My father worked for the Railway Express Agency, the UPS of its day. This meant that every time he was promoted, we moved, and every time we moved, there were boxes packed with our household goods stacked around the house waiting to be loaded onto a truck. Since we moved pretty regularly, I became accustomed to these boxes. They even became furniture for the ritual, never tearful, farewell-to-the-dwelling gathering that took place the night before the van came.
As a consequence, a collection of packing boxes doesn’t strike me as out of the ordinary, so when I was in the exhibition preparation room the other day, someone had to point out to me the volume of cardboard boxes, stacked three high, each labeled with the name of a country. Now I know why I have hardly laid eyes on the installation crew for nearly a month. They’ve been packing for a move. All of those boxes are waiting to be loaded onto a tractor trailer that will take them to Centro Cultural, Tijuana (CECUT), where Mingei International will present THE BEAUTY OF USE (EL USO DE LA BELLEZA). Consisting of more than 500 objects, it is the largest exhibition the Museum has ever presented. Before it was packed, the registration department “conditioned” (inspected) every one of those objects and noted what they found. It opens on March 30, but before that happens, all those boxes will have to be unpacked and all those objects will have to be conditioned again. Ah, the glamor of it all!