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Galeria Jaqueline Martins, São Paulo, Brazil
July 4, 2014 – August 16, 2014
Artists: Alexandre Brandão, Almandrade, Andrzej Dudek-Dürer, Charbel-joseph H. Boutros, Chris Marker, Edgard de Souza, Ilene Segalove, John Kelsey, Karin Sander, Mario Ishikawa, Anna Bella Geiger, Moyra Davey, Nana Mendes da Rocha & Serguei Dias, Roberto Winter, Walead Beshty, Ze Frank, Francesca Woodman, and selected works from the mail art archives of Gastão de Magalhães, f. marquespenteado and Luis Neto Guardia
The exhibition Batalhão de Telegrafistas considers mail art as a global movement among artists from the centers and the margins of the art system, from the late 1960s into the present. For many years the practice of using the post office services or fax machines as a strategy for creating and sharing graphic arts and other artistic projects has been at the root of mail art; the advent of information technology has shifted parameters towards the digital realm. Yet, ideas that were prevalent from the start of mail art have remained significant in artistic practice since: networking, access to information, free movement, distribution, participation, collaborative work procedures and sharing are at the core of the conceptual framework for this exhibition.
In Brazil, mail art matured during the dictatorship (1964-1985). For many artists living and working in the country during this time mail art was the only way to personally connect with other artists internationally. Within a political context filled with tension mail art also plaid a denunciatory role.
The exhibition Batalhão de Telegrafistas departs from a number of works drawn from mail art archives of Brazilian artists that were active participants in different international mail art networks at the time.
While mail art networks as we have come to know them are less vibrant than they have been before the advent of the internet, the methodology of using the post office and courier services as an inherent component in the production of mailed sculptures, paintings or photographs, for example, continues to resonate in the work of several artists.
With globalization and the invasion of information technology in our lives, postal services nowadays increasingly serve the flow of global commodities rather than personal communication, which in turn vanished into the digital realm. A number of works in the exhibition comment on the ways we relate to each other through the use of handheld devices that connect us via remote data servers, and the methods in which that networked media is employed for mass surveillance or individual persuasion.