Wednesday, May 08, 2002

Comics and Correspondence
Last Friday before sharing time and table with Alex -- and packing to go to RealTime, I took in the opening reception for Leslie Kleinberg and Dan Moynihan's Letter Show installation at MassArt's Tower Gallery. The show features about 220 envelopes and postcards that Leslie and Dan exchanged through the mail between 1991 and 2002. It's a wonderful exhibit -- multiple rows of envelopes clipped to strands of wire running across the gallery space -- and lots of solid examples of mail art, illustration, comics, and artist's stamps.

Leslie and Dan met in 1991 through a pen-pal ad placed in the Cure fanzine, Other Voices. They later met face to face while they were both studying in Providence, but their correspondence started sight unseen -- and represents a wide-ranging creative exchange over the course of more than 10 years and straying coast to coast several times. While many of the envelopes are interesting pieces of art in and of themselves, the backs of the envelopes are even more interesting, featuring ephemeral marginalia such as song quotes, cartoons, and last-minute questions or ideas. In fact, Leslie and Dan first had the idea for this exhibit in 1995. The envelope sporting that brief note -- suggesting that they exhibit the four years of envelopes and correspondence to date -- is included in the installation.

During the reception, Leslie and Dan even played some of the mix tapes that they have exchanged since 1991, adding an interesting musical accompaniment to the browsing and conversations -- and again highlighting the value of trading networks, zine friends, and correspondence. Brilliant. The exhibit runs through May 10, so you can still catch it. I suggest you do.

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