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28 February 2007

Practical arrangements

Do you really need to know stuff about travel preparation and practical arrangements for the Moscow Biennale?
Visas, tickets, money, phone calls, emails, messages - time delays in getting messages. Maybe it puts the work in context with reality, or at least the realities of Russia.

What is the work and what is the preparation? How to separate administration from work? When does a painting start to be a painting and not a selection of canvas, board, frame, oil paint and pint brushes. Would that be considered administration or relevant skill?

There are times when I question why I get involved in collaborative projects - or even with exhibition where there are three or more time zones! But then the next one is offered and it seems such a good idea!
You can tell I have tried not to allow the admin to affect it too much, or to get annoyed about the misunderstandings, but it must affect the work in some ways. Every time I am amazed at the proportion of time spent on practicalities and housework, I guess I should be used to it by now.

The process of packing up the work became a real combination of financial and aesthetic judgement, which I guess is fairly universal. Trying to keep the weight down to pay less excess baggage meant I took less, providing opportunity to select only the necessary and edit out the dross.
It did give me the task of finding an art shop in Moscow selling sketch books and drawing equipment - simple in most cases, but this being Moscow it took me 4 days to get to!

I think it was probably a good thing I didn't know what was going to happen when we got there, it really would have put me off going this time. But then I would have missed experiences like waiting for keys outside the gallery space to find Goran had discovered a kitchen which sold wonderful bread. Locals did not seem know about it, only the builders who shared a Persian language with Goran!