Love artist Kathe Izzo brought her on-going True Love Project to the Cinders Gallery for a week long residency entitled "Garden of Love."
For the performative installation, Kathe allowed guests of the gallery to make a "Love" appointment with her, an hour-long one on one meeting where she promised to freely love her audience unconditionally and with unmitigated passion.
In the gallery, Kathe set up camp by bringing a furry bed for herself and guests to lay on, beach chairs to lounge in, and a lot of her own personal belongings including books, plants, photos, and her very own "Crush Museum," two heart-shaped boxes filled with past letters, pictures, and other memorabilia from her own love life. A TV glowed continuosly with an on-going campfire inside while real candles burned outside, drawing in strangers interested in to see what was taking place. Regular gallery guests made appointments, strangers called to meet her (including a nude poet who wanted to meet her naked), old friends of Kathe's stopped by, everyone asked us a lot of questions about these "love dates", and she ended up with a full schedule of 5 or 6 appointments a day by the weekend's end.
The appointments lasted at least an hour and consisted of guests spending time in the "Garden" alone and with Kathe, talking, crying, loving, laughing, going for walks and going out to eat. What was noticeable about each one was the total commitment of both Kathe, the artist, and her audience, to be there together and to open up to one another in a specific time and space. At the opening, Kathe baked pies for the audience to eat and with the help of artist/collaborator Sal Randolph, set up a terrarium-making center where visitors could create small botanical worlds and take them home in glass jars. This show, with its interactive engagements as its base, helped to widen the type of work we normally show at Cinders and extend our community even further.
Thanx to Sal Randoplh for a lot of these photos!
See Pics from Opening