It has already been a month and a half since the KUKU mailbox became something more than a receptacle for advertisement and bills; for a little over a month now, I glance expectantly though its slot every time I come down the stairs, hoping to see the white hint of an envelope…
A month and a half ago, I received an invitation to join Un-Send, a forum of international collaboration between artists from different countries through the exchange of postcard-sized art works, conceived and promoted by artist Iv Blanco Gross.
Since then, the KUKU’s bathroom has turned into an Un_Send_workstation. The table _ and at times the floor_ are covered with all kinds of paint, pencils, watercolours and markers, with scissors, glue and box cutters, with cuttings from books, newspapers and magazines, with pictures, stickers, cards and tags, with wrapping paper, cardboard and all imaginable kinds of paper…
The dynamic that Iv lays out is simple enough: a dialogue over postcards between two artists, where one of them starts by sending 10 unfinished postcards (plus one finished one as a gift for the receiving part). The receiving part completes them, keeps 5 for his or her personal collection, and returns 5, in addition to 10 new incomplete postcards. After the 6 planned exchanges, each side has a small collection of 6 postcards (gifts from the partner artist) and 30 postcards fruit of the artistic dialogue, half of which are propositions completed by the partner artist, and half of which are answers to propositions received.
Here you can see some examples of the exchange between Iv and I:
All materials, techniques, and more or less invasive forms of intervention are allowed, and each artist decides how many dialogues he or she wants to maintain.
This is only the beginning of the project for us, but even though I haven’t received many envelopes yet, each time I enjoy the excitement of opening the mailbox, taking the envelope upstairs, sitting down, opening it and looking through the postcards, the answers as well as the new proposals. With so much email, Skype, chat and virtual interaction, it is a real experience to go back to something tangible, to be able to smell the glue and feel the different textures.
Both moments, that of having to respond and complete a postcard and that of starting a new work or proposition, involve very different emotions, and their combination is what makes the experience so enriching. I am very curious to see how the interaction will change throughout the project, as we get to know each other and our propositions and interventions acquire more depth. I am also interested in observing how our personal and cultural contexts, our technical and thematic attachments, our origins and our history will play into the process.
This is how far my first reflections go as a participating artist; I will keep you updated as the project advances. Currently, 42 artists are involved in Un_Send, from 25 countries: Argentina, Australia, Belgium, Canada, Chile, Denmark, Spain, Greenland, Guatemala, India, Israel, Japan, Mexico, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Senegal, Sweden, Ukraine, France, Indonesia, Brazil, Greece, the UK and the US.
For now, I have committed to dialogues with Ivana Blanco Gross – USA (and so has everyone else, since she is at the core of the project and constitutes a sort of junction for all who are take part in it), with Chris Alic – Canada / Evapia Dugstad – Norway / Gabriel Flores Tarancon – España / Alvaro Sanchez – Guatemala (who, by the way, is also the creator of the logo and the map) /…
If I listened to my nomad soul, I would stretch my wings and fly over the whole map until I had landed at least once on each of the red spots, but my conscience is almost yelling at me not to, so that it doesn’t take away too much time from the work at the loom. I see her point, and I will try to find a balance between work and play…
The KUKU will also have the pleasure to host the first public exhibition of this project. From May 29 to May 31, the KUKU will be flooded with hundreds of works of art that will have flown across the globe in uncountable comings and goings.
Iv will come from the States with a suitcase _or two?_ filled with them.
In the context of the exhibition, we want to invite you to become a part of this project and experience firsthand the pleasure that comes along with conversing in traces, colours, textures… For three days, the KUKU will be open for anyone who wants to drop by to have a look and create his or her own postcards.
Here I leave you the link to the project’s website, where you can find more information and pictures of art pieces by other participating artists.
You can also find Un-Send on FB and “like” it, to enjoy a preview of the exhibition – Iv usually posts some representative examples of each dialogue.
Group Members :
Chris Alic – Canada, Pamela Anderson – USA, Cosme Argerich Diez – Argentina, Ivana Blanco Gross – USA, Ian Butler – UK, Rafael Chavez – Mexico, Cecilia Ciscar – Sweden, Lorna Crane – Australia, Mor Dieng – Senegal, Evapia Dugstad – Norway, Richard van Ekeren – Netherlands, Tali Farchi – Netherlands/Israel, Gabriel Flores Tarancon – Spain, Ron Frisby – USA, Julio Fuentes Tamayo – Chile, Andre Farnier – France, Lulu G – USA, Golmei Gandumpu – India, Teri Gil – Netherlands, Ana Guitel Nigri – Brasil/Israel, Lisa Goldberg – USA, Hannablue – Belgium, Elby Huerta – Chile, Yanny Ippoliti, Line P. Jensen – Greenland, Susanne P. Jensen – Greenland, Kirit Kaneria – India, David Klevinsky – USA, Annet van Klinken Kuiper – NL, Leonidas – Mexico, Kit Longfors – Denmark, Angelina Martens – Netherlands, Andrea Milde – Spain, Joanne Morgan – United Kingdom, Alvaro Sanchez – Guatemala, Hari Santoso – Indonesia, Lill Soderlund – Sweden, Karin Anna Sogaard – Denmark, Natasha Soyer – Ukraine, Osvaldo Stav – Israel, Donna Steel – New Zealand, Wilda Gerideau Squires – USA, Denita Tizard – New Zealand, Nagao Yukiharu – Japan, Eleni Zhodi – Greece/ USA, Zyll – USA