In Vitro, 2020M HKA Museum of Contemporary Art, Antwerp
"Communication is the transmission of information. Mail art is communication-art (via post, telegraphy, telex, telefax, computer, telephone, …). In its most extreme form communication-art is art without material object (for example, telephone art). The products are only the results (registration) of the processes. These products (things, memories, …) are less important than the processes (the activities). Mail art is also process-art. In principle, the mail art activities of interrelationship are more significant than the mail art artefacts."
– Guy Bleus, 1984 (Exploring mail art, in: Commonpress 56, Tienen, 1984, p. 41)
From the various existing mail art archives, such as the ICC archive, the estate of Jef Lambrecht, the Jan van Veen archive and the recent donation of mail art objects from the Bex-De Deyne family, M HKA reconstructed a number of historical mail art exchanges.
The presentation features letters, postcards, posters and collages by Walter Beckers, Guy Bleus, André Cadere, Luc Deleu, Filip Francis, Jef Lambrecht, Carla Meertens, Christine Steel, Endre Tot, Johan Van Geluwe, Han Van Meeuwen and Jan Verhaeghe.
To complement the mail art presentation, M HKA initiated the project In Vitro. Seventeen artists were invited to create a work of art on an A2 sheet of paper, which were reproduced in an edition of 100 and distributed to all those subscribed to their national mailing list. For In Vitro, the original works were placed on display.
Artists: Nel Aerts, Babi Badalov, Guy Bleus, Kasper Bosmans, Marlies De Clerck, Arpaïs Du Bois, Maika Garnica, Carlos Ginzburg, Paul Hendrikse, Nikita Kadan, Basim Magdy, Bart Prinsen, Laure Prouvost, Kelly Schacht, Charline Tyberghein, BEN Vautier, Eleanor Wright