Setting Up

mickyatesCambodia, Critical Research Journal, Exhibition, FinalMajorProject, FMPWeek23, History, History, Photography, Project Development, Unfinished Stories Leave a Comment

Sarath arrived safely from Phnom Penh very early on December 2nd. It is lovely to be able to share this week with him directly. We found ourselves talking early in the morning, reflecting on the experiences we have shared in the past twenty years, and also talking about Cambodian history and politics. We had some last minute prep to do, with hanging fixtures on the back of all of the images, and then on December 4th set up the show.


Three of my photo friends had offered to help, one of whom (Bill) had a great deal of hanging experience.

David & Bill

We found BRLSI’s system pretty easy to use. The lighting was something more of a challenge, as not every spot had the same kind of bulb and colour. The images have all been beautifully produced by Loxley, but these slight lighting variations made a couple of the images look a bit out of place in the series. I adjusted the hanging plan accordingly. We all felt the the wall three grid was just right – and it was quite something to see the weeks of planning appear on the wall.

Wall Three and Display Cabinets One

Sarath had the very clever idea to make more use of the Krama (Cambodian scarves) as the backcloth for the history boards, and also underneath the books on small easels in the vertical display cabinets. A nice touch.

And Daz suggested a small cardboard triangle at the bottom of each photo in the grid. This ensured that the image looks parallel to the wall, otherwise the hanging system tended to push out the A2s at a  slight angle. This is not a problem with the A1s.

Display Cabinets two

The cabinets allowed us to show both the Genocide and the Hope, as planned, with visual interest without clutter via archive materials and the book.

Matt, from BRLSI is their exhibitions expert, and was really helpful in moving things around (we had to deal with a  Christmas Tree, something I had not anticipated). He also ensured that the hanging posters were done right.

Hanging Posters, Walls Two and Three

The detailed planning that Wendy ‘motivated me’ to do really paid off., even as we made minor adjustments on the fly.

The TV looked and performed flawlessly, with Sarath’s video on repeat. Even as we were installing , it was gratifying to see visitors sit down and watch the whole thing.

Wall Two, TV and Display Cabinets One

The boards looked good on the walls, with a clean, easy to read finish. However our first attempt at fixing them on the walls failed, as the Bostick glue spots were simply not strong enough. A heavier duty nano traps did work, although we’ll have to see how easy it is to take them down!

I will do proper installation photographs over the next few days for the FMP submission, but we all felt good about the layout. The curation led to a clear ‘visitor route’ – introduction, focus on the main images, and finish with the history.

More set up photos here.

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