Conversation Cards

conversation cards by Jay Sullivan art of enough conversation cards


Part of The Art of Enough series. 

I was searching for a way to create a more intimate exhibition experience.  Most of my previous exhibition experiences were a lot of work followed by one evening of brief interactions with attendees.   It was tiring and unsatisfying.

I became interested in creating a more intimate experience in a gallery space from the moment I saw Marina Abramovic silently sit across from attendees for weeks in the rotunda of the Museum of Modern Art in New York City.   It was a intimate one on one experience witnessed by a larger group and very much reminded me of my experience conducting on-camera interviews during my commercial career; it was surprising how deeply I could sometimes connect with someone during 20 or 30-minute on-camera interviews, especially when there was always a full crew of onlookers.

Conversation Cards is way for me to have a more intimate and deep connection with viewers of my art.  I sit in the gallery at a table with some of my art exhibited nearby.  The cards are face up, with words and images visible that represent themes contained within my art.  I ask participants to choose two cards, and then ask them why they selected the chosen cards.  From this simple starting point, a 20 or 30-minute conversation ensues.  The conversations are wide-ranging; from my art, to the creative process to personal history and family issues.  The last one is the most frequent, and there are times we speak for 20 or 30 minutes without discussing art at all.



Note: The Art of Enough is accompanied by a 5-part podcast series that details the creative and psychological process I explored during this 2 year project.   The podcasts feature interviews with: playwright, author and meditator Jean-Claude Van Itallie, psychologist and author Dr. John Arden,  voice coach Jean McClelland and therapist and educator Bob Szita.   The podcasts and the art series catalog can be found on this page.