Captivated by bizarre videotapes the curator Davy Rothbart found of his younger selves crying into the video camera about love lost, he asked his talented friends to make videos on the joys of love and heartbreak. Tow, A large projection beckons you to the back of the gallery, of a young woman's lips, licking a lollypop to a rap soundtrack. Over a dozen videos are on view in little red booths, and there is a recording booth to for your own heart's stories. There is something for everyone, as the videos favor the sappy, hip, cute, and funny; stories of ordinary love of convenience rendered in drawings by Levni Yilmaz to Brett Loudermilk's interview of a professional sword swallowing couple. The personal lives of fascinating celebs spice up the mix -- a personal portrait of Startrek's George Takei and his life partner by Jessica Sanders, and another video documenting pandrogynous performer/artist Genesis P-Orridge.
My favorite piece is by Marc Israel, who makes lighthearted videos about his life and problems. In Encounters with Sarah, Marc relays how a fan of his sent him videos of her life when he was stuck in a hospital bed for months in Hanoi after a bad car accident. This young fan, Sarah, is a lively cute hipster, maybe 20 years old. She sends videos documenting her daily life: playing scrabble at a café with a crotchety old man, the rambunctious war games of the kids next door, even a date she goes on which ends up with them headed to shower together. Sarah unabashedly relays her "warm feelings" for Marc and his art, though she never goes farther than this -- Marc, stuck in a bed on the other side of the world doesn't know what to make of it but grows very close to the intimacy of Sarah's videos.
A couple of the videos compile personal reflections, of people trying to explain their love experiences at different stages in their lives. In The Steps Billy Orfanon humorously talks about the advantages and drawbacks of breaking up in public vs. in private (public is quicker and not as messy). After all his sad stories about breaking up with his lovers on the steps of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, he stands on them and proclaims that in the near future the breakup steps might be the new love or make out steps. In Dress Rehearsal, people practice their heartfelt breakup talks, a candid video of people planning the end of their relationships, their speeches are not condescending, rather they are brimming with all the good things about the other person and how much they love them. They might be breaking up but they are planning on holding onto the good memories and love.
Images: Kel O'Neill and Eline Jongsma, The Transformation of Genesis P-Orridge; Jessica Sanders, George & Brad: In the Bedroom. Courtesy apexart.