Comments - please! Tribute-to-Shozo-Shimamoto-shaved-head-imagine-peace

Yesterday I received a bundle of five of the tribute-to-Shozo-Shimamoto-shaved-head-imagine-peace from Moreno Menarin.
I now find these more than uninteresting but wonder what other people think.
The original mail art tribute project - which I think he started in 2004 - seemed a good one, leading into the 2014 exhibition of 200 add-and-pass pieces.
But that was then and this is now ... am I missing the point here.
And don't start me off on a man who includes 'Moreno isn't sexist' in the text used.

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Comment by Jennifer Wallace on August 10, 2020 at 12:06pm

Jimmy - Not shredding A&Ps, but Josh Ronsen has been re-purposing it. Is this what you were thinking of or is this something different?

Comment by Jennifer Wallace on August 7, 2020 at 6:40pm

While I think about all this (and that), I've done what De Villo Sloan pointed out as an option and switched my profile settings to private.

Comment by De Villo Sloan on August 7, 2020 at 5:47pm

Jennifer Wallace, I should quit while I'm ahead. You have thoughtful responses from artists. But I think this is an usual case.

Usually these blog discussions provide insights into the Eternal Network and sometimes even resolve issues that arise and benefit the entire community.

But I agree with your own assessment: This is about some personal issue that you have receiving mail art. This is about some personal problem you have with Moreno's art. I receive his work too. "Talking turkey" as we say, I don't necessarily need pics of nude women in provocative poses sent to me by a guy (from women, yes :). But other comments in this stream explain succinctly why I accept & sometimes blog his work even if I don't respond.

The network is a refuge for a lot of avant & postavant artists. Their work is designed to shock. My analysis is that Moreno intends to shock. His approach worked with you Jennifer. You are bourgeois? A Victorian? A feminist? You tell us.

But when you hang your address out for the world to see and say, "I wish to receive mail art?" Do you believe it will all be "interesting" and meet some moral and aesthetic standard you keep in your head?

You can set your profile to private. You can screen senders via email and limit yourself to a circle of correspondents (which is what usually happens anyway). Some excellent mail artists fly below the radar. But your name and address are out there and people will contact you - with good intentions - because you are a mail artist!

I shouldn't have said IUOMA-Ning is a joke. I apologize for that. I love IUOMA.

But IUOMA is a joke when someone joins and declares themselves a mail artist. Then they FREAK OUT when they receive mail from strangers, nude pics, dumpster refuse, etc. Some threaten to call the police or seek psycho-therapy. Now that is a joke. Those people will likely not continue tho some, of course, will evolve.

Mail art is OPEN to everyone. But not everyone is a mail artist. Jennifer Wallace I respectfully ask you to consider the idea that mail art is not for you. You seem to have some sort of issue with it and you come to the IUOMA members and ask them to fix the whole network for you? (This is not the first time Jennifer has posted a blog like this.) Or, you know, keep posting this stuff and it will become "uninteresting" very fast anyway.

I also need to examine myself to discover why I find your blog posts so annoying.

I hope the best for you - really. I hope you are able to find peace.

Comment by Jennifer Wallace on August 7, 2020 at 4:16am

So - am I the odd one out in that I don't find these A&Ps interesting? The first few I received, I did. But for me, that response has gone, and on reflection it didn't last long. That tells you as much if not more about me than the project and I did ask if I was missing the point somehow.

If anyone thought I was mocking the project, I tried to explicitly point to its significant scale and achievement in my post: no mocking was intended. I sought and still seek other takes on the project.

I wasn't, though, asking for suggestions on how I might respond and add to these particular pieces. By and large I have to deal with an overload of ideas.

I appreciate all the comments people have made and hope that there are a few more.

Comment by Carien van Hest on August 6, 2020 at 8:38pm

Dear Jennifer,

Reading about the points of view of mr. Shimamoto (, I think some work can be done to appreciate the Menarin bundle: draw glasses and moustaches on the naked women (representing Venus, I guess). Points 2 and 4 are met. Honor point 6, because Menarin did not. And for the rest... yes, especially in mail art anything goes. 

Let's go to a candy shop and forget all about it.

Comment by Richard Canard on August 6, 2020 at 8:05pm

06.08.20 ....over the years, I have received a thousand & one postcards & stuffed envelopes with all manner of contents ( things that I  thought  to be of little value as well as treasures). It sorta all depends upon the original source & equally upon it's reception (both are responsible & to blame). Somewhere early on in my involvement with "Mail Art". I received the subliminal message that "Anything goes"!  Mail art is free & open. There are no rules in "Mail Art" (I would like to add at this point: "No rules"-- except the ones that one chooses). But of course, there is also the element of just being human, sociability & etiquette.

Comment by Heide Monster on August 6, 2020 at 7:05pm

I must agree with De Villo.  Not all art will speak to everyone.  At the least, if you don't like something pass it on to someone else who will appreciate it.  And consider, someone may not like your art, but you wouldn't appreciate cutting comments.

Comment by jimmyconnors on August 6, 2020 at 4:18pm

hmkay, think i never really got the inside and outside thing. probably because i haven't been inside for such a long time as others. if i'm inside at all.

Comment by De Villo Sloan on August 6, 2020 at 4:03pm

I must reiterate here that I believe this public criticism & mockery of a project & an individual artist is counter to the core of mail art values: Mutual support & acceptance.

Will you organize a tribunal to determine what projects continue & are "uninteresting"? That would be more egalitarian.

This is why I spend less & less time at IUOMA-Ning (I'm sure you'll be glad to be rid of me) & why IUOMA-Ning is more & more a joke outside the platform.

Comment by jimmyconnors on August 6, 2020 at 3:27pm

like the spray paint additions though.



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