Gwyneth Leech’s canvas is the paper cup.
From Feb. 28 to April 1 she will be working in a pop-up gallery at 215 West 38th Street in Manhattan.
Which is in a small store-front in the Fashion District, just off 7th Avenue. (Note the street life passing by.)
I went to see her at work on Wednesday and I learned that if you want your work to last the ages, do it on a “paper” cup, which has a plastic lining and a plastic lid that will last about 100,000 years.
That’s the point: Gwyneth Leech is all about telling people to find ways to recycle this stuff. In her case, she’s recycling it for art.
(Myself, I hardly ever go anywhere so I rarely have the need for a go cup; but from now on I will skip the lid. Doing my part to cut down on my 100,000-year legacy of trash. Why is this stuff still legal? )
From the gallery’s brochure: “An integral extension of this project is Leech’s blog, Gwyneth’s Full Brew, which can be followed on-line at www.gwynethsfullbrew.com.”
That letter-writing connection might be why she called her installation Hypergraphia, meaning excessive writing.
So it was fitting that my next stop on this uncharacteristic culture binge would be the Morgan Library (just across town on 31st Street) for an exhibit called The Diary, Three Centuries of Private Lives.
You can’t take photos in the exhibit, except for sneaking a shot under the radar of the security guards.
The exhibit was exciting in that it had some fine examples of the art of keeping a diary. From Henry David Thoreau:
From the wife of Nathaniel Hawthorne:
From Paul Horgan (1903 – 1994) who carried notebooks with him wherever he went to allow him to capture ideas at the moment they arose. “Some of the notes are productive,” he later explained, “developing organically in a wonderful way. Others die and you don’t know why. They all seem fascinating at the moment.”
But the exhibit was drearily “interpreted” by a curator who felt the need to categorize the diaries — under such lumpen rubrics as War Diaries, Road Diaries, Shared Diaries, Spiritual Diaries, 1960s [???] Diaries — and, when those categories broke down (from their own reductivity (sp?)), she tossed in facsimiles, in the form of reproductions or published books(which, to me, shattered the whole immediacy of looking at a diary, the unmediated un-edited first-hand report of a life).
And, for some (or not) reason, the diaries of Charlotte Bronte and Albert Einstein were left floating on their own, about which our docent-of-the-day was able to state the stunningly obvious: “Charlotte’s handwriting is minuscule“, and “Any mathematician today can read the equations that Einstein jotted down in his journal.”
So that was my venture out into the world of people and ideas on this past Wednesday.
I am making a full retreat into my own little world this weekend. It’s a world of French butterflies (one is called “The Saint of the Blackberry Bramble”); the new book by Laura Hillenbrand (a WWII story of survival called Unbroken — and it has a killercover!); lots of strong, black, sweet tea; the CD with Michael Feinstein’s version of “If I Only Had a Brain”; angel food cake for lunch; and a brand new diary.
Oh, there is nothing that inspires me like a brand new diary. Think of all the hyper-life stories that await it! All the graphia! Starting now!
If you, too, are ready for a brand new diary, meet me here on Monday. I have just the diary for you.