Categories
Contemporary Art

40 Days of Dating

The story of life according to House’s Dr. James Wilson is fairly simple: Boy meets girl. Boy gets stupid. Boy and girl live stupidly ever after.

Not quite.

While boys are known to get stupid on occasion, the story of life isn’t a simple or straightforward as most of us would like. (That and I did warn you: #DoNotFallInLove)

Love is a central theme in humanity across time and cultures. It’s one of the main topics in music, film, novels, poetry, and art. But what exactly is it, and why do we all approach it so differently? How does it affect us so deeply that sane people have gone mad over it?

Take Jessica Walsh and Timothy Goodman for example, two human beings who are every bit as real as you and I, enter 40 Days of Dating.

The dating life in New York City can grow tiresome and wearing. Tim is afraid of commitment, often dating many girls at once, and he’s losing sight of what a healthy relationship means. Jessica is a hopeless romantic, jumping into relationships too quickly, always looking to find “the one.”

So here is the premise:

What do you do when you’re tired of the prospect of dating? Two good friends with opposite relationship problems found themselves single at the same time. As an experiment, they dated for 40 days.

And here are The Rules:

Simple, right? Ah, one can hope.

It’s been said that it takes 40 days to change a bad habit. In an attempt to explore and hopefully overcome their fears and inadequacies, Tim and Jessica will go through the motions of a relationship for the next 40 days: the commitment, time, companionship, joys and frustrations. Can they help each other, or will they fall into their same habits? Will they damage their friendship? What if they fall in love?

While  Jessica and Timothy’s 40 Days of Dating experiment reminds me a bit of Marina Abramovic and Uwe Laysiepen throughout their tumultuous career as performance artists, I am interested to see this interactive take on a 21st century relationship and how it unfolds. The daily questionnaire and and the detailed documentation – while sometimes painfully vulnerable –  is an insightful, refreshing, and over-all amusing look into what it actually takes to attempt  a meaningful relationship with  another human being.

New posts are added daily from July 10, 2013 – August 18, 2013.

24 July 2013 || UPDATE: It’s day 16 now, and I thought for a second there that they wouldn’t make it through. #FaithInLoveRestored #YesToSecondChances Go Tim! Go Jess! So far, I’m totally appreciating Tim when he says Jess is crazy, and it it is really turning him on.

forty-days-of-dating-typographic-pieces

Categories
Documentary Film Photography Photojournalism

Finding Vivian Maier

A riddle, wrapped in a mystery, inside an enigma. I’ve been following Vivian Maier’s story since its inception.

Finding Vivian Maier is the incredible story of an amazing street photographer who moonlighted as a nanny.

This documentary was supposed to be out early in 2012, and it has been an arduous wait for all of us. I am, however, confident that it would have been worth it.

***

 An American of French and Austro-Hungarian extraction, Vivian bounced between Europe and the United States before coming back to New York City in 1951. Having picked up photography just two years earlier, she would comb the streets of the Big Apple refining her artistic craft. By 1956 Vivian left the East Coast for Chicago, where she’d spend most of the rest of her life working as a caregiver. In her leisure Vivian would shoot photos that she zealously hid from the eyes of others. Taking snapshots into the late 1990′s, Maier would leave behind a body of work comprising over 100,000 negatives. Additionally Vivian’s passion for documenting extended to a series of homemade documentary films and audio recordings. Interesting bits of Americana, the demolition of historic landmarks for new development, the unseen lives of ethnics and the destitute, as well as some of Chicago’s most cherished sites were all meticulously catalogued by Vivian Maier.

A free spirit but also a proud soul, Vivian became poor and was ultimately saved by three of the children she had nannied earlier in her life. Fondly remembering Maier as a second mother, they pooled together to pay for an apartment and took the best of care for her. Unbeknownst to them, one of Vivian’s storage lockers was auctioned off due to delinquent payments. In those storage lockers lay the massive hoard of negatives Maier secretly stashed throughout her lifetime.

Maier’s massive body of work would come to light when in 2007 her work was discovered at a local thrift auction house on Chicago’s Northwest Side. From there, it would eventually impact the world over and change the life of the man who championed her work and brought it to the public eye, John Maloof.

