Let's Talk About Love, Baby!
Love can heal, cure all and yet has the capacity to destroy one’s hope, empathy or sense of connection to others. And while perhaps it is and remains one of the single-most powerful motivators behind almost everything we know -- million-dollar ideas (for the love of money), holy wars or terrorism (for the love of god), and sports fan-dom (for the love of the game) -- it is still primarily relegated to the seldom-discussed and rarely-celebrated realms of the tawdry, the cheap and most definitely the low.
Romance fiction continues to hold the number one spot in publication industry sales, representing 13.2 percent of all US book sales last year. If we consider the notion that ‘we are what we eat’ - and since we’re consuming such vast quantities of the stuff of love (to the tune of $1.36 billion in sales in the US last year alone) - then perhaps there is hope for us as a species after all.
Detroit artist Chido Johnson invited a select group of artists to fabricate a romance novel based on his admiration and respect for them, having grown up with the ubiquitous genre as his foremost literary staple while a child in Zimbabwe. In this project, each artist’s interpretation of “love” is concealed and superficially homogenized under the guise of romance novels installed on a bookshelf. Jon Brumit and Sarah Wagner (SAIC Fiber and Material Studies) act as the "love librarians" for the Chicago Chapter of Let's Talk About Love Baby! On October 30th there will be a closing celebration where the books will be taken from the case and put on display on the tables of the book collection.
,” SAIC Flaxman Library & Special Collection Exhibitions, accessed August 15, 2018, https://flaxman.omeka.net/items/show/84.