©Miranda July ©Elizabeth Weinberg
What makes real money real? Just an agreement between everyone. Let’s agree that the love between friends is the most valuable thing we’ve got — it makes us brave, makes us laugh, sees us through all our transformations and mistakes. Love Bucks: In Us We Trust.
Marking the final week of the TOKYO ART BOOK FAIR: Ginza Edition is the activity Love Bucks; an investigation into the theme of “friendship” by the multi-faceted filmmaker, writer, and artist Miranda July.
July brings together her idiosyncratic perspective, sense of color, wordplay, and sensibility in weaving a distinctive aesthetic. In her works, we see those quirky and endearing figures dear to July and how she, in a way both loving and humorous, embraces them: enveloping even their solitude. Her work bestows the viewer with courage. But one wonders – how did this style come about? Whenever struck with a groundbreaking idea, July is said to first turn to her close friends for their thoughts. Their ability to resonate with her ideas, July says, gives her the support she needs to actualize them. Think about it; surely you have a confidante that does the same for you. Bring that friend along – this participatory project is about you.
The activity features a mode of expression that are very July-like – replete with lighthearted humor. She takes friendship, an intangible form of value, and renders it tangible by printing it into paper “Love Bucks” (buck meaning “dollar” in American English). In other words, July has minted a new “currency, ” hand-drawn at her kitchen table.
Within the exhibition venue, one finds a photo booth where two friends can go inside and take their picture. The booth then prints out several Love Bucks – designed by July – featuring the face of you and your dear friend in the center. Your friendship becomes printed “money,” and is sure to exhibit its value: to uplift you should you find yourself unsure or trying something new.
Miranda July is a Los Angeles based filmmaker, artist, and writer. Her works include the films Me and You and Everyone We Know and The Future, as well as the books No One Belongs Here More Than You and The First Bad Man. She is finishing a new film.