Installation of work from Michael Jackson Memorial Procession to be included in the upcoming group show “Love to Love You” at MASS MoCA.
“Fandom is less like being in love than like being in love with love.” - Michael Joseph Gross
Is it possible to tell the history of popular culture, not through celebrities, sports teams, or television shows, but through their fans? The exhibition Love to Love You brings together artists who explore fandom as a unique opportunity for shared social experience and extreme personal obsession. For many, being a fan means entering a fantasy world of devotion. Fandom transcends material consumption and becomes a fictional space in which people play out their hopes and dreams. In this sense, looking at fans tells us more about the emotional and cultural attachments we form to objects than about popular culture itself.
Using a variety of artistic approaches, the artists in this exhibition explore the lived experience of fandom as both a personal and social force. These artists present fans, not as passive spectators, but active participants in culture. Whether making memorabilia, writing fan fiction, or singing karaoke, fans become creators as much as consumers of culture. By looking at the social culture of fandom, this exhibition poses questions about authorship, collectivity, and our place in the hierarchy of cultural production. Ultimately, these works ask us to consider whether fandom can be a radical site for participation in culture.
Participating artists include Eric Doeringer, Elissa Goldstone, Jason Lazarus, and Patrick McDonough, among others.
The exhibition is curated by Martha Joseph, a student in the Williams College Graduate Program in the History of Art. The exhibition is made possible by the Sterling and Francine Clark Art Institute in support of MASS MoCA and the Williams College Graduate Program in the History of Art.