhibition.
The beginning of the exhibition period is usually marked with a vernissage. The word vernissage comes from varnish, which is the liquid used to apply on paintings when the artwork is done and before the exhibition. Often in the openings of painting exhibitions, there would be a strong smell of varnish because the artist would in most cases just have finished the paintings. The smell of varnish is thus connected to the freshness of the painting. The artworks are still wet like newborns when the exhibition opens. Vernissage is like a birth of the exhibition.
The life of the exhibition is the exhibition period. The duration time of an exhibition is decided mostly based on practical conditions in the exhibition venue, the public interest and logistics. Typically the time would be constructed around the established opening hour. Sometimes this daily rhythm of the exhibition can be interrupted by an artist talk or a presentation.
In the case of Thierry’s exhibition at Galeria Emma Thomas, we had daily changing artworks that would give a new life to the exhibition. The exhibition would be re-born every day. It gave the exhibition a chance to change along the way, adapting and adjusting its size, content and look to the reality of each single day. The exhibition period was divided into three parts: first part was a period where Thierry was changing the exhibition every day, exhibiting artworks produced instantly and expressing about important issues of the present, the second part was designed to include artists from Sao Paulo in the exhibition so they too can express about what they consider emergencies and the third part was a static exhibition put on display and presented to the collectors to purchase.
Today is the death of the exhibition. What does it mean? The artworks that were produced and exhibited in an ultracontemporary way are just going to die or do they have an afterlife? Yes, there is an afterlife. Some of the artworks will end up in the Delay Museum- a collection of artworks that have once been produced in an ultracontemporary way. Today the Delay Museum includes more than 900 artworks from around 300 artists.
Furthermore, I’m making a small publication with images from the exhibition in which I also plan to create a link between what was produced in Brazil and historical artworks from Thierry’s previous productions. The publication will make it possible to present the artworks, in many different contexts and maybe open doors for new exhibitions.
It makes sense to compare the exhibition to a lifetime, I think. Maybe it would be interesting to think about what the ideal lifetime of an exhibition should be, every time a new exhibition is curated.
Bellow is one of the last images of Thierry’s exhibition installation on the first floor.