Jonathan Berger

An Introduction to Nameless Love

Participant Inc
253 E Houston Street
New York
Lower East Side
Sep 9th 2020 — Oct 11th 2020

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Jonathan Berger spent five years investigating the many manifestations of love that can emerge outside of conventional romance. Presented at Participant Inc, “An Introduction to Nameless Love” synthesizes his findings into six monumental, text-based sculptures, each of which, through rows of tin lettering, spells out a true story about love in a relationship anchored in elements besides a romantic connection.

These narratives came together in the course of Berger’s research into well-documented partnerships, six of which ultimately became the focus of this show: such as that of Charles and Ray Eames as visionary co-collaborators; or the bond between the autistic writer and philosopher Mark Utter and his long-time communication facilitator, Emily Anderson.

Here is an excerpt from the exhibition material provided by Participant Inc that summarizes the conceptual foundations of Berger’s interest in this topic, which he plans to continue investigating:

The exhibition is an examination of the profound intensity and depth of meaning most often associated with “true love,” but found instead through bonds based in work, friendship, religion, service, mentorship, community, and family — as well as between people and themselves, places, objects, and animals. Even as they are persistently unacknowledged by contemporary society at large, these instances of what Berger puts forth as “nameless love” nonetheless enable people to live wholly fulfilling lives steeped in tenderness, ardor, empathy, care, vulnerability, salvation, redemption, and pleasure.

Jonathan Berger, Untitled (Maria A. Prado and Margaret Morton, with Esther Kaplan), 2019. Installation view.