I was supposed to write this essay on “The Art of the Art Show.” I pitched it with an idea in mind, but I forgot one important thing: it’s September. And September, in case you don’t spend time in the art world, is the official kick-off to the art season, and therefore a never-ending clown car of activity. My body hurts, my brain hurts, and I have only the dimmest memory of a structured existence to fall back on. At the best of times, art is a powerful mechanism by which I learn to cope with the world, but like all coping mechanisms, engaging with it too much leads to some kind of breakdown. September has been a lot about breakdown for me.
I guess I should say, while ‘breakdown’ has a generally negative connotation, I prefer to see it as useful information from my brain that I have had enough of something. Likewise, although the association with hoarding (in clinical terms) is almost unanimously negative, there are ways in which it can be quite optimistic and beautiful.