MAIL ART PROJECT/-EXHIBITION: theRed
Initiator: Gue Schmidt
2. bis 29. März 2014
BETEILIGTE KÜNSTLERINNEN (chronologisch):
Felipe Ehrenberg/ BR, Tulio Restrepo/ CO, Titia Eggen/ NL, Eva Choung-Fux/ E, Mirko Maric/ A, Serse Luigetti/ I, Keith A. Buchholz/ USA, Anja Wiese/ D, Sabine Groschup/ A, Nora Bachel/ A, Romana Hagyo/ A, Christiane Spatt/ A, Rora + Dobrica Kamperelic/ SRB, Rod Summers/ NL, Clemente Padin/ ROU, Claudio Romeo/ I, Jürgen O. Olbrich/ D, John M. Bennett/ USA, Robert Znajomski/ PL, Wolfgang Günther/ D, Pedro Bericat/ E, Silvano Pertone/ I, Angela Behrendt/ D, Bruno Chiarlone/ I, Jaromir Svozilik/ N, Peter Müller/ D, Osvaldo Cibils/ I, Horst Tress/ D, Pietro Romano Matarrese/ I, Giovanni Strada/ I, Joaquim Lourenço/ P, Rupert Loydell/ GB, Heike Sackmann/ D, Achille de Moewald/ F, Gue Schmidt/ A, Reid Wood/ USA, Vittore Baroni/ I, Anita Endrzze/ USA, Carlo Maria Giudici/ I, Willie Marlowe/ USA, Julia Izmailova/ RUS, Klaus Pinter/ A, Lubomyr Tymkiv/ UA, Michel Della Vedova/ F, Elke Grundmann/ D, Darlene Altschul/ USA, Marina Salmaso/ DK, Eni Ilis/ BR, Dórian Ribas Marinho/ BR, Ana Marta Austin/ BR, Daniele Principe/ I, Alexander Limarev/ RUS, Fleur Helsingor/ USA, Christian Alle/ F, Városi Müvészeti Muzeum Györ/ H, Monica Rex/ USA, René Eisenegger/ CH, E-Ambassade D’Utopia/ F, Terry Reid/ AUS, Liana Swink/ USA, Hanna Bayer/ D, Viviana Cernjul/ RA, Daniele Petrucci/ I, Marina Ntovrou/ GR, Evmorfia Rachouti/ GR, Skarli-Danikou Kondilia/ GR, Christoph Lissy/ A, Armin Bardel/ A, Alfred Graselli/ A, Don Eisenusz Jonson/ CDN, Imaginé par b./ BR, Rosa Fanny Leona Schmidt/ A, Edgardo Antonio Vigo/ RA, Robin Crozier/ GB, Berty Skuber/ I, Michael Geyersbach/ D, Moreno Menarin/ I, Angelika Thon/ A, Taftaridoy Despoina/ GR, Roula Akriotou/ GR, Maria Sfiniadaki/ GR, Marina Papastamou/ GR, Mary Hajisotiriou/ GR, Kamagi Paraskevi GR, Richard Baudet/ F, Emil Kriege/ A, Ana Garcia/ P, Maria José Silva – MIZÉ/ P, Piet Franzen/ NL, Thomas Kuschny/ A, Tiziana Baracchi/ I, Mariana Serban/ RO, Lancillotto Bellini/ I, Christiane Bänninger/ CH, Peti Wiskemann/ CH, Michèle Ruffin/ F, Ernst Falk/ D, Denis Mizzi/ AUS, Kay L. Harrell/ USA, Consuelo Margarida R. Debiagi/ BR, Simonson/ USA, Cosmo/ USA, Mary Anne/ GB, Antoni Miró/ E, Julian Feyerabend/ A, Dottie Thomason/ USA, Marie Fenianos/ F, Steve Dalachinsky/ USA, Eric Bruth/ F, Sebastian Brandt/ A, Robert Filler/ A, Fernanda Fedi/ I, Gino Gini/ I, Anja Mattila-Tolvanen/ FIN, Michael Michelmayr/ A, Amuldo/ NL, Andre Pace/ USA, Fritz Fro/ A, Keiichi Nakamura/ J, SHIN OH! NO DERA/ J, W.Mark Sutherland/ CDN, Connie Jean/ USA, Leo Kreisel-Strauss/ A, Miguel Jiménez/ E, Christine Ulm/ A, Simon Warren/ GB, Gustav Böhm/ A, Suzie Wong/ A, Anna Usova/ RUS, Ko De Jonge/ NL, Ruggero