Friday, May 31, 2013

The Figge Gig: Part II


Once we delivered all our materials to the museum, it was time to start cutting down some boards to various lengths (other than 8' long), stain the freshly cut ends, and begin construction.

Ahhh, freshly stained....

The bases/basis for the Collaborative piece Terry and I were making all started with a tripod/'K' formation of boards.  Like this....

I had just begun to make tripods when Terry, Monica, and Vinicius Lima showed up with the final piece 'Lagrima'.  It is made from the same foam material used to make the tunnel piece 'Ophidean'.

As quickly as possible, we tried to get it all loaded into the elevator.

Once the elevator arrived on the fourth floor, its foam contents were disgorged all over the floor.

Laying out the foundation....

While Monica and Vinicius were laying out 'Lagrima', Terry began assembling 'Personal Portable Museum Hut'.

Between the cut wood for 'Vestibule' and the foam for both 'Ophidean' and 'Lagrima', space became limited forcing us to move piles of materials from one location to another and then back again.  Technical term: Schlepping.

Getting ready to build 'Lagrima'.

We ended the day with only a few more pieces completely assembled, and piles of foam and wood everywhere.  A lot of work needed to be done in the next 72 hours.

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

The Figge Gig: Part 1


Transporting artwork is a challenge all by itself.  When you throw in an all-day downpour, it truly becomes a near-Herculean Task.

Did I mention that it was raining?

This is the first load of artwork being dropped off at The Figge Art Museum for Questionable Architecture.  The museum has a pretty nice set up including a hydraulic lift to help with unloading.  Check out the museum here!

Did I mention it was raining?

In fact, it was raining so hard that even with a tarp over the sections of 'Portable Museum', it still got soaked.  I drew in a white arrow to point at the small river of water pouring out of the piece when Terry lifted it up out of the truck.

Even though Terry had to hand dry every single panel of his piece Personal Portable Museum Hut, he still has an optimistic smile.  (Yeah, I don't get it either....).

All of our nice, cut lumber is now soaked.  Did I mention it was raining?

One of many trips up and down in the elevator.

P.P.M.H. finally making it upstairs.

A shot of the 4th floor exhibition space just as we are starting to load in the show.

The next day, Terry enlisted some reinforcements!

Terry's daughter helping install the first piece.

3 generations of Rathjes installing the panels for Inspiration House.

Inspiration House before we installed the......

....the roof.....

The fun part about banging a hammer on angle iron inside a confined metal space is the percussive snap and nifty ringing-in-the-ears sensation you get.

*Note: the younger (possibly wiser) daughter is outside watching the sonic mayhem...

But, ya gotta admit, the view is pretty nice from the top.

A big 'Thanks' to Sarah, Cole, and Grace for their super-duper-ruper help in setting up Inspiration House.  Terry couldn't have made his ears ring without you.

Next time we tackle the green wood.....

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Plan B Sans Andrea Part 2

So we had a working saw and a plan of attack which involved using water-based green stain on our freshly cut boards.  Time to implement the plan....

First order of business was to put the 4-foot assassin on the case remove staples and labels.  Nicely done.

 Then it was time to stain the pile....

Making progress but twilight and the mosquitos were closing in on the project.

As the sun went down, our pile was not nearly as robusto as we had hoped.

By the end of the day, we still had a huge pile of lumber to stain and an extremely limited time in which to accomplish the task.

That being said, there's always time to enjoy the Ratman's rope swing.

Next time, we launch an all-out art assault!.....and mother nature launches a counter-assault.

Monday, May 20, 2013

The Set Up For Dutiful Citizen

No matter how many times you set up a show or install artwork, the process is always fraught with challenges.  The set up and logistics for Dutiful Citizen were no exception.

Making the work is only the first step.  Finding a venue in which to display the work is the second step.  Getting it there is the third....

Here are a couple shots of my good friend's moving truck loaded with the Dutiful Citizen bounty.

Once we got the pieces to the Maquoketa Art Experience, it was time to spread them out and begin to assemble the frames.....

...lay out the ceramic debris.....

....and start constructing the installation.

It's good to have a plan, or even plans, but in the end, something will invariably pop up that will render the plan obsolete.  If you can't improvise, life can become a headache really fast.

My wall pieces are generally heavy for works hung on the wall.  The carved wood frames, cement textures, and size make them pretty beefy.

The difficulty I encountered while hanging Dutiful Citizen was that my pieces would pull the screws out of the wall.  Bad news all the way around.

So to circumnavigate that problem, I built a bunch of 'shelves' for my pieces to 'sit' on.  They look like this.

Once I made enough shelves for my pieces (at least two per piece), all I had to do was figure out how high I wanted to hang a piece.  Then I measured down 1 3/4" from that height, and used a laser level to lay out a couple of strips of blue 'painters' tape along the 'level line'.

I hung the shelves so the top edge of the shelf was level with the top edge of the blue painters' tape.  Now I have two shelves that are level to each other and attached to the wall with five screws each (for more stability, or for a heavier piece of artwork, I would attach the upright board of the shelf to a wall stud behind the drywall (an electronic 'stud finder' would be necessary for that).

Once the shelves were in place, all I had to do was set the inside stretcher bar down on the shelves (which I know are level) and secure the piece to the shelves using a couple of screws.  Once a piece is secured to the shelves which are screwed to the walls, it is highly unlikely it will accidentally come off of the wall.

Then repeat that process until everything is hung.....

In the image above is the finished version of Transaction.  Here is a link to a previous post showing how it changed/evolved before Dutiful Citizen.

The Transitive Property of Yesterday made its debut at Dutiful Citizen.

Always a warm spot in my heart for Mr. Falcon Finds A Stranger In The Alps.....

A detail shot of Trojan Horse.

Tower Of Babel surrounded by debris and a stick-construction.

Dutiful Citizen is at the Maquoketa Art Experience through Saturday June 1st.  Check out the Maquoketa Art Experience!