Sunday, November 14, 2004

Send Not to Sender

Roy Arenella somehow surprises me again. This time with a postcard on thick card that is nothing more than the crossed-out return address from a package he had recently received from France. This simple and common image of a return address throws Roy into another discussion on correspondence, which is one of the prominent features of his mailart. With Roy, the message he writes on the card is as much the art as the images that accompany it.

Upon seeing this return address, Roy writes,

Recieving a package from France, I am reminded of the European postal practice of crossing out the name of the sender of such mail. Each time I see this I read the same moral lesson it it—one that's cautionary, even exemplary—especially for the mail art world. Certainly French postal policy isnt concerned with ego psychology, modesty or personal pushiness. The rule that asks the sender to cross out & thsu subordinate his or her name in favor of the reciepient's is a practical one aimed at a quiker more efficient reading of the mails destination. I find in that policy a chastening effect, a needed reminder that we mail for a reason beyon only a proclaiming of ourselves. We mail to read another communicant—: the recipient.

I needn't add anything else on the subject. However, this card, mailed on 6 Nov 2004, is numbered 453C. It is a rare C (card), instead of p/c (photo/card). The stamp chosen for the card is of cirrus radiatus, a particularly visually pleasing cloud formation, which Roy sends to us on its side. Most importantly, the pseudo-cancellation mark includes a rubberstamping of a lower-case i, with its tittle slightly off to the right. This single letter deftly reiterates the card's message and illustration.

Roy Arenella, "Mail from France" (6 Nov 2004)

un violon d'ingres

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