25 April 2011
"While the eternal-mailart network has no formal rules, it is growing at such a rate that certain "considerations" must be given to the conduct of those individuals hosting mailart exhibitions if the system is to grow in a positive way.
Beyond the dictates of basic human nature, focusing on politeness, mailart shows are a two-way street of communication. We, as practicing mailartists, feel that the following "considerations" should form the foundation of any show that calls itself a "mailart show."
(1) No fee (2) No jury (3) No returns (4) All works received will be exhibited (5) A complete catalog will be sent free of charge to all participants. (Hopefully the catalog will be more than just a list of names.)
If for whatever reason a mailart show curator cannot fulfill these "considerations," then he/she should return, without cost to to contributing artists, all mailings received. As this new art phenomenon emerges and develops, it is our wish to offer clarity.
"Mailart is not objects going through the mail, but artists establishing direct contact with other artists, sharing ideas and experiences, all over the world."
It's time to strengthen this vital alternative avenue of self-expression because we no longer feel that the present-day art structure is concerned with the artist as a sensitive individual, trying to develop within an ever increasing and complex cultural milieu. Art today is concerned with valuable objects and status. Mailart is concerned with communication. Art is magic, magic is fun, art is fun.
Whereas in the past, we mail artists would send works to mailart shows merely because they were listed as such, we no longer find it acceptable to submit material to shows that do not deal—up front—with these "considerations."
Mailart is still the art of "no rules." Only the "considerations" of basic human politeness prevail. It must be remembered that a mailart show show curator receives one of the world's finest collections of art "free: and we feel that the show "owes" hing to those individual threads who compose the final piece. Also, curators get to keep the artist's work and [artists] should get something in return for their energy/time. Without them there would be no show."
–Lon Spiegelman and Mario Lara, 1980
20 April 2011
Living in this powerful authoritarian culture, common Chinese have to develop their defensive behaviors and feelings to cope with it adaptively or not. For example, every Chinese adult may have the experience of dealing with his or her leader's over-dominating orders or comments (e.g., asking employees to do some work for the leader's private needs; ordering subordinates to make his or her mobile phone be available 24 hours a day; giving some work on weekends without respect for the subordinate's private time), using a splitting way of definitely agreeable attitude on the surface and disagreeable thoughts in his or her mind. Instead of directly refusing or fighting with the leader, the latent social authoritarian rules unconsciously influence Chinese to repress their true feelings in order to achieve surface harmony in social conversation, and, at the same time, unconsciously promote the inhibition for the inner psychic need of autonomy, which may lead to more latent aggressive feeling. Hence, the authoritarian system, which is the dominating component in Chinese culture, has the function to persuade Chinese people to repress their individual wishes and sacrifice oneself to the collective or family, if the authorities find some conflicts between the individuals and the group. In my opinion, this kind of repression is not mainly about the feelings of guilt, but about fear, which means the anxiety of being abandoned or destroyed by the authorities in fantasy.
"At the same time, parts of Daoist and Buddhist beliefs may be helpful for the Chinese to repress aggressiveness and feel more peaceful, I think, at least on the surface. Different with Confucianism, Daoism and Buddhism offer the philosophic and operational ways for Chinese to escape from the inner conflict and splitting feelings when they meet the powerful authoritarian social context. Instead of choosing fighting, with the help of Daoism and Buddhism, Chinese culture gave common Chinese a good way to escape and helped Chinese keep their repressed private wishes or fantasies, provide an acceptable chance to deal with their defensive feelings or repress their aggressive emotions. For example, the idea of reincarnation is a typical Buddhist belief which helps Chinese bear the suffering in his or her current life and gain the hope to get happiness in his or her next life. The basic Daoist idea of oneness, to integraate with nature, promotes lots of Chinese people to escape from their psychological conflict in their life span."
—Zhong Jie "Working with Chinese patients: Are there any conflicts between Chinese culture and psychoanalysis?"