This week was spent getting organized and preparing to meet with our participants.
On Tuesday, we were assigned roles for planning Showing/Thinking. I will be keeping track of the budget as well as writing the introductory statement for the catalog with Jeffery and Kendal. I will also have the opportunity to design the layout for the show and curate the gallery space for my participant. I am fortunate enough to have already met my person; I get to work with my wonderful Painting and Photography professor María Korol! I am very excited to collaborate with her and learn more about the art she creates.
To help us learn more about our participants, Kendal was kind enough to share a book, The Oral History Workshop: Collect and Celebrate the Life of Your Family and Friends, with the class. We read the first two chapters which provided some great advice about conducting interviews as well as suggestions for becoming a better listener in general.
One of the best pieces of advice the article offered was to be prepared with questions for your interviewee, but be flexible enough to toss them if the conversation takes you in another direction. I thought this was especially applicable to our class; while having a structured plan is important, we should be open to the more organic results of the process that can give the exhibition new energy.
We also met the photographer Tom Meyer this week. Since a few of us are in a photography class this semester, it was interesting to hear from someone who takes photos professionally. Tom stated that the goal of a photoshoot is to reveal what someone does in a interesting way. Sometimes the best image can be the result of improvisation, but even a professional takes “safety shots”.