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The World Famous Secretary in For You, 9-5


Jessica Gath reckons she will have typed about 200 letters and postcards by the time she's done. On a decades-old Royal "Quiet De Luxe" typewriter in immaculate condition, the painter and performance artist will be typing, folding and posting the letters of anyone who requests her services at Meme Gallery in Central Square.

To make the process a little more manageable, Gath typed and photocopied forms with partial sentences that participants must select and complete with their own words or phrases. If anyone whose interested can't make it to the gallery to fill out one of those forms, they can go to the The World Famous Secretary in For You Website to fill in the blanks spaces of a letter or postcard via web form.

Gath says she's only known about half of the people that have submitted letters, and many of the requests are for love letters or to parents, particularly letters to moms. Those most commonly selected sentence for parents has been "I wish you were here so we could ______ together," with "eat" being the variable word most common.

The performance is a live re-enactment of a 1981 serial radio program that according the Meme Gallery,

was taped but rarely aired. The program's leading lady was at once professional and disarming. She was able to make even the most mundane of her daily tasks entertaining for her listening audience. The show ran its course and its creators moved on to other projects. All that remained of it were some tapes. Then even those disappeared.

The performance will run through tomorrow, Sunday, January 17, 2010 between the hours of 9 and 5.

photos by Christian Holland

About Author

Christian Holland is an aspiring New York City-based essayist who likes writing about how New York City isn't the center of the world. He was executive editor and founding contributor of Big, Red & Shiny, and sat on the publication's board for V2.

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