The Lit Art Exhibit is an interactive experience that explores the relationship between words and images, and the connection between readers and words.
The third annual Lit(erary) Art Exhibit, an interactive multimedia showcase of writing and art, unfolded last Saturday in Bedford Stuyvesant. Organized and hosted by Lana C. Marilyn, an East Flatbush-based self-published author of Wet Sand in an Hourglass, this year's show explored the theme "bridges."
Twenty-two artists from all around the city, New Jersey and even from as far as England gathered to present their art. This year's theme "bridges" was open to all kinds of interpretations, which allowed the selected artists to express themselves freely through text, as well as audio and video installations.
"I want to change people's relationship with the words they read," Marilyn described the goal of the exhibit.
A large section of the exhibit was devoted to interactive art and included a "Blackout Poetry Section," a wall adorned with literary works including essays, diaries and poems. Attendees were encouraged to create a new piece of art, in collaboration with the author, by using a black marker to cross out words and sentences in the original work.
The "Solitaire of Story Writing Section" was another interactive element of the exhibit that celebrated the collective effort of strangers working together. For this installation, curator and host Marilyn created the beginning of a story to be continued by guests in whichever way they wanted.
Since 2016, Marilyn has hosted three literary art exhibits, all dedicated to exploring the relationship between words and images, and the connection between readers and words. All of the shows were set in Brooklyn; first in Bushwick, then in Greenpoint and, this year, in Bed-Stuy.
"I like the energy here in Brooklyn," Marilyn explained why she chooses Brooklyn for her shows who herself is an authentic Brooklynite. "And home and root are the two themes I often write about in my own work."
Marilyn hopes to continue to present works that are interactive and experimental. For future exhibits, Marilyn is thinking about toying with concepts that involve prose or essays in the form of jigsaw puzzles, which would prompt the readers to rearrange the words to reveal both its prose and image. Aside from creating her own literature, she is currently focused on getting funding for these shows to promote them broadly.
Those Brooklynites with creative spirits who would like to be a part of Marilyn's audacious literary art exhibit -- and experience -- should follow her Instagram page to learn about future events and calls for submissions.