"An art handler with Tomma Abts’s Zebe, 2010.” “The installation period is the most exciting and intense part of organising an exhibition.” (Tate)
"An art handler"….
This photo is from an online article written by Curator Melissa Blanchflower about the install process of an exhibition. There is nothing particularly unusual about how this article is written and it speaks very positively about the hard work involved in making exhibitions. It simply follows the widespread practice of describing art handlers/preparators/registrars/etc as nameless and invisible workers. This woman is a skilled professional. The individuals who took her photo and wrote this article should know her name. She is most likely a full time employee of the Tate Britain and has worked in this field for many years. Why are her contributions anonymous, even when a photo of her is used to promote this exhibition? This may seem like a very minor thing but it really gets to us because this is so symptomatic of how a whole industry of talented and passionate people are treated. There is an understanding that installing art is not glamorous and is not a way to seek fame, but instances like this seem as though the creators of the article had to go out of their way not to acknowledge her. The author of the article is named, multiple curators of the exhibition are named, all of the artists are named and the photographer is credited on all photos. Why don’t art handlers have names?
By making the original subject of these drawings—the human intervention—vanish, Justin Berry creates a new illustration, which focuses on the landscape itself. We see a scene that appears to be the aftermath of a battle or the site of some natural catastrophe. A new artwork on The Appendix.
“I am opposing a social order in which it is possible for one man who does absolutely nothing that is useful to amass a fortune of hundreds of millions of dollars, while millions of men and women who work all the days of their lives secure barely enough for a wretched existence.” ― Eugene V. Debs