When All Is Said and Done


I've always wondered about process as art. Do the artists get grants? Is the commercial value in the documentation, say photos of the happening being sold? Or maybe tangible pieces of the project sold off after an event? Not that an artist's goal is to always be commercial, but an artist's gotta eat. And when a gallery hosts/houses the event, there's a cost involved. How does the gallery make it worth their while?

I guess I'm still figuring all this out. If I were doing something in this vein, I'd worry that artifacts documenting the project would be so out of context.

Then I read about Lee Mingwei's The Mending Project in the latest ArtNews. There's a intimate feeling to this project, which celebrates trust and the idea of art as an exchange. People who brought in garments for him to repair with brightly colored thread of their choosing (and perhaps a small toy/trinket of his choosing) became true participants.

A collector has purchased the table and chairs, plus spools with the threads used (mounted on the walls during the project) that are now connected to a rock. For me, the addition of the rock pulls these tangible remnants all together. In the article, Lee notes, "The rock acts as an anchor." Nice touch.

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