Currently, Vivian Maier’s body of work is being archived and cataloged for the enjoyment of others and for future generations. John Maloof is at the core of this project after reconstructing most of the archive, having been previously dispersed to the various buyers attending that auction. Now, with roughly 90% of her archive reconstructed, Vivian’s work is part of a renaissance in interest in the art of Street Photography.

Categories
Poetry Words

If love leaves, ask her to leave the door open behind her

To complete this series of poetry inspired posts is a poem by Sarah Kay. Sarah’s poems are quite refreshing.

Here is Sarah Kay and Phil Kaye‘s ‘When Love Arrives’. Do enjoy.

When Love Arrives

I knew exactly what love looked like- in seventh grade.
Even though I hadn’t met love yet, if love had wandered into my homeroom I would’ve recognized him at first glance. Love wore a hemp necklace.
I would’ve recognized her at first glance, love wore a tight french braid.
Love played acoustic guitar and knew all my favorite Beatles songs.
Love wasn’t afraid to ride the bus with me.
And I knew,
I just must be searching the wrong classrooms,
just must be checking the wrong hallways, she was there, I was sure of it.
If only I could find him.
But when love finally showed up,
she had a bowl cut.
He wore the same clothes every day for a week.
Love hated the bus.
Love didn’t know anything about The Beatles.
Instead,
every time I try to kiss love,
our teeth got in the way.
Love became the reason I lied to my parents.
I’m going to- Ben’s house.
Love had terrible rhythm on the dance floor, but made sure we never missed a slow song.
Love waited by the phone because she knew that if her father picked up it would be:
“Hello? Hello? *heavy breathing* I guess they hung up.”
And love grew,
stretched like a trampoline.
Love changed.
Love disappeared, slowly, like baby teeth, losing parts of me I thought I needed.
Love vanished like an amateur magician, and everyone could see the trapdoor but me.
Like a flat tire, there were other places I had planned on going,
but my plans didn’t matter.
Love stayed away for years, and when love finally reappeared, I barely recognized him.
Love smelled different now, had darker eyes,
a broader back, love came with freckles I didn’t recognize.
New birthmarks, a softer voice.
Now there were new sleeping patterns,
new favorite books.
Love had songs that reminded him of someone else,
songs love didn’t like to listen to.
So did I.
But we found a park bench that fit us perfectly,
we found jokes that make us laugh.
And now, love makes me fresh homemade chocolate chip cookies.
But love will probably finish most of them for a midnight snack.
Love looks great in lingerie but still likes to wear her retainer.
Love is a terrible driver, but a great navigator.
Love knows where she’s going, it just might take her two hours longer than she planned.
Love is messier now,
not as simple.
Love uses the words “boobs” in front of my parents.
Love chews too loud.
Love leaves the cap off the toothpaste.
Love uses smiley faces in her text messages.
And turns out,
love shits!
But love also cries. And love will tell you you are beautiful
and mean it,
over and over again.
You are beautiful.
When you first wake up,
“you are beautiful.”
When you’ve just been crying,
“you are beautiful.”
When you don’t want to hear it,
“you are beautiful.”
When you don’t believe it,
“you are beautiful.”
When nobody else will tell you,
“you are beautiful.”
Love still thinks – you are beautiful.
But love is not perfect and will sometimes forget,
when you need to hear it most,
you are beautiful,
do not forget this.
Love is not who you were expecting, love is not what you can predict.
Maybe love is in New York City, already asleep, and you are in California, Australia, wide awake. Maybe love is always in the wrong time zone,
maybe love is not ready for you. Maybe you are not ready for love.
Maybe love just isn’t the marrying type.
Maybe the next time you see love is twenty years after the divorce, love looks older now, but just as beautiful as you remembered.
Maybe love is only there for a month.
Maybe love is there for every firework, every birthday party, every hospital visit.
Maybe love stays-
maybe love can’t.
Maybe love shouldn’t.
Love arrives exactly when love is supposed to, and love leaves exactly when love must.
When love arrives, say,
“Welcome. Make yourself comfortable.”
If love leaves, ask her to leave the door open behind her.
Turn off the music, listen to the quiet,
whisper,
“Thank you. Thank you for stopping by.”

***


Sarah Kay
is an American poet. Known for her spoken word poetry, Kay is the founder and co-director of Project V.O.I.C.E., a group dedicated to using spoken word as an inspirational tool.