Mail-art by IUOMA member Jen Staggs (Dallas, Texas, USA)
November 16, 2010 - I was very pleased indeed to receive a new mail-art piece by Jen Staggs. She is doing very unique work that explores gender roles (with the focus on images of women) expressed through fashion. In a previous blog I attempted to explore the actual complexity of what she is doing. Other examples of her work can be found here at the IUOMA. In many cases she uses sewing and fabric. Jen's work in this area is getting increased attention as the result of Bifidus Jones' Haptic Poetry Group; and who knows what new ideas and inspiration will find its way into her work as a result. This piece I received uses some great vintage imagery from - it has to be - the mid-20th century. The poison sticker is a nice touch of commentary concerning the portrayal of domesticity in popular culture during this era, as compared to the reality. The address side is equally wonderful, and I like the way the dress design is becoming Jen's brand:
The image below covers much of the ground Jen is exploring, and I thought of her when I found it. First, this is a male in women's underwear, make no mistake. It was taken somewhere between the mid-1960s and 70s. Vintage fashion. To the best of my knowledge, this is an authentic photo. This is George Maciunas, one of the original founders of Fluxus. Macunias was known for staging performances that were a bit on the outrageous side. Apparently that extended to cross-dressing. So you have yet another document of a Fluxus performance for the record. This is not a hoax:
Incidentally, George Maciunas wrote a famous Fluxus document called the "Purge Manifesto." The Monkey Purge was, in part, an homage to Maciunas and Fluxus, BTW. I don't think there is much more to say on that front.
As ever, thanks for the mail-art, Jen.