Sunday, June 2, 2013

The Installation of the Ulysses Gloves

May 31, 2013
I walk around 20 blocks from my friend Gail's house to the Rosenbach Museum. It is a really hot day, more like August than late May. By the time I arrive I am sweaty, but I know the museum will be cool, so I'm not too concerned. I don't know what to expect. I am nervous, but not overwhelmed...more excited than anxious. 

Very soon after I arrive, we get to work.
The armature that will hold all 310 gloves.

Judy G. & the gloves.

Judy Guston, the curator, likes to stand under the gloves. She is petite and is the only one of use who can do this without ducking a little. This is at the beginning...many more gloves to hang. It takes a while, but once we get going we get into a flow and can hang a glove fairly quickly. Judy trims the museum tape. I attach the clip and then hand the glove to a trusty assistant on a tall ladder, who threads the tape over the armature. Once height is determined, the assistant ties a knot and we move on to the next. The gloves are hung in a sort of wave pattern.

The gloves begin to grow. We work all day, 
until just past 5:00 p.m.
Throughout the course of the day museum people stop in. The room smells of rubber and everyone who sees the project has a smile on their face.
Against the walls are cases which contain not only the completed manuscript of Ulysses, but also pages of text in Joyce's own hand. The pages are beautiful. The text runs down the page with an extreme slant. His words written by him near his words copied by me. It's such a rush. I  wonder what he would make of this. I wonder what my dad would make of this. I wish they could see it.

We get just over half the gloves hung. On Monday, tomorrow, Judy and the team will finish the installation. I think Judy will send me a photograph which I can share.
I feel happy about all of this. I don't feel sure of what this exhibit will do for me, but I am sure that this whole process, from concept to completion, has nudged me out of my comfort zone and pushed me on to a slightly higher tier of the art world. I have a lot of mixed feelings about all of this. Those can be written at another time. For now, I am just going to enjoy knowing my rubber gloves are hanging in a museum. I am going to have breakfast, waffles with blueberries. I'll do the dishes after. I'll be wearing yellow rubber gloves.

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