Maybe it’s too soon to say, but based on my initial experience, being a curator seems like one part Director, one part Gopher. I expected to fetch odds and ends for the exhibition, but I was bit surprised how much artists entrusted me with creative decisions regarding their art. Guess I’ll just have to get used to it.
Two items I found myself chasing down recently:
78-rpm records. N. Sean Glover’s cardboard record player works better with fatter grooves. A Jackson Five 33 had to do for the opening. (It seemed fitting because “I Want You Back” was on heavy rotation in the shops while I was in Manchester.) But today, at the East Bay Depot for Creative Re-Use, I scored two 78s — Sarah Vaughn and the Benny Goodman Sextet.
Butane. David Moises’ Egoshooter is a modified barbecue lighter. Lighters can go in the mail completely emptied of fuel, so it was my job to re-fuel it for the exhibition. The gallery (understandably) didn’t want visitors to get hurt, but I just couldn’t show the Egoshooter disarmed — I was plagued with memories of grad school critiques of art “with no teeth.” Not having ever owned a refillable lighter, I wandered the aisles of CVS before I realized that, of course, butane is probably kept behind a counter, next to cartons of cigarettes. The CVS in North Oakland, formerly Long’s, was sort of an ideal place to find such a slightly obscure, anachronistic item. (It was also the source for my new white painter’s pants. Maybe I’m projecting, but I get a lot more respect at Home Depot when I’m wearing proper Dickies.)