Maggi/ I, David Drum/ USA, Margret Kreidl/ A, Lucas Cejpek/ A, Tatiana Makarova/ RUS, Frank Jödicke/ A, C.Mehrl Bennett/ USA, Eva Hradil/ A, José Roberto Sechi/ BR, Irene Dogmatic/ USA, Renê Mainardi/ BR, Anna Banana/ CDN, Ute Mescher/ D, Ministry of Lamination/ USA, Brigitte Sasshofer/ A, Anita Fuchs/ A, Makario Sciascia/ AUS, Maria Hubinger/ A, Pryde Sciascia/ AUS, David Della Fiora/ AUS, Iegeon Mihaere/ AUS, Bibi Haag/ A, Lindsay Meyer/ USA, Ken Montgomery/ USA, Oskar Hummer/ CH, Valérie Céravolo/ F, Van Breest Smallenburg/ NL, Kum Nam Baik/ ROK, Andreas Horn/ D, Gottfried Bechtold/ A, Luis Martín/ E, Jürgen Mester/ D, Ivana Rezek/ HR, Andrew Maximilian Niss/ D, Angela Schwank/ A, Susa Kavalar/ A, Mirjam Wydler/ A, Leonie Lehner/ A, Florian Leibetseder/ A, Marc Haltmeyer/ CH, Claudia Plank + Hans-Werner Poschauko/ A, Robert Zahornicky/ A, Tatjana Vallejo/ E, Adriana Marmorek/ CO, Janice Yudell/ USA, Christian Bachler/ A, Dora Guzman/ MEX, Silke Maier-Gamau/ A, Barbara Höller/ A, Petra Klabunde/ D, Thorsten Fuhrmann/ D, Resa Pernthaller/ A, Paulo Bruscky/ BR, Robert Swierkiewicz/ H, Michaela Söll/ A, Sarah Jo Pender/ USA, Ona B./ A, Collin Scholl/ USA, Julian Payan/ USA, Vicente Calcagno/ RCH, Juliea Joules/ GB, Anonymous/ EU, Joaquim Cantalozella/ E, Marta Negre/ E, Roland Halbritter/ D, Amanda Van Munster/ USA, Lisbeth Kammerlander/ A, Ángels Viladomiu/ E, Nicole Finsinger/ A, Laurent Molet/ F,…
Opening: 01.03.2014, 7 p.m.
The functional principle of mail art, which this is all about, differs from the distribution principle of culturally transmitted art. Mail art is about the following areas of action: producing – sending – receiving – exchanging – carrying on. (Klaus Werner, Artists’ cards. Exhibition catalogue to the exhibition Postcards and Artists’ Cards, Berlin 1978)
Neither academically aesthetic guidelines nor any other rules of culturally transmitted aesthetic practice stimulate mail art activities. The only determining factor is the current social reality: in a gridlocked, other-determined, special environment, the mail artist is primarily concerned with a reestablishment of human dialogue. (Communication as a human quality)… (Joachim Fiebach, Creativity in Dialogue, (East) Berlin, 1983)
Besides “alternative” artistic expressions, in contrast to culturally transmitted aesthetic art practices, there has been a shift away from the work object since the 1950ies/60ies, that is to say a shift away from the autonomous existence of a self-contained aesthetic product towards art processes which leave behind traces, as relics, as waste products, triggers of thought with a short life-span. In this context the happening, the avant-garde theatre (living theatre), Actionism or performance art have to be mentioned.
