Went to Artist Abby Manock's installation performance at the Shelburne Art Center. I was really excited about this piece she was doing for several reasons. First I just love her work, the colors, the composition, how she divides space and unties it only to unite it with these threads, strings, pieces of fabric that are weighted down with paint cans or pieces of painted wood. Second, I love that that some one else in Vermont it taking performance art seriously. She has a way of connecting the audience to the performance, whether it is in the anticipation for it to begin, or even when something seemingly goes awry within the performance (like her paint compressor jamming as was the case with this one). The audience keeps routing for her, wanting her to succeed, but in the end has us examining our own expectations we have as viewers and art lovers with performance. What happens when a performance emphasizes the limitations of the materials used? and the gumption of the artist to keep the performance going, even to the bitter end... how long would we the audience have waited, once we all were clued into the "technical difficulties?" Or was that the performance? Endurance? Perseverance? Do it til it's done mentality? Lucky for Abby the compressor started to work again and her beautiful Santa Winter Wonderland was coated with a fresh coat of white paint. Lastly I love that Abby's work, works on so many levels. Was the white paint a symbol for snow? Impermanence? a resetting of the season? a metaphor for a whiting out our environment, or the festivities of our environment making it generic, glazed over? What ever the meaning, the sheer act of bringing such a good crew of spectators was worth the drive to the Shelburne Art Center to see her performance. As a witness to this event in the darkness of a cold autumn Vermont night, I realized that Autumn has officially arrived, that winter is around the corner and that there really is no better way to spend an evening with friends and strangers.... Thanks Abby for bringing us all together.
To see more of Abby's work go to: http://www.abbymanock.com/