This is mail art in that it uses mail, but it's different from most of the calls for mail art that I've seen, as follows:
a) it's for an existing artwork rather than a mail art show per se
b) it's directed and therefore compromised
But this still involves postal mail, rather than e-mail, because a made mark on a piece of paper is de facto required. I suppose you could do this digitally by altering/wrecking the pdf if the fancy so takes you, but... Here goes - I would positively welcome mail response to add to an ongoing artwork called Falco subbuteo subbuteo (The Hobby). It's about birdwatching (and art). And football.
This also features on www.mcgoldrick-art.org/7.htm. A bird may or may not have been removed from the picture. You are invited to print off a pdf (here or see link on the web page above) and then use your skill and judgment to mark the exact center of the bird on the picture. If you then send it back to me at the location quoted on the pdf, supplying your name and address where shown, I’ll cut it out and put your contribution on a table in front of an enlarged version of the image. And put it in two art exhibitions, one in London in Nov 2008, the other in Plymouth in Feb 2008. And more shows, as the piece grows.
If you are really up for it, by all means make a number of marks on the paper, at no cost to you beyond your time and inclination. Or make just one (mark). Or whatever. And if you're really worried about identity, just make up a name and address. But I need people to enter some sort of details there or the work begins to disappear.
For those of you interested, this work will feature in a large group show called The Animal Gaze that I've also curated (full now, I'm afraid), alongside a university symposium on the subject. Mail art or not, I'm always interested in looking at new ideas/work from artists whose subject is animals. So if you know of anyone like this, contact me from The Animal Gaze website...
For those of you with the time, here's a non-academic, non-art-theory text about figuration and animals. It's published on the back of some of the completed mail-pieces currently sitting in a pile on a table beneath the image in my studio.
Taken from an appendix to the wildlife guide Birds & Mammals of Crete by George Sfikas (1989), under the heading ‘Problems of Illustration’.Mr Sfikas sums it up - as good a guide as any, I think.
The greatest problem that I had to face in order to complete this book was the illustration. Unfortunately, I had in my hands only a small part of the necessary photographic material mine or borrowed by my friend Triantaphillos Adamokopoulos. To collect photos for covering the needs of such a book would demand plenty of means (telephocus etc.) as well as some years of work in the country. But the necessity of issueing a book for the birds of Crete the soonest possible, made impossible, at least for the present moment, the following of this method.
The case of buying some slides from Greek or foreigner ornithologists to take photographs of birds since many years was excluded from the very beginning as the cost of the book should be increased too much and its issue should not be profitable.
Naturally as a painter I could find refuge in the solution of the painting illustration. Although, it would demand work of at least three years, which should be paid, increasing again the cost of the entire issue.
In front of this impasse, I took refuge in the only realizable solution, under these conditions, that means the solution of photomontaz. I cut very carefully pictures of birds and mammals from different books and putting it on a suitable background photograph, looking like their natural environment I photographed it again with slides. I achieved in this way an enough satisfactory result. The most important is that this result cannot be considered to be “robbery” as there is a reformation and a creation of a new photograph.
The 90% of the pictures in this book are result of photomontaz system. The rest of the pictures are real photographs of alive or embalmed mammals or birds. The name of the owner is referred under the photographs that are not mine.
And if you do complete the pdf and send it to me, well - thank you for your time and generosity.
Rosemarie McGoldrick (Shacklewell)