Skip to content

The Name of the Game

January 11 - March 9, 2003

Ray Johnson's History of Video Art. Mailing. Nov. 4, 1978.
Untitled: Please Send to Joseph Beuys, 1980-90. Collage on cardboard panel 11.5 x 9. Richard L. Feigen.
William S. Wilson
Untitled: (Marianne Moore), 1963. Collage: 16.7 x 8.5 cm. William S. Wilson.

This is a book and an exhibition which deals with the work of Ray Johnson (1927-1955); the American artist who is probably best known as the inventor of an artistic practice that came to be known as "mail art" and as the initiator of the international mail art movement. A product of the 1960's, mail art was one of the several art movements that tried to create an alternative space for art - a space that would be radically social and interactive, intermedial and performative. Mail art seemed to focus explicitly on the communicational aspects of both art production and reception, creating a huge network of correspondents who could communicate and exchange objects and messages through the postal system. Ray Johnson developed the basic principles of this practice from the mid-50's onwards, and participated in the ever-growing network until his death.

Excerpt by Ina Blom as published in the exhibition catalogue.

Download PDF (4.4 MB)

National Museum of Contemporary Art
The National Museum of Art, Architecture and Design
P.O. Box 7014
St. Olavs plass, 0130 Oslo