Being a photographer things are usually very predictable, especially in the realm of presenting work to the public. You know the size of the wall you’re given and the size of your work and installing the work is pretty much the same all across the board. This way of working was challenged for me when I was paired with the artist, Anne Dushanko Dobek, for the studio practice part of my internship. Anne has done many installations and while working with her, we installed her piece Collateral Damage at 33 Washington Street during the Newark Arts Festival.
There were many hurdles we had to cross during the lead up to the opening of the festival. When presenting photographs the main concern is just making sure that the prints look good and the order of presentation is correct. With Collateral Damage, not only did we have to worry about making sure the pieces that were a part of the installation were arranged correctly, but one major thing we had to worry about was electricity. The room that Anne exhibited her work in had no electricity. That meant that besides the illumination from the street light outside of the building, we had to figure out a way to get some light in the room that doesn’t require an outlet. What we ended up doing was buying battery-powered lights. This ranged from small motion censored lights, small headband lights, and flashlights.
We also had to deal with many outside forces when trying to install the work over the course of a couple weeks. Between having the road blocked off because of a marathon or a visit to the Newark Museum of Art by John Travolta and finding a good parking space that was close enough to the entrance of the building to transport the bigger pieces of the installation into the space, we had our fair share of obstacles. After working with Anne I’ve grown to admire those who work in this capacity of the art world. Everything is very unpredictable and being able to adapt to the many changes that are thrown at them is amazing and that is a skill that is very useful in any area of life. With that being said, if I learned anything at the end of this experience is to expect the unexpected and be open to things changing and adapt to those changes to the best of your ability and that is something that will stay with me for a long time.