The love is... book has been selected for C/O Berlin Book Days 2012.
The project is the result of a participatory mail art project undertaken by EJ Major between 2004 and 2006 which involved taking a screen-shot of each second of the film Last Tango in Paris and from each one printing a single postcard.These 7000+ postcards were then hand-delivered around London and the West Midlands over the course of two years. On the back the artist printed her Freepost Address and “love is…” Recipients were asked to respond and return the postcard as part of an enquiry, into love. On a practical level the film has been used as an organisational framework around which to engage strangers. They remain anonymous unless they choose not to be, giving them license to respond candidly.
Each postcard has its own story, in terms of its place in the narrative of the film and its journey through the hands of the recipient and subsequently the Post Office. Those that are returned form part of a collaboration between strangers, responding to the prompt love is… and to the image on the front of each card.
The original returned postcards are dog-eared from their various journeys and the hands they have passed through. They have a fragile quality, seem precious despite the materials, perhaps because they reference a particular time and a particular person who will never be known to those that view them save for the response they made that day. These small individual objects have a memento-like quality, akin to things found in wallets.
“The most participative and hopeful work created by Major, Love Is... (2004-2006) results from collecting the writings of unknown citizens on the universal subject par excellence, love. Here once more, the semantic economy of film and photography is tested and consequently transcended. Free-floating images in the archive of our collective imaginary become the incentive to trigger a reflection on essential aspects of life, and at the same time to seamlessly interrogate the meaning of images and their cultural function.”
- from the Minigraph Essay Everything Is... by Catherine Somze, Writer & Art History Professor at Willem de Kooning Academie
“In 2004, Major took screenshots of every second of Bertoluccis Last Tango in Paris, printed postcards of each image and distributed all 7000+ of them, accompanied by a note asking recipients to return the card along with their thoughts on the concept of love. The volume and range of responses is remarkable.”
- from Taking a Pop at Pop Culture in The Herald Apr 4 2008 by Jack Mottram
“The answers, sent anonymously on postcards, reveal richly individual reflections on a universal emotion, both joyful and bitter, .... In Majors work, the film stills hint at an interior world, between fact and imagination, where love-lives of all kinds are played out. “
- from Love Is... in Magenta Magazine Vol2 No 3 by Simon Bainbridge, Editor British Journal of Photography
Available as a signed Ltd edition Book. Edition of 150 through my website.
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