LOVE LETTERS…

Artistic Research Project
by Joonas Lahtinen

The artistic research project LOVE LETTERS… explores intimacy, love letters as a form of communication, (imagined) boundaries between the “private” and “public”, the idea and forms of “fandom”, the discourses on “liveness” and art historiography, and the materiality and performativity of the ticker as an artistic medium. LOVE LETTERS… also continues the reflection of power relations in the arts field initiated by Lahtinen’s previous performance/installation I BLAME YOU, TONY BLAIR! (2014–2016). What kinds of assumptions and power relations inform the various practices of fandom, especially in contemporary art? As an artist, what possibilities and challenges reside in one’s “being a fan” of other – well-known – artists? What could it mean to be a fan of a certain object, material or medium, such as the ticker?

The first two short videos of the project – LOVE LETTER TO JENNY HOLZER (January 2021) and WHEN? WHEN? WHEN? (March 2021) – featured in the Facebook Lockdown Calendar of WUK performing arts Vienna, that was initiated for facilit#äting artistic work and communication during a major Corona lockdown in Austria in Spring 2021. LOVE LETTERS… also features in the artistic research project Tactics for a Collective Body at the Royal Academy of Fine Arts Antwerp and the Royal Conservatoire Antwerp; together with Renata Lamenza and Stefania Assandri, Lahtinen experiments with tickers and love letter writing as an affective research tool. Lahtinen plans a series of performative LOVE LETTERS… interventions in public space at various locations in Vienna in 2023.

Installation/Lecture Performance “Soup Session” with Renata Lamenza and Stefania Assandri at De Wintertuin, Royal Academy of Fine Arts Antwerp, 16 May 2022:
Pre-Session video contribution: WHAT CONSTITUTES THE “LIVE”? IS INTIMACY MEDIUM-SPECIFIC? (Response Love Letter to Renata and Stefania / Researcher >1, April 2022)

Short videos premiered at WUK performing arts Vienna / Facebook Lockdown Calendar: 
LOVE LETTER TO JENNY HOLZER, January 2021 
WHEN? WHEN? WHEN?, March 2021

Coming up: a series of performative LOVE LETTERS… interventions in public space at various locations in Vienna planned for Spring-Summer 2023

“Soup Session” with Renata Lamenza, Stefania Assandri and the spectator-participants at De Wintertuin, Royal Academy of Fine Arts Antwerp, 16 May 2022

Snapshot from the video WHAT CONSTITUTES THE “LIVE”? IS INTIMACY MEDIUM-SPECIFIC? (Response Love Letter to Renata and Stefania / Researcher >1, April 2022)