June 28, 2011

5 Questions: Miranda July

Five questions to SFMOMA artists, staff, or guests. Today’s interview is with visual artist, performance artist, short story writer, and filmmaker Miranda July. Her collaborative work with Harrell Fletcher, Learning to Love You More, is on view through August 7 in the fifth-floor galleries as part of the exhibition The More Things Change. July will be at the museum to present her new film, The Future, on July 28.

Miranda July as Sophie in The Future, which she wrote and directed. Photo: courtesy Roadside Attractions.

Do you collect anything?

I collect errata, which are the pieces of paper the publisher inserts in a book as a correction. My parents run a publishing company, which might explain this. I don’t actively look for them, just once every few years one falls out of a book and I put it in my folder.

There’s the generic interview question that goes, “If you could invite anyone to dinner who would it be?” What I want to know is, what would you serve?

This seems slightly stressful to me, like I have to have someone over and cook them something. Honestly the best thing would just be to go with my husband to the taco truck that’s parked by the Ralph’s in Echo Park and then go to the bookstore afterward. In between I would clean my hands with wipes that I have in the car and feel pretty good about how prepared I was.

If you could steal any artwork in the world to have up in your home, what would it be?

I don’t steal anymore, but if I was still doing that I might want that big pink Franz West ball.

What do you listen to while you work?

I don’t listen to music while I write, which is mostly my work. I wear earplugs. But sometimes before I start writing I’ll play a song to bring forth my emotions and make me feel united with another artist laboring to proclaim their difficult truth. The song Keeping the Wolves from the Door by White Magic is good for that.

What’s your favorite tool?

People’s willingness.


Miranda July’s new film, The Future, screens at 7 p.m. July 28 at SFMOMA with July on hand for a Q&A. Information on the screening is here, and you can learn more about The Future and have your own future read to you here. You also can browse Learning to Love You More assignments online here.

Update:  The screening on July 28 is sold out, but a limited number of rush tickets will be released on-site before the event.

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