THE REAL OPENING
THE REAL OPENING; LINDA MARY MONTANO, AUGUST 2017
"ART: Art is a diverse range of human activities in creating visual, auditory or performing artifacts (artworks), expressing the author's imaginative or technical skill, intended to be appreciated for their beauty or emotional power. In their most general form these activities include the production of works of art, the criticism of art, the study of the history of art, and the aesthetic dissemination of art.
The oldest documented forms of art are visual arts, which include creation of images or objects in fields including today painting, sculpture, printmaking, photography, and other visual media."
Schmoozing/drinking/eye avoiding/art acquiring/twin frocking/knowledge brandishing/social guffawing/eye meeting/body showing of plumage as well as cleavage are some of the activities that happen at art openings which occur at places housing sometimes great, sometimes good, sometimes mediocre, sometimes vacuous "art" for a day, week , month or sometimes forever. At these gatherings, depending on the carriage of the presenting artist in question, hoards of culture aficionados and critics and rich millennials and those wanting to taste the appetizers crowd rooms teeming with objects d'art but what always transpires is not just art but a magical transfer of attention from the artist's work to the people looking at the artist's work.
It is totally embarrassing because it becomes a game of who's here, who's not here and there are always overheard, sniped, back handed comments like: "Oh Kevin, (nudge nudge) there's Karen. I thought that she and Ana broke up!" These not uncommon, mean spirited parlances and free floating quips about the artist, or quips about the other fan based guests there, or quips about the era that the art reminds them of, or quips about the methodology employed by the artist are often overheard as people cue to see the "ART." But wait, forget the artist's sculpture, forget the artist's tapestry because those non breathing objects are not really being seen but are recorded on iPhones for further perusal and then thrown up on Facebook as proof of one-up-man-shipped, envy producing attendance at this historic event. Almost with overarching pride the post might say: "Guess where I went Saturday night! To _________'s opening!!!!! It was fabulous." ( Inner voice: " Ha, ha." )
In the meantime, at the opening in question, performances of people crowding into intolerably hot, summer-of-no-AC rooms playing tribes-r-us, smelling each other's stale breath and very sweaty August weathered underarms wet with excitement and pheromones is what is really happening. And after all of that cajoling , that brushing against each other and after a pretty good champagne buzz comes the internal-secret mantra: "Hmmmmmmm maybe I wont go home alone tonight." Art openings are about sex.
"Belongingness is the human emotional need to be an accepted member of a group. Whether it is family, friends, co-workers, a religion, or something else, people tend to have an 'inherent' desire to belong and be an important part of something greater than themselves. This implies a relationship that is greater than simple acquaintance or familiarity. The need to belong is the need to give, and receive attention to, and from, others.
Belonging is a strong and inevitable feeling that exists in human nature. To belong or not to belong can occur due to choices of one's self, or the choices of others. Not everyone has the same life and interests, hence not everyone belongs to the same thing or person. Without belonging, one cannot identify themselves as clearly, thus having difficulties communicating with and relating to their surroundings."
Was that why I was there that hot August night? Was I in need of a hit of Belongingness? Not sure. All I do know is that I had morphed into teen angst and excitement because I might see "HER," that is the artist "showing" at the museum that night. A big cult favorite. In fact, I actually dressed a little better because I wanted to 1. meet "HER" for the first time and 2. co-celebrate our mutual friend who came to us both via a college internship. Those January and February months, a bright star young woman named R, brilliantly worked herself into our mutual art/lives. Yes that's why I was there, not to find someone to go home with but to see HER. And I would have said, because I rehearsed saying this: "How could someone so young ( R ) be so shining, be so smart, be so talented and so willing to joyfully help us both with our work?" I assumed and was assured by ( R ) that artist 1, ( HER/SHE ) was happy to get up in the morning and play art=life with R. I definitely was. So I was on the lookout, smelling the air. Where is SHE? I'm sure she will like me because I know R, right?
"An internship is a job training for white collar and professional careers.
Internships for professional careers are similar in some ways but not as rigorous as apprenticeships for professions, trade and vocational jobs,but the lack of standardisation and oversight leaves the term open to broad interpretation. Interns may be college or university students, high school students, or post-graduate adults. These positions may be paid or unpaid and are usually temporary.
Generally, an internship consists of an exchange of services for experience between the student and an organization. Students can also use an internship to determine if they have an interest in a particular career, to create a network of contacts, to acquire a recommendation letter to add to their curriculum vitae, or to gain school credit. Some interns find permanent, paid employment with the organizations for which they worked upon completion of the internship. This can be a significant benefit to the employer as experienced interns often need little or no training when they begin regular employment. It also helps an employer in gauging a student's aptitude, since grade inflation has undermined the reliability of academic grades. Unlike a trainee program, employment at the completion of an internship is not guaranteed."
