A while ago back in, ummm, was it in 2000, the invitation came
from the Wexner in Ohio. The Ray Johnson show was opening in September
and they were inviting me to the opening and to a mail art round table. I
was excited but knew I had a pond tour planned that day and after all, I
am the president of the club I should be there.....but soon after an
email came from Anna Banana asking if I was going. She encouraged me
with the gentle push of "we need femail artists represented" kinda
The Wexner is an interesting building and just perfect to host this show
of Ray Johnson's collage. I met some of the mail art legends,Anna
Banana, buZ blurr, Honoria, John Bennett, Picasso Gaglione, Fagagaga,
Luce, just to name a few..... I had an absoulte blast. The Ray Johnson show was
awesome, his collages are really wonderful. I am inspired. I am jazzed.
On Saturday Fagagaga and his wife hosted an all day event, a mail art petting
zoo he called it. This was an all day and into the night affair of mail art play.
We made postcards and all added to them, ate and shared
stories about Ray. Picasso Gaglione brought a silly little fake mustache which he
asked the women to put on and he took our picture. I passed around a canvas bag
for folks to draw on or add a rubberstamps. Others had blank note books we
were to add a page to and I brought along a passport from Archy Of Toast for
people to add to.
Then we had a wonderful dinner of fresh basil pesto on pasta.
Basil provided by John Bennett.
We were then treated to a video by John Bennett about his mail
art marriage ( he married a woman he met through mail art!) and then a
sad video by Mark Bloch on Ray. During the day I was also interviewed by
Honoria who is doing a thesis on mail art and the effects on it by the internet.
The party ended after midnight! On Saturday I had the chance to view in the
educational hallway and big display of mail art sent in for the show. I saw many
names I recongnized which was fun. I felt connected....
The next day was the mail art round table
consisted of those who knew Ray and shared memories. I was on the panel with
a mission was to play a song by Crackerjack Kid about Ray. I also brought
greetings from Clemente Padin in Uruguay.
Mail art is about connection, networking, a world wide web. And yet, Ray
deeply touched the folks he shared his art with. Often mail art now is
cold, far reaching and yet I do not know who is behind the mail art.
This is the networking aspect. But Ray had a radar and would often
seek folks out to correspond with, he had something to say directly to
you. Someone recently said to me "keep your mail art intimate". I like
that. Ray would get bags full of mail art, I don't know how he did it,
answer if all. I wonder if he did. I doubt it though as after awhile you
could be "dropped" and no more mail art from Ray would come your
way.... Ray "dropped" Fagaga but continued to send mail art to his dog!
Sunday night the Wexner treated us all with a nice dinner out where were
shared stories, asked questions of each other and friendships grew. One
of the topics was archives and what do we do with them once they have
outgrown our homes.....do we find someone to look after them, do we pass
them on to other mail artists, what are our options......
More connections made and the circles widen. Now I
gotta get to making some mail art!
Here are the names of all who attended this fake Ray extrvaganza.
Luc Fierens,Annina Van Sebroeck,FaGaGaGa,Picasso Gaglione,Mark Bloch,buzZ blurr,Pedro Pescador,Reed Altemus,Judith Hoffberg,Anna Banana,State of Being,Clive Phillpot,John M. Bennett,C. Mehrl Bennett,Robert Delford Brown,Honoria,Jean Kusina,C. Mehrl Bennett, Jessica Manak,Alex Cheek and me Dragonfly Dream!
Wanna see some fun photos from the weekend?
Or check out Bob Brown's Page about it.
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