POSTCARDS FOR DEMOCRACY:
Mark MOTHERSBAUGH & Beatie WOLFE
May 17 – Aug 8, 2021
The Bob Rauschenberg Gallery at FSW is honored to announce the premiere of Mark Mothersbaugh and Beatie Wolfe’s collective art campaign, Postcards for Democracy.
The resulting Gallery exhibition is expansive, immersive and participatory, but the concept continues to be quite simple: create and mail your postcard design to 8760 Sunset Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90069 to become part of this art demonstration and in doing so support USPS and democracy in the process.
Artistic visionaries Mark Mothersbaugh and Beatie Wolfe – who share a love of tangible art-forms, in and amongst their futuristic explorations – joined forces to create Postcards for Democracy, a collective art campaign in support of the United States Postal Service (USPS) and its essential role in our elections.
The pair have received thousands of cards to date covering themes such as covid, democracy, capitalism, the environment, social injustice, science and even insomnia. Together these postcards (like the exhibition itself) form something of a time capsule – reflecting our collective experience personally, socially, societally, politically, and environmentally – while the archive expands with ongoing contributions
This May through August, the Bob Rauschenberg Gallery will collaborate with the artists to present a site-specific installation: the first public showing of Postcards for Democracy. Both Mothersbaugh and Wolfe have strong ties with Rauschenberg’s work and ethos, Mothersbaugh in his adoption of Pop imagery and early experimentation with industrial printing techniques (including cyanotype) and Wolfe due to her reboot of the Rauschenberg founded E.A.T. program (Experiments in Art and Technology) of the late 60s with her Raw Space project.
“What better way than to use the very system of the USPS as proof of concept that if we protest through art and connection, we not only capture this moment, but we also create a movement and preserve it for posterity.” – Mark Mothersbaugh
“Lockdown has reminded me of the joy and importance of physical comms at a time when it’s more important than ever. And mail connects us in a way that technology never can. So let’s use it before we lose it!” – Beatie Wolfe
As a young art student at Kent State University, Mothersbaugh first started making postcard art in the early ’70’s and exchanging work with known and unknown artists alike. Through these exchanges, he realized that he was creating an image bank and a lyric collection that served as a basis of inspiration that he would later use in the creation of his seminal art-rock band, DEVO. Since then, he has filled over 490 archival volumes of 100 cards each. These cards became the basis of his most recent show Myopia, a retrospective beginning in 2015 focusing on modern man’s ongoing, internal dialogue of beatnik stream of consciousness poetry, the surrendering of the intellect to the primordial and science vs. faith.
Mark has shown his visual art in over 125 solo exhibits over the last 35 years, with touring shows “Homeland Invasion”, “Beautiful Mutants”, and “Myopia”, a 30,000 object retrospective in 2015. His art has been featured on numerous books, album art, and consumer products. He has collaborated musically with artists such as Brian Eno, David Bowie, Iggy Pop, Beck, The B52s, and Neil Young to name a few.
He was given an honorary doctorate of humanitarian letters from Kent State in 2008.
”Musical weirdo and visionary” Beatie Wolfe is an artist who has beamed her music into space, been appointed a UN Women role model for innovation, and held an acclaimed solo exhibition of her ‘world first’ album designs at the Victoria & Albert Museum.
Named by WIRED Magazine as one of “22 people changing the world,” singer-songwriter and innovator Beatie Wolfe is at the forefront of pioneering new formats for music that bridge the physical and digital, which include: a 3D theatre for the palm of your hand; a wearable record jacket – cut by Bowie/ Hendrix’s tailor out of fabric woven with Wolfe’s music – and most recently an ‘anti-stream’ from the quietest room on earth and space beam via the Big Bang horn.
The Barbican recently commissioned a documentary about Beatie Wolfe’s pioneering work titled Orange Juice for the Ears: From Space Beams to Anti-Streams and Wolfe’s latest innovation is an environmental protest piece built using 800,000 years of historic data that will be premiered at the London Design Biennale in 2021.
Bob Rauschenberg Gallery at FSW
The Bob Rauschenberg Gallery was founded as The Gallery of Fine Art in 1979 on the Lee County campus of Florida Southwestern State College/FSW (then Edison Community College). On June 4th 2004 the Gallery of Fine Art was renamed the Bob Rauschenberg Gallery, to honor and commemorate our longtime association and friendship with the artist. Over more than three decades until his death, the Gallery worked closely with Rauschenberg to present world premiere exhibitions including multiple installations of the ¼ Mile or Two Furlong Piece. The artist insisted on naming the space the Bob Rauschenberg Gallery (versus the “Robert Rauschenberg Gallery”) as it was consistent with the intimate, informal relationship he maintained with both our local Southwest Florida community and FSW.
Photos courtesy of Brian Tietz
Photos courtesy of Alejandro Gómez