Valentines 2009


My 2009 valentines were a bit of a departure in a number of ways. They were more “conceptual” than previous years. Where previously I sent a nice or pretty something that was either straight forward or easy enough to figure out, this one is a bit more mysterious: I wrote 4 fragments of letters, each with no beginning and no end, and each is carefully crafted to hopefully have some resonance with most people. Each recipient got one of the 4 fragments.


My expectation was that the first, predominant feeling would be confusion. I neither addressed nor signed the letters (though the mailing label said “Happy Valentine’s Day from Marian Bantjes”). They look like they could be an original, by hand. Is this meant for the recipient? Is it from Marian Bantjes? Did Marian forget part of it? Or is it some kind “found fragment”? The prose is over the top, in that love-letter kind of way … yeah, you might say it’s purple.


My hope was that the recipient would read the letter at least twice; and that on 2nd or 3rd readings they would find something in it for them, something that makes them believe that somehow through unknown means, I have known something about them all along.