On a day in March of 2016, I pretended to get stuck in an elevator. I wrote the story of my experience in text messages sent to a fictitious woman I'd recently "met" on Tinder, and published it in "real" time.
LETTERS TO IMAGINARY FRIENDS
HAND & DETAIL (644 Lorimer Street) October, 2015
A kid points to a spot and with total certainty says, “Look mom and dad! Look at my friend Steve.” The adults look and see no one, then turn to each other with raised eyebrows that say, “How adorable,” or, “Uh oh,” depending on their little guy’s age. Regardless of the nature of their reaction, what they’re doing is silently meeting on a common ground built upon the hard fact of Steve’s “unrealness.” Their child's reality — the one in which Steve stands there clear as day — is suddenly unpopular, outnumbered, netting a measly 1 point in this particular game of Family Feud. And so, the parents cross their fingers and hope junior grows out of what would certainly, over time, morph from being considered popularly cute to popularly worrisome to popularly insane.
LETTERS TO IMAGINARY FRIENDS was an epistolary performance project that explored how much real value can lie in beings that we all agree to be unreal. Last October at HAND & DETAIL Gallery (644 Lorimer Street, Brooklyn, NY), writer Gideon Jacobs penned letters to figments of his imagination, and invited the surrounding community to contribute to the project by drawing portraits of these unreal characters. The windows of the gallery served as the active collaborative arena, displaying that day’s letter and its corresponding illustrations, while the interior walls served as the project’s archive.
The goal of Letters to Imaginary Friends was to engage the neighborhood's residents and pedestrians with fictitious realities, decoupling worth from truth. The hope was to find some weight in what is, of course, weightless.
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