Mail-art by IUOMA member meeah williams (Brooklyn, New York, USA)
November 15, 2014 - Gutai Trashpo – pieces made of decaying materials where decomposition is an inherent part of the work – are gaining in popularity. Wendy Rodgers (Maryland, USA) certainly first blazed the trail. Now meeah williams (I'm reasonably sure meeah sent this although it’s not signed) weighs in with this groundbreaking Gutai that miraculously passed through the postal system (sans a few shreds), a roughly postcard-size assemblage of yellow page and newsprint pieces wadded together like a clump of chewing gum on a Brooklyn sidewalk, “naked” without protection of an envelope or wrapping material (sorry Christo).
Truly an amazing work! I have also recently received a second piece from meeah williams. meeah’s intentions for this piece are not entirely clear to me or at least my response, while I am intrigued and appreciative, offers no quick and easy interpretation. I have no problem with the indeterminate anyway.
Letters, barely discernible at times, are suspended with sticky material between thin sheets. This reminds me of some classic Fluxus films from the 1960s that present moving text-like shapes that are impossible to read although they seem to say something. These are generally interpreted as explorations of perception as well as concepts of the indeterminate and the unintelligible, almost a kind of asemic writing. They are also examples of “defamiliarization,” an avant technique where the mundane is made strange in order to help one better understand the nature of manufactured reality.
This is a very interesting piece by meeah williams that I find more and more interesting as I return to it in quest of an elusive meaning. Ideas from Fluxus and asemic writing help frame the beginning of an understanding. Some great meeah williams envelope art came with this mailing as well:
And the reverse:
I consider meeah williams a fave mail-art friend, but some might recall her spotless Eternal Newtwork halo has been tarnished since it was revealed she engaged in “collabs” with DK (aka Diane Keys) that involved the dismantling and destruction of early and irreplaceable Trashpo pieces created by DK. Certainly DK has every right to determine the fate of her own art. Yet as she is the center of an adoring cult and has made so many contributions to Trashpo, does she have a larger responsibility to those of us who are deeply disturbed by what we perceive to be the senseless destruction of history and beauty? Might we try to persuade artists from collaborating with DK on projects that involve the dismantling of these historic pieces? Might we work together to create a permanent home, a kind of museum, where Trashpo classics can be put on permanent display for everyone to enjoy?