I became acquainted with Summer Leavitt’s “We Have a Future, Perhaps” through my nose first. Stepping into the Frame Gallery, I was initially hit with a wave of warm perfumed air accompanied by the amicable chatter of friends. The show just got better from there, really.
Walking around the intimate space with an impeccably crafted Coca-Cola-flavored lollipop in my mouth (part of Summer’s Having a Coke With You piece), I had the opportunity to experience [two olfactory works and documentation of two performances that Summer has done.] The olfactory works consisted of large pieces of linen stretched in a square shape. One was dyed with wine, and to me (and a couple others) it smelled like digging through my mother’s makeup drawer when I was 10 or 11-- sweet, powdery, light, and velvety. The other linen was a very clean white, and smelled like the perfume of an aunt or my mother carrying a 5-year-old me to or from the car while I pretend to sleep.
The performance documentations were clean, considerate, and well done. One consisted of the artist’s framed official ordainment certificate, along with the caption: “xxxxx.” This was mounted on top of a thick, cherry-red, glossy rectangle painted on the wall. The color coordination between that and the other documentation was pretty spot-on. Two sets of white pajamas with red lipstick kisses alongside a red-framed photo of the other performance were hung on an adjacent wall. Both performances were significant in their use of romance as a way to establish permanence in the face of of today’s political administration.
Overall, “We Have a Future, Perhaps” was quite an enjoyable show to me. To put the cherry on top, the positive interactions and connections I had with other women while trying to decipher what the smells elicited as well as the personal connection everyone seemed to have with the works yielded an intimately wonderful time.
For more information on Summer Leavitt’s work: http://cargocollective.com/leavittsummer
For more information on The Frame Gallery: www.theframeatcmu.org