chere maman_1995


Postal games, commonly called mail-art, are
based mostly on art exchange between people
all over the world, aiming for a reciprocal
stimulation to creativity in a most absolute free
spirit and in joyful, playful, comradely complicity,
as if in search of forgotten childhood values.
We all have inside of us a child
who still yearns to play.

Mail-art is a very special game, played between
mail-artists of any age. Like all games, it is
something serious: it's a social event, it defines
freedom inside a programmed area, it has its
own rules to be respectful of.

The messages exchanged are pure
communication, and can vary according to the
exigencies and common interests among the
participants. The items could be of pictorial,
literary, philosophical, social, political, ecological
or of any other interest. All sorts of techniques
and media are valid, from drawing and painting
to recycled printed matter and rubber stamps,
from poetry and prose to all sort of linguistic
games, from photomontage, frottage and
collage to audiotaped and videotaped material
(all graciously via mail)
and even to phone and fax.

Whether the contents of the envelopes are to
be considered art or not is not very relevant, as
this is not the real problem: mail-art gives
anyone the right and the opportunity to express
oneself freely in a most democratic way.
Everyone can get inserted in a network and
start making mail-art on the very day he/she
decides to. Everyone is democratically given a
chance to express freely, to communicate,
to be exhibited and to have one's name
 and address printed on a catalog.

This is not a test for art but an expression of the
art of life. The aim is not showing off narcissistically
what one is able to do (as virtuosity is not of interest
anymore to anyone), but choosing the best way
for communicating something, so as to arouse
interest and curiosity and involve others.
Hence one can easily see it's not always so very
simple, but rather a kind of challenge, requiring
a certain amount of care, time, energy and
good will to make it all worthwhile.

Once the message is sent, it does not belong
to the sender anymore; the receiver is
completely free to do whatever he/she wishes
with it, according to the moods of the moment.
Sending a message to someone who didn't ask
for it carries the risk of no response. This
possibility should be accepted in a most fair
play spirit. Expecting a response is normal;
insisting on it might turn to violence.

There are thousands of people doing mail-art
all over the world and it's easy to get some
addresses in many a mail-art catalog.
No doubt, each mail-artist learns so much from
the others in these international exchanges.
The rapport between correspondents obeys the
same laws that govern any other human
relationship. Affinities are very important.
Yet most interesting of all is what one happens to
know about one's own self,
since "the other " - because of the physical absence
(mystery element) - becomes a mirror.

Obviously, to make it all possible is the gracious
collaboration of our wonderful, magical,
worldwide, efficient postal system.
Many thanks and a hurrah to it.


(originally written by the Author in English)

raimbowland stamps_1996