Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Put on a false front in this adorable shift dress. Wear it when you need when you need the illusion of respectability, or perhaps just an illusion. (Though maybe to your eyes this looks too much like a clown suit for anyone to take it seriously.) I love the tie clip and green belt buckle, those are the details that really get me going. But best of all, the back is blank. You don’t really have to believe your cover story. You can wear a suit without becoming one.

Doesn’t this lovely model look a bit like Miranda July?

I have not yet read Ms. July’s collection of short stories, No One Belongs Here More Than You. I am also chagrined to have missed her reading last Friday at the 42nd Street Branch of the New York Public Library. It was one of those star-studded events that even had David Byrne as emcee. Ah well, a mermaid can’t do everything.

I loved her film Me, You and Everyone We Know. Many striking images stayed with me: a goldfish in a plastic bag on the roof of a speeding car, a man deliberately setting his hand on fire on a suburban front lawn. But my favorite scene was the video of the pink ballet flats dancing out the ambiguous relationship a character has with a handsome shoe salesman. There is something very generous about Ms. July’s work. It breathes in a way that allows you to insert yourself in it. In fact, audience members have even played roles in her live performance work. Her website describes a piece where Ms. July intuits which audience members would be friends and introduces them. Though she takes on loneliness, grief, obsession and desperation, there is a kindness to her vision. In her narratives, characters are redeemed by the very faults that got them into so much trouble in the first place.

I was also very inspired by this website that she collaborated with Harrell Fletcher to create called Learning to Love You More. It’s a series of assignments that pretty much anyone can do, submit, and have posted on the site. Among my favorite assignments are: #43 Make an exhibition of the art in your parents house, #41 Act out someone else’s argument, and #58:Record the sound of what is keeping you awake. Though I have not submitted any to the site, I have done #45, #14, and would love to do #36. I should do all of the assignments and consider it graduate work with Ms. July and Mr. Fletcher. And you should too.


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