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True Story

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Nov. 27th, 2006 | 09:31 pm

So I know this artist, Kim Glover, who had her first gallery show as part of her BFA thesis exhibit this last weekend.

Anyway, and I'm sure I'm mangling this part because, yanno, me and aesthetics, but the main part of her exhibit was an installation about how we walk on eggshells around art. I'm sure it also invoked concepts of fragility and birth and a lot more, but the main thing was eggshells. She collected thousands of eggshells from coffeeshops for a couple weeks, hand bleached them all to be clean and sterile, dusted them with gold for symbolic value, mixed in steel cable for constrast -- again, I'm sure I'm screwing up the description -- but the thing is she covered a thousand square feet of the exhibit floor with these eggshells. She had other work on the walls -- she does very cool photography -- but the main installation, the thing on all the postcards and the flyers, and the main part of her thesis, was the eggshells.

So she finished preparing the installation around 2:30, went out to wash up and grab a quick cup of coffee, and rushed back to the gallery for the show's opening at 5:00.

The eggshells were gone.

The floor was clean.


Kim was standing there with the gallery owner, and the first guests were arriving early, backing up at the door, and Kim's hands were still red and raw from the hours sunk in bleach water, the days scrubbing these eggshells clean without crushing them, and the floor was completely empty and shiny and, well, eggless. The installation gone.

Turns out the cleaning lady popped in to get the gallery ready for the opening, saw the installation, swept it up in a hurry and carried it all out to the dumpster.

Kim still seemed pretty devastated about it when I saw her this afternoon. But she's amazingly talented and has a lot of great art ahead of her. And that story will be the default lead-in on every newspaper and magazine article about her work for the next 40 years. It's the iconic story of modern art.

Somewhere down the road, when you read it again, remember that you read it here first.

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from: maggiedr
date: Nov. 29th, 2006 03:34 pm (UTC)

What a great story--so layered with irony. Obviously, the cleaning lady didn't walk on eggshells around art!

When I worked at Borders on the Inventory team, we received a box of romance novels for a signing event. They banged around the stock room for weeks, because there was no place to shelve a large quantity of a single paperback romance. For some reason, the inventory supervisor didn't grasp what they were for, and decided to get rid of them.

Paperback books are stripped of their covers and then destroyed, so one Saturday morning, he ripped the covers off and threw the book bodies into the recycling. And then the author showed up--yes, that very same day, with her loved ones in tow, ready to do her very first signing ever. You can imagine how devastating for her to arrive and find zero books in stock. My manager did jump in his car and drove around collecting the book from other Borders, so it did work out somewhat.

Still, that's not even close to destroying weeks of intensive labor. Although she could have dragged the dumpster inside the gallery as a piece of conceptual art. I hope she took pictures of it? I'm not making light of it, I swear. It's just such a great story...

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