HARC Collective, which owes its conception to an innocent conversation on the streets of downtown Durham, is founded upon the notion of ephemerality. The fleeting nature of the pop up gallery, the constant change of location and content, encourages one to take inventory of every morsel of meaning interpreted and pocket it away for days when contemplation is nigh. Thus far, each day I have spent with James and Annie working towards this first event has been invigorating. I have tucked away every moment we have engaged with, every idea we have encountered, and every accomplishment we have delivered thus far, because they are the intangible beauties that shine alongside the art we hope to share. Beyond the physical space that is being created and the actual works that will be displayed, HARC is an experience in itself that hopes to involve not only the curators, but also the audience with whom it interacts.
Earlier tonight, as I sat through a slew of meetings, rushing from one end of campus to the other, all I could think of was how I would much rather be cementing the floors inside of the shed with ridiculously passionate friends. I yearned to breathe in the paint fumes from the recently coated walls, to take deep inhales of that toxic smell and add it to the list of unnecessary particles which had already entered my lungs: sawdust from the structural boards, dirt from the uncemented ground, dried mud from the corners of the building. Anyways, isn’t inventorying the pain just as much a part of the experience as loving the pleasure?
Through conversations with Annie, a fear has materialized inside of me—I worry that when HARC is a mere sliver of my past, a memory of a memory, I will recognize that I did not fully immerse myself in the experience as I should have. It is difficult to completely and holistically appreciate a moment if you are too focused on remembering it. It is also crucial to realize the likelihood that you will have the ability to do it all over again is next to nothing, zero. I aim to learn to walk this tightrope, to toe the line between obsession and neglect, and hopefully come out on the other side, saturated with a portfolio of feelings, accomplishments, failures, and definition, that will keep me going for years to come.
I encourage you all to do the same.