December 16 of 1999 was inaugurated the exhibition MAIL ART TOWARD THE NEW MILLENNIUM in the premise of the Museum of Philately (MUFI) of Oaxaca, Mexico. The Museum of Philately is the first in its gender in Mexico and has been opened for the conservation of the philatelic collections and their diffusion to the public, apart from constitute on a point of encounter of all the lovers of the world of this art- science (like it has been called).
Like an extension in its activity, the Museum through its Director, the Graduated Alejandra Mora, invited to the international networking to participate in an exhibition mail art requesting, mainly, the shipping of artiststamps (false and artistic mail-stamps) like an unusual form of gathering the official art of the stamps of mail, consecrated by the Philately and the alternative art (outside of the official system of the arts) well-known like mail art. So, it was possible to enjoy one of the biggest collections of stamps in both manifestations. From the success of the convocation art mail gives faith the arrival of 388 sendings of 30 countries.
On the other hand, Alejandra Mora, invited to creators in this special branch of the art nucleus and to another of different nature creator, propitiating an encounter interactive of great characteristics. So the professional artists of mail art Michael Thompson and Michael Hernández of Luna concurred from Chicago, United States from North America; Jas Felter, the acquaintance Canadian promoter of one of the old collections of artiststamps of the world and producer of the most detailed wegsite of the net; Manuel Rocha, one of the most important creators of electronic music from Mexico; Ulises Mora, young artist mailartist from Mexico City; the Chilean Ludwing Zeller and his companion Susana Wald creators of the well-known stamps of homage to the fiftieth anniversary of the Surrealismo in 1974; Manuel Marín, one of the pioneers of the art mail in Mexico, author of the AQUÍ experience that anounced the interactive art of our days; Arnaldo Coen, brilliant artist Mexican who gave a new turn to the AQUÍ proposal of Marín; Gerardo Yépiz, young networking Mexican residing in San Diego, affiliated not only to the mail art but also to the multiple manifestations of the underground: sticking, fanzines, bizarres wegsites, etc.; the artist Colombian Antonio Caro and the Uruguayan Clemente Padín, who is practicing the mail art from 1967.
Before the eve of the inauguration was carried out a conference of press where the participants, apart from explain their art, they coincided in which most of the artistic pieces elaborated for the sample reflected, mainly, the human uncertainty for the future, the desire to better conditions of life for the new millennium, as well as the desire to peace in a frame of worthy life and justice. The exhibition was inaugurated December 16 with a brief words of Alejandra Mora and two performances, the first in charge of Clemente Padín, ART ZONE, and the second carried out by Gerardo Yépiz and Padin. The following day, after a workshop of irons of stamps at noon, it was carried out, in hours of the afternoon, the round table with the participants, public and journalists in general. Without a doubt, the high point of the event: the contradictions appeared in relation to the art mail and its absorption for the official apparatus of the arts and the discussion was generalized in a climate of mutual respect. It doesn't fit doubt that, after more than 30 years of fertile behavior, the mail art has lost its innovative force and, nowadays, it goes losing its art applied to attributes the communication for the sake of an art to the service of the market. Test of this is its constant institucionalization, the formation of select groups of mail-artists in detriment of the net opened to all, the sale and marketing of files, the demand of higher artistic levels, the claims of appropriate catalogs (that will be possible the making of the necessary curriculums for the competition in the market of the art), etc. Without opening judgement on the irreversible consequences that these measures will have for the mail art, we as you knew, it is necessary assume that, nowadays, we are in front of another thing. It is clear that all the artistic currents, without exception, they have gone by the cycle characteristic of all cultural entity: they are born rejecteds, they are developeds and dies accepteds by the status or stablishment. That sooner or later they reborn like revivals movements is another thing how it happened with the Fluxus, rebirth of the Dada. It is clear that the changes that are come imposing will destroy the social base of the mail art, it is say, the newcomers or "new artists that begin" that maintained the democratic and universal character of the net.
Now, the mailartists will be named and elects for art critics or juries of acceptance of works that they will impose their aesthetic likes and what is art and what is not it, in an exercise more than the cultural official dictac to the service of the system. Now the exhibitions will be summoned, not for the own artists, but for galleries and institutions whose function is the commercialization and sale of the art. They will be left aside the social sense of the proposals for the sake of the genders possibles of being marketed for the art galleries: stamps of mail and rubber stamps (they will be more appreciated the "engravings by hand," without a doubt), the envelopes-paintings, the editions of numbered and signed postcards and all that we already know in relation to the market of the art, including sponsors, marketing, promotion, super-stars, etc. Also, soon, the hour will arrive to the files…from the utopian "eternal communication" of Robert Filliou to the real daily consumerism in art. So we should assume the changes or to remain of backs to the history. Mail art is died, long live to mail art.
Of course, the happiness comes for districts, it is say, what it for some will be reminiscence and memory for another it will be strategy of life or profession. In nothing opaque the work of the authorities of the MUFI that they carried out, perhaps, one of the better exhibitions on mail art in America Latin and one of the encounters of mailartists more fertile and ferment that we have known. Lastly we transferred to all the sollicitation of the MUFI of enriching its files with the shipping of works and, so, generate a permanent program of exchanges that regularly will reissue the success of this exhibition. Sendings to: Museum of Philately of Oaxaca A.C., s/c Alejandra Mora, Reforma 504, Centro, Oaxaca, Oax., CP 68000, MEXICO.