Dear Banana Band,

So happy to make your acquaintence, and wonder if you are aware that there are MANY Anna Bananas in the world. Most just USE the name as a nick-name and haven't gone legal with it , while I made it official (legal change) back in the 80's after having used the name for over 15years.

    I have a number of other anna Bananas in my Encyclopedia Bananica files, and while I personally "bananas, fruity, nutty and completely ape," I can see the need for training of many others, in order to make the world a safe place for all bananas. Thus, the need for a drive for world wide banana consciousness. . . and to that end, wonder if you might entrust me with your special projects and exams that I could use with correspondents, in order to spread the banana consciousness more quickly and evenly around the globe. 

   I have been working at this myself, but now that I know of your group, feel there's a chance that, with group effort, we can spread banana consciousness more effectively. Here's a shot from my most recent event in Edmonton, July 1 this year . . . 

Go bananas, go!

all best from

Anna Banana

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Dear Val,

sure wish I could just clone you here, so we could work together on cataloging this historical collection that languishes away in file folders in boxes in my basement, and make it known to the world at large.

funding is always good, but given Martha's attitude, perhaps it is too commercial to even consider???

Dear Anna,

You have my full permission to clone me -- as long as it doesn't hurt too much.

You say that your collection is 'historical', and that, I think, is of the utmost importance. It may or may not be commercial, but that isn't really important.

What is important, to my way of thinking, is that it is a (reasonably?) complete collection of one woman's active particiaption in an important art movement over the last 40+ years.

Isn't there a University/Research Institution/Museum in the US or Canada that is interested in this? Is there one that you could work with and, say, find a Ph D student or two who could prepare his/her thesis using your collection?

Could you, if you haven't done so already, write an autobiography drawing on it?

Historical material should never be trashed, whatever it's commercial (non) value.

I would like to think that the international art community could come together to help preserve your collection...but I don't know how to make this happen, especially from here in the deep south of France.

Perhaps Dean has some ideas...

Regards, Val

Oh! Anna I am sorry I upset you. I happen to feel strongly about some things and also believe that everybody has a right to express their own opinion. This is a discussion, no? And we made our aquaintance a long time ago. I have some of your work in my own collection and before you get upset again I must tell you that is all perfectly catalogued and digital records made. Those I think will survive better in the Internet than in a museum. I am very methodic and every piece of art that I have ever received has been shown so it was easy to keep each show in a box and scan it into my virtual archive at the end of the show. I am in the process of turning them into eBooks which have the great advantage of being in public view, for free. I clarify that some artwork is not with me as I have always encouraged the public to take home what they fancied but believe me there are a lot of boxes in my cellar.

I don't want to cause you any more agravation so I wish you all the luck in the world in your endevours and sign out.

Dear Martha,

I'm not upset, but enjoying a little sparing with you. From what you said in your earlier email, that it doesn't matter what happens to your mail-art when you're gone . . . and the evils of retaining things, I was under the impression that you don't KEEP the mail-art you receive, but move it along, not making it precious, etc. etc.

   So this new message informs me that in fact, you DO TREASURE the mail-art you receive as much as I do, and are further making efforts to make it accessible to others. THAT's what I hope will happen with my collection, and from the few inquiries I've made about having it institutionalized, that appears to be a very slim prospect . . . all the special collections in university libraries seem either full/no room for more, or focused on literary publications and have no interest in out weird non-art mail-art networking.

   I guess I was mainly reaction to your rather holier-than-thou tone about my efforts to get my collection into an institution, paid or not . . . and from what I have found so far, NOT PAID will have to be the way it goes, if, indeed any institution agrees to take it on.

   So, you see, we are not that far apart in our views after all . . . and it has been good to have had this little bit of an exchange. OF COURSE everyone has a right to express their opinion . . .  and I'm glad you did. It sounds like you're doing a fine job of processing the mail-art into something more widely available and durable.

Good luck with that work, and thanks for your commumnications.

Dear Anna. You have my permission to use the pieces I've sent you in any way you see fit. When I send someone a piece of art the ownership is transferred to the recipient. Best to you and your endeavors.
My friend Nadine was happy to meet you at the Ex Postal Facto.

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