CURATED BY RUGGERO MAGGI WORKS FROM HIS MAIL ART ARCHIVE
Diotti Museum, Casalmaggiore (CR)
from September 26th, 2021 to January 9th, 2022
Since 2016, the Municipality of Casalmaggiore has been proposing the annual Stupor mundi review which intends to promote knowledge of various countries cultural aspects around the world. In 2021, the United States are this event’s protagonists and thus the Diotti Museum has chosen to present a core of works by American mail artists, taken from the artist Ruggero Maggi‘s Mail Art Archive.
The exhibition, entitled Mail Art in Stars and Stripes, will be inaugurated on Sunday 26th of September 2021 at 5.00 pm in the room that this year the Museum has permanently dedicated to Mail Art. Moreover, it is in perfect continuity with the international exhibition of Mail Art The Amazon must live, also curated by Ruggero Maggi and taken from his AMAZON Archive – Archive of artistic works and projects about the Amazonic World, which will end on the same day.
On the inauguration’s occasion, the exhibition visits will be possible for groups with access regulations, from 3.30 to 6.30 pm. At 5.00 pm there will be greetings from the Councilor for Culture and the Management of the Museum and an intervention by the Curator.
Mail Art has had and still has, as we know, a planetary diffusion, but certainly, the USA has always been the country with the highest presence of networkers in the world.
Without representing any specific note of merit, this fact underlines the continuous and incessant “creative impulse” that has always distinguished this nation with its multiform and variegated culture. Therefore, it is not by chance that the one who has always been recognized as the “father” of Mail Art is an American Fluxus artist: Ray Johnson.
Certainly, some previous experiences – such as the correspondence between Futurists with the vibrant postcards they sent each other or the timbral interventions of Kurt Schwitters; some conceptual-fluxus operations or the Nouveau Réalisme of Pierre Restany – contributed to the birth of this cultural, artistic, and social phenomenon, but definitely, Johnson traced the starting line for what can now be defined as Mail Art, with his pungent ironic charge.
Speaking of American Mail Art, we cannot forget other essential figures such as Carlo Pittore also called Pittore Euforico (Charles J. Stanley) o John Held Jr. with whom I shared an unforgettable trip to Japan I organized in 1988 supported by Shozo Shimamoto, in order to realize the Shadow Project in memory of the nuclear holocausts of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. John has created one of the most important archives of Mail Art in the USA and has several books on the subject.
Another important U.S. archive is the large collection of Crackerjack Kid (Chuck Welch) Smithsonian Artistamp and Mail Art Library in the Archives of American Art in Washington, D.C.
Also, notable the work of some other solid networkers such as Anna Banana (Anne Long) whothe work of some other solid networkers such as Anna Banana (Anne Long) who published Vile, a magazine that anticipated the punk movement; Bill (Picasso) Gaglione with his Stampart zine dedicated to artist stamps; Lon Spiegelman and his famous sentence “Don’t mix money and Mail Art” (which I fully subscribe to!); Mark Bloch (how can we forget his pan-performance in 1986 in the green womb – as he called it – of Villa Fanna in Villorba); Judith Hoffberg with her magazine Umbrella; Ken Friedman who in 1973 organized the Omaha Flow Systems project; John M. Bennett with his poetic-visual research; Carl T. Chew and his unique digital graphic interventions; Daniel Plunkett and his ND magazine, a precious container of information about the world of mail art and multimedia in general; GX Jupitter-Larsen (Canadian artist, but living in Hollywood for many years), a “bitter and pungent” researcher, especially in the field of sound, with his records from the ‘70s and ‘80s on which he recorded the sound of a needle squeaking on the record itself; Mike Dyar with his precious conceptual works; The Sticker Dude; Richard Meade; Coco Gordon with his artistic and ecological performances; Honoria with her refined drawings; Bern Porter, Buster Cleveland, Tommy Mew, Al Ackerman, Ed F. Higgins III, Cascadia, Richard Meade, Mario Lara, Tim Mancusi, Alex Torrid Zone Igloo, Mister Fabulous; Mark Rose, Larry Angelo, David Stanley Aponte, Bananafishpost, Michael Bell, C. Mehrl Bennett, Buz Blurr, Beth Bynum, Tim Collapse, Brooke Cooks, Jakima Davis, Mike Dickau, Ex Posto Facto, Jon Foster, Galaxi Verbatim, Ed Giecek, Tony Gonzagto, Brandon Haney, Harley, Hilgart, Steve Howell, Eleanor Kent, Diane Keys, E.L.Kimm, R. Kimm, Ginny Lloyd, Lord Fugue, Lovecraft, Malok, Bob H. Miller, Pjm, Reality Impaired, Josh Ronsen, Kyle Ryan, Colin Scholl, Skooter, Steve Smith, Mark Sonnenfeld, Jenny Soup, D.C. Spaulding, State of Being, Carol Stetser, Stroud, Patricia Tavenner, The Haddock, The Introverted Post, Vision 20×20, Bill Whorrall, Jokie X Wilson.
Long live the Mail Art!
DIOTTI MUSEUM – via Formis 17 – Casalmaggiore (CR)
MAIL ART IN STARS AND STRIPES – curated by Ruggero Maggi
INAUGURATION – Sunday 26th of September 2021 at 5.00 pm
From September 26th, 2021 to January 9th, 2022 visits will be possible with reservation
Opening hours | from Tuesday to Friday 8.00 a.m. – 12.30 a.m. | Saturday and Sunday 3.30 p.m. – 6.30 p.m.