What to Exhibit?


Time is something that always seems boundless and plentiful, but if left unchecked, it will literally pass you by. So we make ourselves busy filling time with things that bring us meaning and make the most of that time rather than just watching it fade into the distance of the past. Aside from the spontaneous, any activity we would like to use to mark our time will have a predetermined period in which we plan the event and the event itself, the deadline. 

If you are planning this activity for yourself, you have full control of these timelines and are able to manage them within your own capabilities. Take your birthday, for example, you know when it is and you know what you would like to do for it. If you want to have a party for your birthday in June, you know it would make sense to start letting people know at least 1-2 months before and make arrangements so that venues are available and the people you would like to attend can make the date. Simple right?

When you are working with a team, or have third party influencers,  deadlines become less flexible and additional pressures are somewhat beyond your control. Take a work assignment, it's not up to you to set the deadline, the person paying the bill is. Your responsibility is to manage your time to meet that goal. Sounds similar to the former, however, the start point of planning is decided by you in the first example, the later generally is not. 

So what the hell has this got to do with anything? Well, I am part of a team working together in the planning of a charity art exhibition, the details of which I am unable to disclose as the final details have not yet been finalized. What I can say is that we are planning to host the exhibition at a highly prestigious venue in London, the hire of which we are hoping to get at minimal cost, or even better for free. 

There are a number of members in our team putting the exhibition together, the curator of which has a deadline of March to start the exhibition. Ok, 5 months, no problem. We would naturally like to capitalize on attendance for the event and have the opportunity to promote the event in a well-distributed publication. The date of publication is not clear but is likely to be in a couple of months.  So that knocks 3 months off of planning time at least. 

Despite an initial, and very positive meeting with the venue management we are required to make a presentation for what we intend to display in order to secure the venue and make the exhibition a reality. 

So here is my problem, I have my time to plan this event rapidly passing before me. The 5 months would be no problem for me to plan out images to exhibit, but realistically I have a matter of days to make some big decisions which is quite frankly becoming a real challenge. 

This is not my first rodeo, in fact, earlier this year I hosted a local exhibition 'An Asian Adventure' for which I supplied the prints, frames, identifying literature and promotional material. At that time I was directed by the venue on the theme they wanted me to display which made my choice of the images far easier. This time it is all me. 

An Asian Adventure

Untitled photo

Despite having images to choose from a number of locations, the number of quality images that I would be pleased to print and display was fairly limited. Still had some difficult choices to make, but as my skills were still emerging during some of these trips it wasn't too difficult to discard some shots.   

Right now I have 3 questions to answer, one which is somewhat beyond my control, and two which are very much down to me. I need to ascertain how many pieces to display, which is somewhat dependent on how many pieces the other guys are going to exhibit so I'll park this for the time being. 

So I need to decide on the subject(s) and, more challengingly, the actual shots to display. I have at least 3 very strong subjects, these being Havana, Paris, and Venice. For each of these sets, I have large numbers of very strong images that I could show

I singled out these sets as they differ greatly from my last exhibition and each contains what I would consider solid work which is easily recognizable. But do I choose one set, or maybe two different sets? I am working on the assumption that I'll be displaying on 2 8x4' boards so I could easily display 2 sets of images, but the same problem persists. 

I am particularly pleased with the Havana set for which I could easily fill 2 boards, but in doing some preliminary sweeps of the images I have shortlisted around 50!  This is what I am leaning towards, so if I do have to fill more of the space (we are looking at a fairly large venue) then I do have a substantial pool to chose from, but again how to be objective of my own work. As we do not know for sure how many pieces two of the other artists intend to display, it's difficult to gauge how many pieces I could, or would need to display. 

I imagine this is how it would feel between choosing between children to save from a burning building, ok maybe not quite as extreme, but you get my point. 

So this is my dilemma. The clock is ticking and I have big choices to make. As I have already mentioned, I am leaning towards the Havana set and so I need to shortlist this to around 20 at the most. I know, 1st world problems. 

Do you have a favorite set or images you'd like to see in print? Leave your comments below and watch out for details of the event, hopefully coming soon! 

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