Going to the Meadow
“There’s an expression in classical music. It goes, ‘We went out to the meadow.’ It’s for those evenings that can only be described in that way: There were no walls, there were no music stands, there weren’t even any instruments. There was no ceiling, there was no floor, we all went out to the meadow. It describes a feeling. Usually someone will say it, but they’re probably reluctant to say it — you might be afraid that only you went out to the meadow last night. But it’s one of those things where you go as a group. It’s not like: ‘Last night was a really great show for me and it sucked for you.’ No. We all went out to the meadow. There’s something magical about it. And you can never plan on it.”
-Tom Waits, interview with Wyatt Mason, New York Times (2017)
ArtYard is pleased to present Going to the Meadow, a living exhibition curated by Robin Hill and Ulla Warchol / BiolunarL.
Going to the Meadow is a living exhibition, staged in four parts, and borrows a musical term to examine the essence of collaboration at this moment in time. As we continue to navigate distinct and diverse challenges related to the pandemic, coupled with a renewed urgency to confront systems of oppression and racism that permeate our society, further compounded by the looming climate crisis, we are in a moment of necessary paradigm shifts in all aspects of our lives. This exhibition invites sixteen artists from diverse backgrounds and disciplines to be in residence at ArtYard while engaging in tactile, verbal, and conceptual dialogues with one another. They begin with the question: What is it we collectively care about?
ArtYard’s upper gallery becomes the artists’ studio and the surrounding landscape of the Delaware River Basin becomes an extended area of engagement. Through the recursive practice of replenishing the gallery with a curated set of materials in advance of each new cohort’s arrival every two weeks, the curators are staging an experiment in spontaneous making. As the artists explore multiple modes of exchange, perspectives shift and are collected, traded, and acted upon. The exhibition, unfolding in real-time, aspires to prioritize process over outcome, the collective over the individual, play over work, and to embrace success and failure equally. These are the driving forces of Going to the Meadow.
As curators, Hill and Warchol define their roles broadly to include facilitation, interpretation and translation of the artists’ visualizations. During the three-month span of the exhibition, visitors are welcome to observe the artists at work and at play in the upper gallery as well as to engage with a study-based installation, sourced from the artists’ individual practices, in the lower gallery. The work produced will culminate into one large-scale installation in November. Our wish is that you come to the meadow with us and come often.
Group One: September 16 – 20
Group Two: September 30 – October 4
Group Three: October 14 – 18
Group Four: October 28 – November 1
A final Installation which distills all of the experiments enacted by the four cohorts into one grand collaboration will be on view in ArtYard’s 2nd-floor gallery from November 13 – December 26.
Please join us for a special reception to celebrate Going to the Meadow on Saturday, November 13, from 5-8 PM, free of charge. Refreshments will be served.
Banner photo © Chris Helzer
Exhibition photos © Paul Warchol
Cohort No. 1
Cohort No. 2
Cohort No. 3
Cohort No. 4
Reading Tables Checklist & List of Curated Materials
The titles in this collection were sourced from the libraries of the participating artists and curators of Going to the Meadow. As a collection, they will be available in ArtYard’s Reading Room.
Going to the Meadow
[poem construction by andrew sullivan]
I love empty pedestals,
Eye-contact with reality,
Appreciating the beauty of shells.
I like symmetry in storytelling:
Opening: fireflies and the fungible horizons of undulations.
Closing: fireflies and the infinite potential of not knowing.
Thank you for sharing this place with me,
Equal amounts darkness and sunlight.
(It was here and we were looking for something to do)
It can be very dividing or bring beings together, this twilight
Journey into the darkening meadow. The shadow gives shape
To things undiscovered, things forgotten.
I call this consciousness, the ropey coils of awareness,
The “don’t know” of the unknown that has gone out to play, the “I-can-
Keep-going-past-this-limit.” All these many years later
We emerge connected,
Monument to love,
Dedicated to love.
Who decides who becomes a monument?
Beauty is the final arbiter of truth.
The premise skates close to artifice.
One could hardly be blamed for objecting:
“Art is subjective!”
“Stop before you ruin it!”
“Don’t see any collaboration. Boring!”
“Stop before you ruin it!”
“This clipboard and pen seem random! And what is an abstract noun?”
“None of the objects in the exhibition are meant to be art!”
“Can I leave?”
“Hasn’t everything been made to disappear?”
“Why the hell am I here? What is this? Does it even matter? I have no idea
What is happening!
Extreme close-up of wide-open eyes; extreme close-up
Of the floating skeleton of the abyss.
The flooding was ugly.
We come from different places, contrasting images.
“You’re a dopey bastard,” my mom would affectionately say to me, interrupted
By voices and occasional laughter.
The space between wanted to be healed.
The artists are out to lunch
Juggling a kitten and a chainsaw,
Living together next to a cemetery.
It became a race to finish the research before the baby was born.
Just a quote I liked.
This is a wonderful exercise, but it would be better with music and dancing.
Bless poetic undertakings!
I would like to do something like this.
I’d like to believe that everything is art and we are all artists.
Is blank space art? Does blank space exist?
The nomad has a territory, a black handle on a white door.
That’s our way out.
A cornhusk broom leaning against a table; Hands saturated
With ink or dye; Tall bamboo reaching through the beams
Towards the rafters; timelapse of textures
In nature; the beautiful cracks
In the floor snaking
Under the tables, little concrete veins branching out.
This is exactly what you needed to see, feel, and understand, the greening
Bamboo of growth, the golden fleece of recognition.
Vibrating with potential
I learned a new dance today,
Free-flowing and whimsical.
I knew it was art.
I am an artist. I am the messy chalkboard showing other people’s creativity.
I am the windows that perfectly frame the river. I am
What’s hard about answers in a socially distanced world, questioning
The very act of the impossible growth
Of individuality in the sticky wax of being.
When you think you are alone, don’t buy into
The capitalist hamster wheel.
It will deceive you.
Use what you have; what you are. Dig deep. Discover what the inside of
This spectacular edifice contains, and the light coming through the windows
And silence that could withstand any natural disaster.
Make visible something you care about.
See the unseeable in ways you don’t always see.
Reshape your consciousness, that all-but-unbroken forest
That guards the path to the meadow.
Everyone has creativity!
Grandma Olga says “keep going; you can do it!”
I am happy I am with you today,
The moment when you just know something creative close by.
Absorbed by the idea. Keep going past this limit.
Let art take us to the next stage of evolution.