Between 2004 and 2006 the artist EJ Major undertook a mail art project which involved taking a screenshot of each second of the film Last Tango in Paris (1972) and from each one printing a single postcard. These 7000+ postcards were then hand-delivered around the UK over the course of two years. On the back the artist printed her Freepost Address and ”love is…” Recipients were asked to respond and return the postcard as part of an enquiry, into love.
Last Tango in Paris was directed by Bernado Bertolucci and released in 1972, the year after Major was born. It was chosen as it is one of the films that Major says “plays regularly in my head. I wanted to see the film as a series of stills each of which would have its own journey, only some of which would make it back to me.”
On a practical level the film has been used as an organisational framework around which to engage strangers. They remain anonymous unless they choose note to be, giving them license to respond candidly. Each postcard has its own story, in terms of its place in the narrative of the film and its journey through the hands of the recipient and subsequently the Post Office. Those that are turned then form part of a collaboration, between strangers, responding to the prompt, love is…
We hope you enjoy reading the Aesthetica Blog, if you want to explore more of the best in contemporary arts and culture you should read us in print too. You can buy it today by calling +44(0)1904 479 168. Even better, subscribe to Aesthetica and save 20%. Go on, enjoy!
Courtesy the artist