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Dear Mr Jankel...

Dear Mr Jankel,

I write regarding our forthcoming exhibition ‘Fluxus Quilting: 1966–67’, scheduled to open at the New Metropolitan Centre for Contemporary Art (NMCFCA) in August 2013. We would like to ask that you grant us non-exclusive world rights to reproduce your 1966 masterpiece Untitled (Quilt) in educational, press, publicity, promotional and website and/or mobile application materials related to the exhibition and publication. Because nmcfca is a non-profit institution, we would be grateful if you could waive any permission fees. Thank you very much for your kind consideration; your assistance is very important to the success of this project.

Sincerely yours,
Mo Notterslun
Department of Publications
New Metropolitan Centre for Contemporary Art

— 

Dear Mr Jankel,

I appreciate your prompt reply. It has occurred to me that, although it ostensibly denies us the permission we requested, your response may have been a characteristically clever and subversive instruction piece, and it may not be your sincere intention to deny us permission. Consequently, I would like to establish what is known in the bondage community as a ‘safe word’. If you wish, you may fax a copy of this safe word alongside your next letter, and we will know that you really want us to stop. Thank you very much for your kind consideration; your assistance is very important to the success of this project.

Sincerely yours,
Mo Notterslun
Department of Publications
New Metropolitan Centre for Contemporary Art

— 

Dear Mr Jankel,

In my previous letter, I neglected to specify the safe word. The safe word is ‘NMCfCA’. Repeat: ‘NMCfCA’. Thank you very much for your kind consideration; your assistance is very important to the success of this project.

Sincerely yours,
Mo Notterslun
Department of Publications
New Metropolitan Centre for Contemporary Art

Dear Mr Jankel,

Next week, the Publications Department at the nmcfca is going on a trip to the National Quilting Museum. Ever since I first set eyes on your 1966 masterpiece Untitled (Quilt), I have regarded you as my parent or guardian, so I would be grateful if you could sign and return the enclosed permission slip. Thank you very much for your kind consideration; your assistance is very important to the success of this project.

Sincerely yours,
Mo Notterslun
Department of Publications
New Metropolitan Centre for Contemporary Art

Dear Mr Jankel,

Last night I was engaged in sexual intercourse when a detailed image of your 1966 masterpiece Untitled (Quilt) flashed unbidden through my mind. I think Untitled (Quilt) neither hastened nor impeded my eventual climax but perhaps imbued it with a special clarity typical of your work. If you are willing to give permission for this to happen again in future, please sign and return a copy of this letter. Thank you very much for your kind consideration; your assistance is very important to the success of this project.

Sincerely yours,
Mo Notterslun
Department of Publications
New Metropolitan Centre for Contemporary

Art Dear Mr Jankel,

‘When Gotham burns, you have my permission to die.’ Ha ha ha! I am joking, of course. If anything, you should be saying that to me. Thank you very much for your kind consideration; your assistance is very important to the success of this project.

Sincerely yours,
Mo Notterslun
Department of Publications
New Metropolitan Centre for Contemporary Art

Dear Mr. Jankel,

Because your 1966 masterpiece Untitled (Quilt) was there in my line of vision when the pale intern from Conservation broke up with me during our lunch hour yesterday, it will be the case for the next several years that every time I see Untitled (Quilt), or even a blurry arrangement of shapes that reminds me of Untitled (Quilt), I will be reminded of this heartbreak, so that its specific visual reality will be lost and I will regard it only as a sort of capacitor for an intense and unpleasant nostalgic charge. As before, your permission in this case would also extend to educational, press, publicity, promotional and website and/or mobile application materials. Thank you very much for your kind consideration; your assistance is very important to the success of this project.

Sincerely yours,
Mo Notterslun Department of Publications
New Metropolitan Centre for Contemporary Art

Ned Beauman is a novelist based in London. His most recent book, Glow, was published in 2014. www.nedbeauman.co.uk

Issue 150

First published in Issue 150

October 2012
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