Monday, October 16, 2006

learning to love you more

For many, the concept of fine art is illusive and confusing. As an art instructor, I have been asked on numerous occasions about the validity of something such as a plain canvas painted a solid blue. There are those who understand this and are able to contextualize their work or the work of others, there are those who are unable to wrap their minds around this, or any other form of art for that matter, and most often there are those stuck somewhere in the middle. Fine art has always towed the line between high-brow elitism and something a bit more palpable for the masses. However, from time to time, opportunities emerge for your 'average joe' to stick their proverbial brush into the art-mix. "Learning to Love You More" is my most recent favorite art obsession.
Learning to Love You More exists as both a web site and series of pieces comprised of work made by the general public in response to assignments given by artists Miranda July and Harrell Fletcher. When one visits the site, one finds a list of over 60 assignments which require participants to either photograph, write, draw, videotape or otherwise document their submissions. The instructions are very specific on the format of the submission but the entries are as varied as the participants themselves. The U.S., Spain, Japan, & Germany are just a few of the locations that LTLYM participants submit from, highlighting the universal nature of the assignments. "Describe your ideal government", "record the sound that is keeping you awake", "draw a scene from a movie that made you cry", & "make the saddest song" are examples of the possible assignments. In addition to entries published on the website, Learning To Love You More exhibitions have popped up all over the world and at venues that include The Whitney Museum in NYC, Rhodes College in Memphis, TN, Aurora Picture Show in Houston, TX, The Seattle Art Museum in Seattle, WA, the Wattis Institute in San Francisco CA, among others. Over 2000 people have participated since LTLYM's inception in 2002.
Visit their site and pick your assignment today! (The above photo is from Assignment #23 "recreate this photograph")