Olivia  Barr
Part I
2013
An installation in two parts that translates amorous words into form.

Part I: Using the technique of laser etching, I inscribed onto silk 25 love letters that were written by grandfather to my grandmother from 1931 to 1956. The correspondence ranges, from exploration of their infatuation, to the news from war times, to in-law issues, yet each letter is embedded with words like “sweetheart” and “the moon” and “yes” and “love.” He wrote on the front and back of thin paper, so thin it’s transparent. Words written on the back collapse to the front making them almost illegible, although one can get a sense of their intent given the few ardent phrases that prevail. To enhance this effect, I photographed the letters backlit and silhouetted them in Photoshop in preparation for the etching. The laser etching process burns through the silk and is visible on both sides. Each silk is the size of a handkerchief and will be suspended from the ceiling so one can walk around them. During Bushwick Open Studios, I also will be dropping them on the sidewalk and in hub locations as street art. “Oh, someone dropped their.... what is this?..."


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