I’ve used every other November (the 22nd month of my 22-month process) to organize the materials and tools from my solo-biennials.
Everything (except the drywall), that I carefully arranged and assembled throughout the exhibit’s vast mill is now forced into the much-smaller spaces of my much-smaller-than-the-mill home.
This, in addition to after-math administration, sorting and processing my documentation, writing grant reports, etc., is a huge mental and physical effort. My solo-biennial isn’t over until it’s over.
Another aspect of November: I get my house in order again.
Bill’s always done his best to keep our house neat and clean while I’m gone.
For me, preparing the surfaces of our home—after months away and intense—is much like preparing the surfaces of the mills for my installations.
A pristine mill floor is the canvas for my installations, while the scrubbed floors of my home are the canvas for my future work.
Before now, this effort was about getting things ready for my 2-months of rest (I can’t rest in December and January if my house is not-as-spiffy-as-I’d-like);
and getting things ready for my next solo-biennial process (always starting February 1 the year before my biennial).
Now that I’m preparing my house after my 9th and final solo biennial, this effort is about getting things ready for my rest, plus, whatever’s coming next. Whatever that is.
The last aspect of November: It gives me 1 month to put aside my feelings about finishing my biennial.
Because I’ve always said “It’s not over ’til it’s over,” and I keep moving, the space in my body and brain for the emotions to come isn’t here yet. Have to feel finished. Have to stop moving.
As I do these last things—this particular November, this last November—as I clean my home, I’m cleaning harder and more thoroughly than I ever have.
I’ll scrub my kitchen floor and rugs on hands and knees; wash the walls; move furniture to get at what’s underneath; continue to do a little cleaning each November day as I do the other November aftermath-y things.
However much I get done, will be all I’m going to do.
Then, in December, my solo biennials, my 18-year opus, will truly be done.
And then we’ll see.
Post-post: This is my last post between now and at least February 1 after my break. When I do start writing again, I hope you’ll still be here. Until then, have a wonderful holiday season! And thank you, all of you, for your continued support!