Merriam-Webster tells us that a ‘concession’ is something that is granted (conceded), an admission, that it notes in definition 2.b. “…is done or agreed to usually grudgingly in order to reach an agreement or improve a situation.“ It notes in 2.c(1) that a concession is also “a grant of land or property especially by a government in return for services or for a particular use…” In light of the proposed demolition of the Herring Cove Bathhouse, Concession Stand is an installation designed to acknowledge how these two definitions are operating simultaneously within the 10DaysOfART exhibit.
Conceding that the forces of nature are too much to withstand, the National Seashore has planned the destruction of buildings that are beloved to many, even in their derelict state. Conceding this fact, we take a stand and celebrate this inevitable loss with a torn tape painting will wrap the exterior of the Concession Stand to commemorate the happy memories that its use brought so many in the Summer. The torn tape imagery will act as a resist against the application of another color, as we resist the loss of memories contained in the buildings slated for demolition. The process mimics the process of wax design in batik, as the image is created with drawn wax (torn tape in this case), which is removed after color is applied. Loss is inherent in the process of the art-making, reflecting how the loss of beach to erosion is inherent in the cycles of nature.
Notes On Progress:
The taping of the design took three days. The first two days were calm + sunny = beautiful autumnal weather. On the third (and fourth) day(s), an approaching weather front created strong southeasterly winds off the water. Spray painting in the strong, relentless wind caused me to hold the nozzle as close to the surface of windward facing walls as possible, otherwise I was losing the paint to the air. What was conceived as a slow gradation of colors (as in Ukioye prints) became tight lines of contrasting shades.
A Moment of Magic:
On the fourth and final day of the installation, the local elementary students were hanging out on the beach (a bit bored) after hanging mobiles they had created for an installation outside the bathhouse. Seeing their boredom, I invited them to tear off the tape – figuring it’d be an act of destruction they might enjoy. After getting approval from their teachers, they went at it with spirit & enthusiasm = tearing off all the tape in 15 minutes that had taken me 3 days to apply.
They enjoyed every moment of it! The teachers were thrilled to give them a task they enjoyed so thoroughly, and I was grateful for a ton of work done by a simple invitation. A moment of magic and a win/win situation for all!