I had every intention of dipping each one of those formed pieces of paper into encaustic medium to transparentize them, and to also give more volume and structor to the paper. For as big as the pile of papers is now, had they all been dipped, it would likely be twice the size. Life had other another idea. After I began to create the forms, it was clear that the quantity of material that would have been used would have made no sense from a financial stand point... and grant funding was not going to be an option that soon before the project had to be finished for install. So, I made the decision in early February to only then dip the pieces from the books that submitted stories and personal texts/emails were being transcribed onto (plus the papers I had all ready completed at that point) All total, perhaps about one quarter of pages have been treated with encaustic medium. As it turns out, even if I would not have made that decision, life/my body were going to make the same decision for me. I ended up quiet ill during most all of February and March (and still dealing with lingering issues and testing- it has been a battle to even get to the point of installing the show) my body put the breaks on production in the studio in a big way.
In another fun turn of fate, the person whom my interactions with led to the final decisions to the particulars of the elements to be installed and I finally met... the evening after I installed the project. That somehow was the perfect way to conclude this. And for all the feelings that were hurt (on my end of things anyway) and the "what if" that was still lingering out there, there is nothing more to say on it, it went nowhere at all... and I am ok with that. It is a final fitting conclusion to this whole thing.
The text on the first page of the site talks about the spirit of this whole thing was:
"rejected stories started as a small, site-specific installation to explore the idea of the memory that never becomes a memory. What of all the "grand plans" for travel and adventure we make with our friends at the bar that never materializes, the crushes and unrequited loves that never turn into anything other than a knot in your stomach, the New Year’s resolutions that have ended before they have even begun, and the painting that never was more than a doodle in one’s sketchbook. How is it that those things seem so important to us at the time we are pondering/obsessing about them, but can be cast away so easily when the path becomes difficult, cost prohibitive or simply just forgotten about."
So what of these things we want and never go after? What happens when we get a 2nd chance at them? I got the 2nd chance and took it, and you know what- was nothing like I imagined or hoped it would be. Perhaps certain stories get rejected because they just are plain not meant to happen that way- and the more we work at them and force them, the less the final outcome will be satisfying. It is like the painting that you are never sure is quite done and you keep after it and putzing with things. You know what, those paintings are usually a disaster and get scrapped in the end. Perhaps things just need to be allowed to unfurl and reveal themselves. Give the stories a chance to develop all on their own with out nitpicking the details to death. Let the painting happen instead for forcing it.
As much as I launched this project in an effort to get others to reflect on how they interact with their daily lives, it has given me a great deal to ponder. Some moments have been really hard, and others have given a great deal of clarity.
To install the final work, I did nothing more than open the boxes of formed paper and dump, letting it all fall where it was going to, not moving any of the elements (though I'm sure gallery visitors have moved them a bit.) For me, that is the take away from this whole thing, let it all fall where it will, the final form of the story will reveal itself in the end.
The installation of the rejected stories project continues through April 30th at the La Grange Art League- along with my other works from my featured artist show remnant memories: new works by Sarah Rehmer
The La Grange Art League
122 Calendar Ave, La Grange, IL 60525
Gallery hours: Mon to Sat, 10 am - 5 pm
For more on my work: www.rehmer-studio.com