Interactive Exhibit, 122 Conversations, Opens in Japan, Nov. 2

Enormous painted scrolls are the central element of 122 Conversations. Each scroll is part of a diptych inspired by a different international city and is 30 inches wide and up to 33-feet long.

More than ever we need to be reminded and shown ways we can and should come together.

122 Conversations/Person to Person: Art Beyond Borders, an international traveling exhibition by Minnesota native, Anne Labovitz, opens at Isumi City Hall, Ohara Isumi-City, Japan on Nov. 2 and runs through Nov. 30.

The exhibit is a five-year cultural-social engagement initiative focusing on the culture and people of Duluth, Minnesota’s Sister Cities (DSCI). The project was envisioned to serve as a catalyst for positive social change one person at a time, according to the artist. The goal of the project – and its multiple international venues – is to serve as a cross-cultural exchange to foster caring as a political act.

“The current political climate both domestically and internationally has become so divisive – even more so than when I first began planning this exhibit in 2013,” stated Labovitz. “More than ever we need to be reminded and shown ways we can and should come together. In 122 Conversations I physically merge the conversations, impressions and ideas of these diverse people and cultures into a united group of paintings and a single exhibit.”

The vibrant painted scrolls that make up the dominant element of the exhibition meld 60 artist-led interviews involving ten residents from each of Duluth’s six sister cities, including the mayor of each city. The large-scale paintings were created by Labovitz in her studio and are inspired by the spirited interview exchanges. The work chronicles the essence of human interaction—listening to each other and responding—through palimpsest (layers and layers of writing and mark making until the original content is obscured) paintings and video created from the shared experiences.

“Throughout Labovitz’s career, Anne has demonstrated a growing interest in social-practice art,” said Ken Bloom Director of Tweed Museum of Art, which helped organize the exhibit. “Now, she works to establish an artist-subject relationship that is based on direct engagement in a…

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