Is love something we still find necessary to articulate through the written word and how, in the 21st century do we communicate the complexity of this human emotion? Do thoughtful arrangements of language convey more eloquently the profound nature of love? Love letters, themselves, provide a trace of one’s intensions as tangible surfaces to handle and understand. As time passes this object d’art of affection can quickly transform into a treasured memory revisited with fondness or resentment as relationships unfold, change or end. As such these quotations from love stories past and present remind us of our humanity and the intrinsic need for passion, companionship and friendship. However, as handwritten letters become increasingly rare in today’s virtual society with communication reduced to casual words through emails, text messages and social networking platforms, what are the new forms of communicating love?
To once again celebrate this subject Manila Contemporary presents Love Letters, an exhibition that shares the visual languages of love as negotiated by contemporary art. A selection of artists have been invited to share their most intimate experiences and thought processes involved when expressing love for another person. Lifting moments from their personal and imagined autobiographies what emerges are alternative visual strategies that can be direct and intense of abstract and ambiguous. Statements that anticipate the poetic and romantic or sexually base and conflicted will potentially emerge. By playing with text or creating its own alternative visual structuring the exhibition brings together the commonalities of human love across diverse voices and media.
Sentiments of nostalgia and romance as well as longing, frustration and obsession are revealed in the first of a new trilogy of shows that looks at how artists visually communicate the language of three fundamental human emotions: love, hate and faith.