Art Here and Now
Daring creativity happening now around the world
Learning to Love You More – Miranda July, Harrell Fletcher and The Oliver Family

Over the last five years, artists Miranda July (most widely known for making the film Me and You and Everyone We Know) and Harrell Fletcher have provided 63 art recipes or assignments as part of the project Learning to Love You More. Over 5,000 people have completed assignments and submitted them to the web site. Their work has then been included in exhibitions and presentations, and will be included in the upcoming book about the project.

One Seattle family, The Olivers, completed all 63 assignments.
For “#37 Write down a recent argument,” The Olivers chose an argument between Carol and younger son Pete over when it’s time to go to bed. I never go to bed on time myself, and hearing Mom say why he needs to go to bed and Pete’s careful reasons why he doesn’t need to is the debate I have in my own head every night. Something like “You always get started on something and get excited and don’t go to bed until it’s done,” to Pete’s “I’ll go to bed when I’m tired, like a normal person.” Story of my life. It was funny to see it all spelled out so clearly for me.

“#31, Spend time with a dying person,” “#59, Interview someone who has experienced war,” or “#30, Take a picture of strangers holding hands” are all moving.

I learned about oldest son Nigel in “#35, Ask your family to describe what you do.” He works the sidewalks of Seattle gathering signatures for Greenpeace so he can party and meet girls. I learned how Carol heals herself and the family, and her favorite book from the 5th grade (she had to reread it for #45). I learned what Mike wants done with his body when he dies (#51).

All together, these 63 very specific assignments turn into an audio-visual autobiography. The Olivers are funny, thoughtful, smart, silly and very creative. Seeing their artwork makes you wish you knew them, and makes you wonder what you might be missing – what great people might be living in a house just around the corner.

Related sites -

Get the work of Miranda July, including Me and You and Everyone We Know and the upcoming book showcasing the work created from Learning to Love You More.

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posted by Trout Monfalco

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