Thursday, 14 January 2010


Look at these things. One is a gift I gave and several are gifts I got. I gave this Miranda July/Harrell Fletcher book "Learning To Love You More" to someone I love. If you were not aware, This book is a printed archive of unique assignments that the authors had posted on their website to anyone in the world to respond to: "Tell your life story in a day" or "Take a picture of the sun" or "Write a script of the conversation you wished you could have" - the cover here is "Take a picture of your parents kissing".
While the requests are somewhat twee, the international responses are incredibly shocking, gorgeous, complex and uplifting. Artist Harrell Fletcher must be the mastermind behind this brilliant project - is constantly bursting with generous suggestions for shining ideas.

These people with their backs to you are: The Janfamily.
This book has alluded me for years and now finally rests in my hands. The sophisticated and more beautiful cousin to the July/Fletcher book, it is aptly named "Plans for Other Days" A funny, unique photography catalog book full of soft suggestions: "How not to do what you did yesterday" and "How to blend it". It poses as a strange "how-to" manifesto that catalogues simple but innovative ways to react to our environment. The cover here encourages an alternative to a handshake: Make new friends who are just meeting each other: Button and zip their jackets together in order to introduce themselves. Why not?

These 2 photos right here ask: "Trace the outlines of your previous apt or home into your new one. That way the past and present will unite and strengthen one's character."
The JanFamily has scraped the previous paint job of chairs into the wall and floor (perhaps their past had more people in it?) and in the next photo they have used a drawing material to indicate various furniture and objects, now since gone.
I shall do mine with chalk...

Truly the genius of this book lays in the ambiguity. The format is very abstract and contains a very personal mood, despite being conceived by several individuals. While optimistic and insightful in conceptual message, the mood of melancholic, airy uncertainty is evident with each page. JanFamily is a London-based arts collective that made this vivid book and fell off the face of the earth. I find that as tragic and appealing as the text itself

A blank square. Of beautiful, perfect, pristine, stretched canvas. A brilliant gift. While the object itself should fully satisfy - This decisive show of confidence and encouragement nourishes me with a more gorgeous fortitude...

How wonderful! Exotic: Marzipan in the shape of fruit! For the first time in quite some time, Marzipan touches me

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