Usually I run in and out of openings so as to avoid the schmoozing and slobbering pecks on cheeks but this one, not so. I was a girl on a mission. I wanted to tell HER about R, remember? Typically, in the past, never wanting to impinge on the privacy of the artiste, I became an adept at giving and taking space, coming and going to openings in ninja fashion, always passing up the opportunity to net work for a show, chat up a colleague for a book contract or pass around a home-made business card to a dealer. There are reasons. Once, when I was in my twenties, I had overdone it with a "Famous" artist and embarrassed myself and so vowed never to do that again. How could I overdo it I wondered since that was so long ago and encounter styles, customs and methods of social interactions had changed? Now my exuberance was probably cool? Back then I smiled too broadly, talked about their work without knowing shit, I even alerted them to my new project in an unpronounceable back water village. By the way, the list of opportunities to bully another with one's equally great greatness is endless.
But I surprised myself that night by being glad to see a few friends, actually hugging three of them but was incessantly looking, scouting, keeping my eyes peeled for HER. Didn't she know that I had something important to tell her?
Because I don't chat people up, a term someone I know says she does and I notice that she does it ad nausea, I finished all that I could do/see in the museum and then winds shifted as if I were enveloped in a cult classic movie scenario. I could FEEL IT. A storm was in the air and the psychic weather changed although it didn't create rain or hail or blow over precariously rooted trees. What I felt was a massive focus on ME! That is, people began looking at me in doppelganger fashion. WTF i'm not her!!! Was it my orange Kurta that stood out like neon in that all black world of art opening goers? Didn't they know that I never wanted to upstage the artist being honored that night? And then I got it, it wasn't my Kurta but my almost white HAIR!!!!!! They were hungry for HER white hair but I was so unconvincingly "convincing " as HER that the group began scapegoating me, suffocating me, wanting me, photographing me and one group of Asians even asked me to stand with their Doll daughter for a photo op because, "We LOVE Your work." (They were talking to HER in me.) I stupidly said, "I'm not HER," although i'm a doppelganger-Warholian adept and could have sucked up the mistaken identity and enjoyed the conceptual twist of transference. That is, their hunger for HER had morphed me into her double. It was all about the HUNGER FOR THE ART GENIUS. And when the friend I was standing with said, " Why are all these people photographing us?" I frantically ran for my car, frightening those folks still pouring in the gates, thinking the star of the show was leaving even before they got there. Confused by my fear-display, they clutched each other's hands tightly while walking up the hill in their search for HER, no doubt.
Once in my car, hyperventilating from the escape, I assured myself that honest to God, I didn't do it on purpose, I didn't wash my hair or style it to look like HER HAIR but that's what happens when you keep your fans waiting; they seize the moment and that night, I was a seized moment.
Another persona has been added to my growing list.
"A big-box store (also supercenter, superstore, or megastore) is a physically large retail establishment, usually part of a chain. The term sometimes also refers, by extension, to the company that operates the store. The store may sell general dry goods, in which case it is a department store, or may be limited to a particular specialty (such establishments are often called "category killers") or may also sell groceries, in which case some countries (mostly in Europe) use the term hypermarket.
Typical architectural characteristics include the following:
- Large, free-standing, cuboid, generally single-floor structure built on a concrete slab. The flat roof and ceiling trusses are generally made of steel, and the walls are concrete block clad in metal or masonry siding.
- The structure typically sits in the middle of a large, paved parking lot, sometimes referred to as a "sea of asphalt." It is meant to be accessed by vehicle, rather than by pedestrians.
- Floor space several times greater than traditional retailers in the sector, providing for a large amount of merchandise; in North America, generally more than 50,000 square feet (4650 m²), sometimes approaching 200,000 square feet (18,600 m²), though varying by sector and market. In countries where space is at a premium, such as the United Kingdom, the relevant numbers are smaller and stores are more likely to have two or more floors.
My car-tomb-studio became a cooling station of retreat and I thought while driving: is it because I was born in a small village, to a family verging on working class, having never gone on vacation with them as a child, or even to a restaurant, that I was 456% more comfortable stopping at the big box Price Chopper to buy groceries and chat-up the woman shelving the green beans? That visit to her produced in me a much happier mental state than the one I felt going to that swanky opening for the arty entitled rich? She cried when she told me that she didn't get to say good-bye to her father in law who died suddenly at the VA hospital Friday night. He had COPD and had choked on a piece of chicken the week before.
In philosophy, happiness translates the Greek concept of eudaimonia, and refers to the good life, or flourishing, rather than simply an emotion.
In psychology, happiness is a mental or emotional state of well-being which can be defined by, among others, positive or pleasant emotions ranging from contentment to intense joy. Happy mental states may reflect judgements by a person about their overall well-being.
Since the 1960s, happiness research has been conducted in a wide variety of scientific disciplines, including gerontology, social psychology, clinical and medical research and happiness economics.
The United Nations declared 20 March the International Day of Happiness to recognise the relevance of happiness and well-being as universal goals."
LINDA MARY MONTANO, AUGUST 2017