Collages are very often part of mail art. The artists usually use their own material, but sometimes they are also offered material from other mail art artists.
There are many types of games. Add & Pass is one of them. The most well-known project is by Ryosuke Cohen from Japan and is called Brain Cell. The artists provide material, sometimes also cutouts in sufficient quantities, and the submissions are compiled into a large collage in A3 format.
In general, it is repeated again and again that mail art can be recognized by the fact that there are no rules, no fees, no restrictions and no – critical artistic – selection. Regardless of how the individual feels about it, giving something as a gift without having any expectations associated with it seems pleasant to me.
I often still receive material that I have to edit and send on or back. When this is not the response to my own request, I feel a tension between my freedom and this expectation. I then have to decide on a case by case basis. It is often also a question of cost.
With this small project (approx. 50 objects) I would like to address this topic. I ship some cut-outs from other projects in small plastic bags that I had refurbished for reuse.
The material has its history, which can be read in outline below. It is given in the joy of giving, or more precisely, of giving without intention. I will distribute it to my own mail type shipments from the beginning of September 2023.
This is also a social sculpture. It addresses unintentional giving, which represents a way out of the crisis of Western economies on the verge of collapse.
If you would like to tell me your own thoughts on this topic – and allow me to make them public along with your name – I would be happy to receive your email and your message.
Something about the content of the bags…
In 2023 the European art project celebrated its 30,000th creation of a unique artwork. As part of the project I published the “box-in-the-box” and I did some testing with paper and stamps. These are the rare artist proofs of this project inside the project. More information you can find here.
The first exhibition took place at CASAdelDRAGON in 2007. The day after the opening, the artists and helpers met in the sea in Benicarlo. In the joy of success, everyone collected lots of stones and wrote the motto in the Spanish sand. The photo was later shown in an installation in Cologne in the rocket club. After that it was in the archives for a long time. Now selected photos will be distributed on envelopes and in this project. This contemporary document also embarks on a new journey. We’re excited to see where it shows up again in email art.
These cut-outs have a longer history. On the one hand, they are based on the initiative of a Serbian artist who proclaimed the state DADA-Land, and on the other hand, they are connected to the social-dada project. Thirdly, the paper comes from an old book by a Spanish author. Its title is “El Pan de los Pobres”. This book was found in parts in the old garbage dump in the village of Cervera del Maestre around 1986. It tells a moving story of the long journey of youth through the authorities to reach positions of power in a society and the resistance that these youth face again and again is presented.
For years, CASAdelDRAGON, an artists’ residence in eastern Spain, has been visited by a mysterious woman. The artist Maria Garcia stops by every now and then, registers shortly in advance and is very careful to be the only guest. She comes and goes after a short time.
She always looks at what is happening in the CASA and gets inspired and leaves behind many artistic traces. The heads are samples related to a new series for the Artsurprise.eu project. Garcia had worked with the laser cutter and used an old book from the collections of the former GDR. She promised to send a longer essay as soon as the artwork for the series was completed.
The heads are people related to German history between 1920 and 1960 – from the perspective of a GDR state.
These cutouts are from the estate of the hobby painter and illustrator Dietrich Karl Antonius Stodtko. The painter died in 2023. An exhibition at CASAdelDRAGON is planned for November 2023. The painter made various tests with material before beginning the pictorial works.