Artist Projects

Words to Live and Love By

Jeannette Louie

Words To Live and Love By is a visual and textual installation that explores highly stylized language of desire found in personal classified ads, in order to present how the individual quest for self-identification voluntarily uses a stereotypical social system. Ex-prince charming, White Christian, Bi-racial model, American pie are descriptions that sound cliched, propagandistic and even racist, yet they are acceptable when seen in the context of romantic advertisement. Instead of creating conflict, this rhetoric inspires the private and the social to work in collaboration. Desire, a personal emotion, is willingly disseminated through collectivized meanings and interpretations. The ads’ rhythmic request of women seeking women seeking men seeking men seeking women seeking men mimics a multitude of harmonies: Concrete poetry, Beat culture, Gertrude Stein’s sentences and the pulse of yearning heart.

Project Updates

  • 2003: Words to Live and Love By premieres as a solo exhibition at the Urban Institute for Contemporary Arts in Grand Rapids MI