Learning To Love You More / LTLYM is best described as a chameleonic cat with nine lives. Here, all tastes are catered for: it is a website and an art project, a series of exhibitions and do-it-yourself assignments. It is image, text, and sound; it is film, photography, and performance. And most important of all, it is accessible to anyone who wants to contribute to it.
Five years ago, in 2002, Miranda July and Harrell Fletcher initiated www.learningtoloveyoumore.com. On this website, the two American artists formulate creative commonplace assignments that can be carried out and sent in by everyone. Examples of assignments are: #1 make a child’s outfit in an adult size, #16 make a paper replica of your bed, #27 take a picture of the sun, #32 draw a scene from a movie that made you cry, #48 make the saddest song, or #58 record the sound that is keeping you awake at night. These reports, by now more than five thousand, are sent in and posted on the website. This makes www.learningtoloveyoumore.com not only an extensive archive, but also a database containing an immense range of various quality levels of artistic views and solutions. Vulnerable and extremely private, but also moving and unexpectedly associative in nature, virtually every one of them touches on a desire to visualize shared interests.
For Miranda July LTLYM functions as an inspirational source. Once a performance artist, she wrote, directed, and starred in the film Me and You and Everyone We Know (2004), with which she scored a movie theatre world hit. Just like her recently published book of short stories No One Belongs Here More Than You (2007), which also appeared in a Dutch translation at De Bezige Bij, the movie testifies to the uniqueness of her style of imagery. A style that, as she herself claims, is fed by and has developed in a special way thanks to Learning To Love You More.
The same holds for Harrell Fletcher. In his work, which is always socially committed, he too prefers to focus on ordinary people in ordinary surroundings. His most well-known project, however, is The American War, a recent installation that in times of wars in the Middle East expresses a very personal view on the role of America in the Vietnam War.
After earlier LTLYM presentations during the New York Whitney Biennial, in the Seattle Art Museum, and the Wattis Institute in San Francisco, the first exhibition of Learning to Love You More in Europe will be on view this summer in MU in Eindhoven.
The organization of this project is given as an assignment to nine young curators from the California College of the Arts (CCA) in San Francisco. In collaboration with the two artists, a large number of the nearly two thousand reporters, and MU, they will stage the most extensive presentation of the results so far. The exhibition runs parallel to the publication of the first LTLYM book by the international publishing house Prestel. This book and Moranda July’s new book of short stories will be available at MU.