Part art installation, part performance residency and part travelling archive, Voices at Hand is an ongoing project examining the essence of why we keep letters.
Unpredictable and spontaneous, personal yet wonderfully public; artist Wendy Trusler's blog posts chronicle her day to day finds from one city to the next.
Friday, August 5, 2011
State of the Art(s) - Picton, Day 5
I know it isn’t exactly scientific of me to add categories as I go along, but a recent submission of email correspondence between two smart, funny people defending the arts and the art of letter writing demanded their own spot on the stage. I love how State of the Art(s) fills a void in the collection and opens up the potential for a letter- remix. I’ve started that process with the selection of letters posted in the window tonight.
A favorite written in 1983 from Wayfinding ( see Day 7 from the Toronto residency) ends:
"Please enclose a quote. Remember the art of letter writing is a dying art and we must do our part to keep the tradition alive. Who knows maybe our grandchildren won’t know what the word letter means. The horror, the horror!"
This love of the written word is carried through the emails:
You're letter was absolutely beautiful. I'm sorry to hear the news has been so hard to bear. But the letter itself was wonderful. It put all the desultory details of the everyday away in the background, and was like a blast of what really matters. I'm sure I want to write the best letter I can back.
I'm writing now to thank you for reminding me we're all alive, and to say I'll write properly soon. ...For now, I just wanted to thank you. Your letter is still ringing in my head.
Thank you for your splendid letter. It deserved an
immediate and lavish response. I've been looking for
the time when I could sit down and write a real
letter, a warm, personal, funny, talkative letter. I
find E-mail kind of odd. You've mastered it
brilliantly, just making it another personal tool to
communicate so intimately with. I still need to
pretend I am using a pen and shielding my pages
with the other hand. Anyway, I'm just going to
blab away and fire this off to you.
It's wonderful to get a letter like yours, from
someone who writes so fluidly and so funnily.
And he does! In another email A sums up his take on a career in the Arts. Drop by Books & Company to hear more...
"My old friend said, with a wave of his cigar, "You're in showbiz, A. You could maybe give her a few pointers." Then he turned to her and said, "This guy's been around for a few years. He'll put you right. Listen to him." And they all marched off to see to the barbecue and left us alone in the piano room to talk. My "career" was at a particularly low ebb at that point, so the absurdity of me giving anyone any advice seemed too obvious. That might, in fact, have been the time I coined the expression, "Failure hasn't changed me a bit." In the end I said, "Do it. Because even if it all goes horribly wrong and you never make a bean and never get anywhere, then at least your
friends will end up being exactly the people you'd want to be your friend."