The triangle artist-work-collector has been destroyed; a new, in art quite extraordinary reference triangle artist-work-recipient was created, where the recipient does not remain anonymous, but as a reaction directly steps in the communication process in reverse, i.e. the recipient turns into the imitating artist and the artist becomes the recipient in an endless dynamics of effects. (…) (Mail art, a serious field of activity for the free communication between peoples, Klaus Groh 1984)
These quotations stated at the beginning were taken from mail art exhibition catalogues, just like the third text, an excerpt from the catalogue preface by Klaus Groh – written for a mail art exhibition at the Secession in Vienna dating back about 30 years (the first large and perhaps the last one of its kind).
They have been mentioned in order to hint at the spectrum of the activity mail art even for people who know only little or nothing at all about it.
Some of those involved at the time are no more. Even countries where artists from the exhibition at the time (1984) came from do no longer exist – like for example the GDR, CSSR and Yugoslavia.
However, the economic and social situations of all other countries have also undergone a fundamental transformation – for example also a democratic one. Quite a few South American countries (Argentine, Brazil, Chile and Uruguay) where some participants of the exhibition came from, were at the time still existing or just running out totalitarian dictatorships, where mail art represented one of the few possibilities to get into touch with people living outside these countries, as well as to point out blatant human rights violations taking place in them.
In mid-November 2012 a selection of about 70 people/artists in the country and abroad were sent an invitation (35 by email, 35 by normal post) indicating on its title page,
…… particular attention should be drawn to the aesthetical properties of gold and silver, which make them the naturally-grown material of splendour, adornment, glamour, dominical needs, in brief the positive form of abundance and wealth. In a sense they appear in a dignified light, unearthed from the underworld, the silver reflecting all the rays of light in their original composition, the gold only reflecting the highest potency of colour, THE RED. However, colour sense is the most popular form of aesthetic sense in general …
The back side indicated the theme and some technical instructions,
MAIL ART PROJECT/-EXHIBITION: theRed
Free technique, free size, no return, no censure, documentation to all.
Please send an object or drawing or whatever represents [the idea of] the RED.
Until the end of February 2013.
PLEASE COPY AND PASS ON!
Until today 52 Austrian artists so as 165 artists from around the globe (as well as one institution) have responded to this calling, sending 442 works (Interior: 162 / Exterior: 280) of the most diverse characteristics in form and shape to the project room MAG3. Among them are sound and video objects as well as ONLY-objects, postcards and envelopes in drawn, collaged as well as painted forms, concept works and paintings.
The first presentation has been shown as a space comprehensive installation at the project-space MAG3 in Vienna in April 2013 (04.04. – 30.04.2013).
It was neither obvious nor identifiable that the text picking out the colour RED as the central theme was taken from the work “Critique of Political Economy” by Karl Marx. Some of the participating artists might know that this text fragment comes from a description of society dedicated to the materialistic representation and encompassing criticism of a system, which is still heading for a climax only interrupted by periodical disastrous, crisis-laden eruptions and which makes itself felt not only economically but also ecologically (thus threatening to destroy even human physique!). However, they might know less that we are roaming this system and acting as agents of production and circulation within it – also with our mail art activities.
Even after the closing date, which had been set as the end of March 2013 on the original invitations, the stream of incoming works did not stop, indicating the need for expression and thus providing a reason for showing the works that have been sent in until now in another exhibition – in this case even in two:
(1) Lisi HÄMMERLE has invited theRED to be presented in her gallery.
(2) In November 2014 theRED will be on show in the RUSE ART GALLERY, Ruse 7000, 39, Borisova Street, BULGARIA (in cooperation with the Elias Canetti Center Ruse).
The way in which the participating artists have reacted to the theme in their individual works can be seen in the respective exhibitions – later on their scope will become comprehensible in a catalogue which is still in the making and will be presented in March 2015 in the project room MAG3.
VN Kultur, März 2014
Kultur, Zeitschrift für Kultur und Gesellschaft, Nr. 2, 2014