Monday, September 24, 2012

Jennifer Kosharek's Mail Art/FLuxus Show @ Eve N' Odd Gallery

Jennifer Kosharek and her Mail Art exhibit

Jennifer Kosharek is a Fluxus Artist [Link], [Link], who consistently puts on some of the best and most interesting art shows on either side of the Bay. She does this with a minimal budget and a tiny space.

Work in show

Although mail art reportedly began with the Futurists, it was Ray Johnson in the 1940's and the Fluxus artists who developed and popularized it by the 1960's, perhaps peaking out in the early 90's. Mail art was a perfect venue for this anti-art, anti-commercial movement, expanding the definition of what an art space is, how art is distributed, no rules, no entry fees and everything received is shown. Strangely egalitarian and radical for the art world. For a brief history of Fluxus, see here [Link]

Mailing out a large number of art works has led these artists to adopt strategies like rubber stamps, collage and photomontage, art stamps, and printing. All of these can be seen in the works at the Eve N' Odd Gallery.

Mail artists have always nucleated in networks. In the digital age, perhaps even more so. The anti-hierearchy thing notwithstanding, these networks tend to have outer and inner levels, and their membership ends up determining the quality of an exchange. It is important to realize that Fluxus goes well beyond mail art, and art in general.

Mail Art exhibit @ Eve N' Odd Gallery

Drawing the Fluxus Square
Performance is also part of Fluxus, and Ms. Kosharek, wearing a bowler hat, Peter Pan collar and black dress (which she later snipped several holes out of) performed 'aktions', as they are called, on opening night. She flashed cards, shouted anti-poetry, jumped on an orange (more symbolic than one would think) and sang softly into the ear of one lucky audience member:

"You are my sunshine, my only sunshine
You make me happy when skies are gray
You'll never know dear, how much I love you
Please don't take my sunshine away"

There's a huge number of artists in the show, many of them prominent mail artists. This is one of those rare instances where you don't just look at the stuff hanging on the wall, but there is a shelf with works on it, that can be picked up and looked at, up close and in your own hands.

Jennifer Kosharek levitating over orange

Fluxus means "flow" or "fusion". At Eve N' Odd gallery, both happen, and Fluxus thrives.

Congratulations to all the artists and Jennifer Kosharek for a very good show and performance.

--- Luis

No comments:

Post a Comment