"in the beginning was the word" by Mudhead (aka Chris Reynolds) (Payson, Arizona, USA)

Mudhead - 1.19.2016 - 1

Mail art by IUOMA member Mudhead (Chris Reynolds) (Payson, Arizona, USA)

January 19, 2016 - Chris Reynolds has been in a self-imposed exile from the internet for several years now. (His online presence is minimal, and you have to communicate with him via snail mail.) He definitely remains a MinXus-Lynxus Top Ten fave mail artist. His status as a true underground networker communicating through the privacy of the postal system has not detracted from either his reputation or the relevance of his work.

The missive being shared today is a deeply philosophical meditation upon the nature of language that, despite the textual emphasis, contains trademark Mudhead art, such as the altered book page above. Here is the reverse side:

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Mudhead’s outsider explorations into the philosophy of language are, to me, fascinating and profound. They echo and expand upon the obsession with language and text that was so central in the Age of Theory, especially among the post-structuralists and deconstructionists. This near-religious fervor concerning the primacy of language to all human activity is also present in the productions of the L=A=N=G=U=A=G=E poets. The discoveries and lessons of that era have been absorbed. Possibly due to the shear overkill of the debates, most writers and artists seem to avoid the philosophical quicksand associated with this aspect of postmodernism. So, for me, it is admirable that Mudhead has turned here in his mail art to considerations of language: A substance that engulfs us. Ironically, we seem to feel safest enforcing the myth of its invisibility.

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Thanks as ever to Chris Mudhead Reynolds!

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