The editorial categories are research topics that have guided researchers during the recovery phase and continue to be the impetus behind the Documents Project’s digital archive and the Critical Documents book series. Developed by the project’s Editorial Board, each of the teams analyzed this framework and adapted it to their local contexts in developing their research objectives and work plans during the Recovery Phase. Learn more on the Editorial Framework page.
From a Uruguayan perspective, visual artist and performer Clemente Padín discusses the importance of Mail Art in Latin America, as well as the problems it faces. In this article, he explains the origins of Mail Art as a movement for international cultural exchange, focusing on its repercussions in the social and artistic world of Montevideo, and its role in defending human rights.
Mail Art was an international movement of cultural exchange and political criticism that made use of the post as medium. It attempted to demystify artistic means of production by restoring an instrument of interrelation. Artists would send their literary or visual works in postcard format. Lack of reimbursement and commercialization were fundamental to an understanding of art as means of communication as opposed—at least ostensibly—to a conception based on “merchandise.” In Latin America, Mail Art was an instrument to defend human rights, and—in the seventies—opposition to dictatorships and to the Vietnam War. In all cases, Mail Art, whose origins lie in the late sixties, was socially and politically committed. In the Río de la Plata, Clemente Padín (b. 1939) was an outstanding practitioner of Mail Art, an art form he communicated in his alternative magazines Los Huevos del Plata and OVUM 10, which were geared to a wide audience. [For further reading, see the following texts in the ICAA digital archive: by Fernando Davis and Fernanda Nogueira “La nueva poesía y las redes alternativas” (doc. no. 1240658); and “Arte postal en Latinoamérica” (doc. no. 1240703)].