I have had about 45 minutes to reflect on the last month, which included the installation of Bruce Munro’s Light, so it seems only appropriate that I share my feelings, thoughts and hopes for this show while I am still numb.
“It is almost over, Colin.” This quote is in reference to nearly 50 different people (parents included) who were quick to ensure me that by finishing the install we were almost done. Brrrrrr!!! (buzzer sound?) Try 1/4 of the way through…with a staff the size of a Soho boutique we have a lot of ground to cover through January. Now, this is not to say we are dreading any of this, quite the contrary. Each member of staff (Lil, Melissa, Alanna, Yolima, Tom, Pat, Jennifer and Carrie) are so on top of their game that it is frightening. You could not ask for a more dedicated group of people to work with. They have abandoned their lives for four months to make sure there are Lights for all of Virginia to see. So the next time you talk to them, enjoy the show, the grounds, whatever, make sure you thank them for their hard work.
So what happened during install?
Short answer: beers
Long answer: Something between spontaneity, simplicity, abandonment, detachment and enlightenment.
It was one of the most amazing car accidents of friendship and self-loathing worth rubber necking to witness. Truly a brilliant thing to behold. Bruce’s install team (Mike, Maurice, Lauren, Duncan and Ben) are without question bros now. We broed down so hard that I am having bro withdraw as I type this. Professionals down to the last drop of Tecate. Should you ever have the good fortune of having Bruce’s works at your museum or home (custom orders are available) make sure you request these dudes and dudette.
We built, stemmed, lifted, balled, threaded and drilled our way to a magnificent exhibit that the city of Norfolk should be salivating over that they didn’t have to spend a dime to get here. (Drops the mic and walks away)….
(returns for mic realizing he must rap more)….It appears as though Norfolk is entering an age of enlightenment. Richmond may want to go ahead and start burning itself down again (1865 must have been fun) to make way for the port city that could. But seriously, what a refreshing emergence of culture in the state, Tidewater and Norfolk.
The entire process was like a moderately attractive caterpillar (maybe poisonous) going in its cocoon and then coming out a dragon. It is amazing to see the Hermitage transform from a place where people let their dogs poop wherever, to a garden with gorgeous art blocking those same areas where dogs relieve themselves. Metamorphosis…stunning.
My hope is that this, along with all of the other good we are doing, will help to elevate the position of the Hermitage as a serious cultural institution. Junk blogs like my own won’t change this, but hopefully curators to come will have more to work with because of the changes we are making now.
If this works I will take some credit. If it doesn’t, well….it’s Obama’s fault.
It won’t fail, we won’t fail, the Hermitage has finally opened.
Mike at the beach.
Field of Lights. Courtesy of Colin Brady Photography, LLC, trademarked 2014, University College University Polytech Press (Accredited). 2014. Shot with a Samsung 3 Ver4GLTE and a beer in my hand.