Tuesday, August 09, 2005

Love For Sale

While surfing the art blogoshere this afternoon, I found a superb project at In The Conversation called LOST.

While an old project, I believe that it is still ongoing or, at the very least, relevant to my practice. LOST is a performance project by Kathe Izzo, a followup of sorts to her True Love Project, wherein she meets individually with participants and engages them in a variety of agreed upon situations. In LOST, as I understand it, she agrees to meet with individuals via the cell phone. They must find each other. Once found, they try to get to know one another in various, non-scripted ways. This is where the performance takes on a life of it's own.

Izzo considers love to be her art.
The following is a the email documentation of a LOST contract transaction with the Love Artist Kathe Izzo. LOST is an adjunct to The True Love Project, and, like TLP, is an ongoing series of private love performances (beginning in April 2002), in which the artist promises to love the world one person at a time, for one day, hour, afternoon or morning at a time.
What follows is an email exchange between her and one of her participants. I love reading other people's emails and this was a good read. Carolyn, Izzo's correspondant, readily provides personal information. I like that in a correspondant.

Upon more research, I discovered that Izzo charges for these meetings. This saddened me. Also, I wondered if my performances would be better received if my participants were paying through the nose. Would they feel that it was less tawdry? More genuine? I don't know.

I am going to have to think about this one...

11 Comments:

Anonymous Kevin said...

anne,

since you've been doing similar projects since 99/00 i've decided this woman has been ripping you off...plus, she's been getting paid for it!!? who knew!?

though i am not against her sleeping with some of the participants (it makes sense in relation to the project) but when does it become prostitution? why does she have to wrap it in the context of art and love for money? it is funny what we can get away with when we call it art.

i am, however, surprised she's been getting an all expenses paid day plus a $500 donation!! i think she's doing much better than some call girls. the girl certainly applies herself.

7:27 PM  
Anonymous bre said...

I loved the idea of this project until i got to the pay part of it.

8:49 PM  
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9:42 PM  
Anonymous kathe izzo said...

hey there,

I rarely, rarely ever get paid, the money is a statement both about prostitution and the art market and how we bargain and pay for love, all of us, and if you deny this you are lying . . also how love "work" including motherhood is grossly underpaid, underrespected and underappreciated. The donation, if it were to be contributed and believe me people make all sorts of joyful, joyful contributions all the time, all unsolicited and with utter and absolute spontaneous love and gratitude . . I profess to love everyone first without any exchange, and it is a gift . . all responses are way after the fact and mostly sheer trust and energetic exchange . . money is a form of energy anyway, it is not charging, as it were, if it were to show up because that is what someone has to give, the donation would be accepted with gratitude as well, just as a traveling mendicant extends his/her bowl.

thanks for the shout out, good luck, k

8:46 AM  
Blogger Anne Walk said...

i have no problem with prostitution as art. we're all whores.

i feel the same way as you, bre. takes the beauty of "love" away. i don't think that was her intention.

9:25 AM  
Anonymous kathe izzo said...

oh and I forgot to add, anne, the price for a full day of love was raised to $10,000 a few months ago -- all the better to give it away, all the better to spread it around and share judiciously if per chance it does comes in . . xx with love, k

11:46 AM  
Blogger Anne Walk said...

hi kathe,

i love it when artists respond. thankyou for dropping by.

before i knew about the payments, i thought, "hey. now here is an artist who is bucking the system by giving of herself freely and without reserve". i loved the spirit of communication and connectedness. it seemed like such a powerful gesture. one that i greatly admire.

i don't think that we need another reminder of how money factors into our relationships. capitalism is so dominant that it seems, to me, to be just more of the same. i thought that this performance commented better about those issues when i thought it went against the grain instead of with it. prostitution is the norm. i'm interested in the respectable slut. can you give something away and have it retain value in our commodified culture? that has been the rub for me.

i like that the participant makes many of the decisions concerning what will happen during the performance. it raises questions over the relationship between artist and viewer. i am interested in encouraging the participant to create/modify/upend the work.

i'm confused about your comment which stated that you rarely get paid and then said that you receive joyful contributions all the time. do you accept other gifts besides cash? do you ever turn down a donation because it is not enough? if a homeless person wants a day with you, will they be permitted to participate? not a judgement. i'm honestly curious about the bartering process. a busker has his/her hat out but performs for all.

also, you call it a donation but in your second comment say that the price has been raised.

ten grand? i suppose that i will have to satisfy my curiosity at a distance. your love is too steep for me. :)

3:29 PM  
Anonymous kathe izzo said...

oh anne, I think we have an email communication gap that I don't have enough time to transcend but you must have a sense of humour about all of this esp. the money . . I give it all away and I do accept gifts and esp. spoiling, which I love of course . . which people are moved to do often, I have loved the homeless (and the obscenely bourgie, the humourless, and the clueless, and the weak, the strong, the dust, the beautiful and the horribly insecure) more than a few times . . . a suggested donation is exactly what it says it is, just like at the Met . .love you, you should do a true love day, really, k

6:44 PM  
Blogger Anne Walk said...

kathe,

...just like at the Met. nice.

i'd love to do a true love day but, alas, i am too horribly poor to do so.

so kind of you to clarify your project(s) for me. thankyou kathe.

7:43 PM  
Anonymous kathe Izzo said...

but anne, didn't we have our true love moment right here, right now, although I am sorry if I was not at my total unmitigaged passion best in such an abbreviated form, it was love all the same, presence and honesty and devotion, and it did not cost you anything but your care, time and attention, and you can be assured I do not underestimate the value of any of those commodities . . xk

8:14 PM  

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