Steve Clorfeine's Blog

Correspondence: A note from the curator
March 30, 2015, 2:01 am
Filed under: Correspondence Show


A note from the curator

When I first conceived the project, I was sorting through 7 shoeboxes of letters and postcards that I’d saved since 1962.  Some of the correspondence had continued for 30-45 years and stood in stacks 4-6” high.  Starting in college, a year abroad in Paris, graduate school, another year abroad in Eastern Europe, summers teaching at Naropa University in Boulder, Co., on tour in Europe performing and teaching, studying and teaching in Nepal and India – letters and postcards kept me connected as I shifted place and persona.

What to do with all of this?  I set aside long-standing correspondences as well as family and intimate letters.  The remainder went into a shopping bag to be burned.  That never happened. A few years went by until the idea came that the material could be transformed.  I invited a few artist friends to choose from the collection and create an artwork. Through our mutual enthusiasm the idea grew and I invited more friends – visual and performing artists – near and far. The final group materialized during a residency at Vermont Studio Center this past Fall.  At the same time I began to burn the love letters and most of the intimate correspondence and created a series of ash drawings and collages.

In this project, the correspondence is re-ignited as found text and revealed as an installation site of friendship and discourse.  It moves into a three dimensional present through a process of fabrication and interpretation. 

There is another aspect of correspondence which plays in this exhibition:  what corresponds to what and how.  In the present moment there is ultimate correspondence – things are as they are. We can draw inspiration from the way things are as we perceive their relationships before we judge or interpret.   

Correspondence: relationship across time and space.  Thoughts and feelings across the page.  

When I write to you, I remember you now.  Even before I write your name, you are there – in mind.  We are in correspondence. We tell the news, we write our stories, and the invisible intimacy of our relationship leaves marks in the visible world.

Hands on: pen/typewriter/paper                        



Steve Clorfeine is a performer, writer and teacher with a life-long interest in stories and coincidence. 

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