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Learning to Love You More Paperback – September 20, 2007
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From Publishers Weekly
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Miranda July is a multitalented artist with a larky sense of humor, an entrepreneurial streak, a keen sense
of story, and a flair for collaboration. Her work has appeared in two Whitney Biennials; her indie film, Me
and You and Everyone We Know, garnered prizes at Sundance and Cannes; and her short-story collection,
No One Belongs Here More Than You (2007), won the Frank O Connor Award. In 2002, July and artist
Harrell Fletcher launched an interactive Web site that attracted thousands of participants all around the
world. The premise is disarmingly simple and exponentially fertile. July and Fletcher post assignments on
their site Take a flash photo under your bed ; Reread your favorite book from fifth grade ; Draw the
news. Participants complete the task and send in a report. Fletcher and July then selected the most
playful, heartfelt, funny, cutting, and brilliant photographs, drawings, writings, and constructions to create
this ebullient and trenchant volume, testimony to our inherent creativity, the fire in our minds that fuels our
love of, and need for, expression and connection.
Donna Seaman --Booklist--November 2007
Somewhere along a Los Angeles freeway, a couple have a tense conversation about hamburgers. In Southwick, Mass., three women allow their hair to be braided together, and a Houston resident writes the eventful story of her life in a day. In a bedroom in Sydney, Australia, the dress a young woman wore the day she lost her virginity is laid out on the floor, along with the shoes that, she notes, stayed on for the duration. A sign goes up in a patch of parkland near Penn State detailing the markings and habits that distinguish the common raven from the American crow.
The pages of Harrell Fletcher and Miranda July's Learning to Love You More are filled with such earnest explanations, recorded interactions, humble creative feats, and scraps from memory or fantasy or some complicated combination all of them compiled from the thousands of audio, visual, and textual contributions to Fletcher and July's Web site of the same name.
Begun in 2002, the project was launched with the goal of offering concrete creative inspiration to any and all comers in the form of detailed assignments: to make an encouraging banner or an educational public plaque, to start a lecture series or compose the saddest song, to write down a recent argument or make a neighborhood field recording, to spend time with a dying person or heal oneself.
The past is a minefield and thus ripe for artistic endeavor, and here the weight of memory brings a charge to mundane objects like those clothes laid flat on the floor. So does the weight of regret, as in "Assignment 53: Give advice to yourself in the past," which provokes Wendy in North Carolina to tell her 15- and 16-year-old iterations, "Please eat.You are not 'fat.'"
This and other conversations produce some of the most poignant and painful and pleasurable moments such as Assignment 52's "phone call you wish you could have," which produces two siblings catching up across the mortal coil barrier and a mutual coming-out and profession of love between friends, punctuated by phrases that progress from "Hey, wuddup fool?" to "Fine! I'm gay!" to "I love you too much to hate you." The insubstantial nature of the person on the other end of the line is affecting, whether they're beyond the grave or simply unlikely to answer.
As was Fletcher and July's hope, their project offers the humbling, heart-expanding experience of recognizing that the globe is dotted with original and inventive humans, busy thinking and suffering and wondering about love and making work that turns the world into a more recognizable and yet more startling place when it's seen. * --San Francisco Bay Guardian Online--Wednesday, October 31, 2007 --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
Top Customer Reviews
What the book contains is mostly present at the website, and new proposals, and possible critical approaches may happen there. Unless, one has an intrinsic interest to have the project documented in book form it feels far more relevant to leave it aside and resort to the website, or to other projects that are daring to go beyond the stopping point of Learning to Love you More. It still remains an important initiative and it is useful to have it recorded in one volume although I feel it could be expanded more richly.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
This book is really cool, it has a lot of interesting tasks and let's you take a peek into lives of ordinary people. The stories in here are pretty interesting.Published on November 11, 2013 by Paris
This is one of my favorites in my art book collection. The project was super inspiring. I just wish there was more room for more examples of what people made!Published on July 29, 2013 by Mary Katherine Bush
All Miranda July's projects are inspiring, creative and sensitive, but this one is really something you should check on it. She's my favorite artist.Published on April 26, 2013 by nataly dauer
Such a special book. It is full of fun and love and life and I love it a lot. Recommended to me by an amazing person, and I value it and read it only in times of great love and... Read morePublished on October 31, 2011 by 4803MY
This book is hard to categorize, which is exactly what I like about it. I was drawn to it as a source for unusual writing exercises, and it has those, as well as ideas for other... Read morePublished on March 23, 2011 by Kathryn K
I was inspired to include a review for this book because I noticed some people were questioning why the book does not include any of Miranda's original artwork. Read morePublished on February 10, 2011 by Angie
There were some interesting submissions included in the book, but this book doesn't really contain any content. Much more of a "picture" book.Published on July 8, 2010 by H. Cuperus
The thing is, this book is merely a collection of some responses to the assignments online. It is nice to have a physical item connected to the work, but its kindof an interesting... Read morePublished on February 11, 2010 by S. LaRue