Photo by David Sherman

What does connection, humanity, or love mean to you? How can we embody these ideas in our lives? These are the questions that Twin Cities-based, internationally acclaimed artist Anne Labovitz is driven to answer with 122 Conversations. In this installation, color and conversation seamlessly integrate, encouraging audiences to contemplate human connection. This artist-led project was organized with the Tweed Museum of Art, Duluth, and Duluth Sister Cities International.

122 Conversations is a culmination of the artist’s six-year, world-spanning pilgrimage to utilize cross-cultural exchange as a means for positive change. This undertaking resulted in 70 largescale sculptural scrolls derived from 60 interviews with people from six cities across the globe – including Thunder Bay, Canada; Duluth, Minnesota; Växjö, Sweden; Petrozavodsk, Russia; Rania, Iraqi Kurdistan; and Ohara Isumi-City, Japan. Labovitz manifests these conversations with graffiti-like text lines, each mark individually created as a response to the revelation that personal experiences create global connections. The individuality of this approach reflects the intimacy of the interview topics: generosity, friendship, reciprocity, community building, and emotional exchange. The addition of color is representative of Labovitz’ established practice as a painter and printmaker, an intuitive response to conversation embodied in formal elements of composition and contrasting tone. These elements culminate in a metaphor of our hopes, dreams, love, and connections in seemingly endless scrolls. It is the artists aim to unite her audience through a common experience, one that humanizes us through the process of seeing and listening. As you fly off to your destination, you are encouraged to consider: What connects you to humanity and how will you express this connection?

About the Artist

Anne Labovitz is a Minnesota artist, whose practice includes painting, drawing, and printmaking as well as experimental film and performative participatory works. She completed her MFA in 2017 from Transart Institute (New York & Berlin). Her work can be found in private collections throughout the US and internationally in Canada, UK, Germany, Switzerland, Italy, Sweden, Japan and Russia. Public collections include the Minnesota Museum of American Art, the Tweed Museum of Art, Duluth; the Athenaeum Music & Arts Library, La Jolla, CA; the Frederick R Weisman Art Museum, Minneapolis, MN; the University of Raparin, Iraqi Kurdistan; Galerija Portreta, Tuzla, Bosnia-Herzegovina and Växjö City Hall, Sweden. Labovitz’s current initiative is the I Love You Institute, an artist-led, site-specific project that combines art-making, social justice and radical kindness as an alternative to division and conflict. Labovitz is currently a member of the Board of Trustees for the Walker Art Center. An exhibition/ project catalog of 122 Conversations, published by the Tweed Museum, is available on Amazon.