Mail Art Chro No Logy

Robert Rehfeldt: Make a Creative World Now

Rehfeldt, Robert: Make a Creative World Now, in: Correspondence Art. Source Book for Network of International Postal Art Activity, Contemporary Art Press, San Francisco, 1984, p. 273. (Ed. by Michael Crane – Mary Stofflet)

Robert Rehfeldt, The Contart Archives Psecial Mail, East Germany, 1977. Collage postcard.

Robert Rehfeldt’s “Make a Creative World Now” is a song of the attributes of mail art, reflective of the views and beliefs held by many other artists along the network.

Mail art should not be looked at as a fashionable kind of art nor a substitution. As any other phenomenon in art history, it has its own tradition: the postal exchange of artists’ letters. At the end of the last century, a change developed in communication among artists. The dada movement and the work of El Lissitzky and Kurt Schwitters brought about a number of new ways in art communication, the meaning of which we recognize fully only today. That time of manifestos had been opened with a famous manifesto by Karl Marx. Creative people started more and more to become aware of their real possibilities, and of their dependencies. Artistic processes were expressed in many ways, including mail art, an important, widespread branch of the tree of art. The effects of this kind of communication art might be:

  1. Abolish the isolation of the artist by contacting like-minded people.
  2. Become fully alive to the fact that artists and their work are necessary in society as a progressive force.
  3. Help overcome the egocentric part in artists by cooperation.
  4. Rapid propagation of ideas to promote quick mutual fertilization in favor of art. Thus the artist will be able to humanize the working environment, to develop a consciousness of solidarity, and to advance insight into artistic problems beyond the special problems in art as far as artists are concerned, and generally, in the case of “non-artists.” (But mind: everyone is an artist!)
  5. As far as mail art messages are concerned, the notice of an artist surely will correspond to the way of expressing himself in other spheres of art. Art collectors of tomorrow should have an eye on this phenomenon called mail art.
Mail Art Chro No Logy

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