In late 2018, a donation was made to the MIDECIANT collection by artists Cesar Reglero, Antonio S. Ibirico and Salvador Benincasa, consisting of their own artworks and collections. Together with a subsequent donation made by Alfonso Aguado, Pere Sousa and José Emilio Antón, the Mail Art Collection was begun.
The Mail Art is, according to Jose Luis Campal in his book Mail Art:
“Fundamentally conceptual and idealistic art, art that is urgent and with an attitude that is clearly experimental, avant-garde and questioning; risky art that makes use of secular channels and incorporates as many advances as it deems appropriate, and which, in doing so, brings together the traditional and the modern”.
(“Mail Art”, Mail Art. La red eterna. P.O.BOX: https://issuu.com/merzmail/docs/mail_art.)
Mail Art is included within the alternative movements by international activists and artists that have taken place since the 1960s, and in turn it includes multiple expressive modes that are disseminated through the use of the post. Together with Copy Art, Visual Poetry, Performance Art and other forms of conceptual art, it came to be one of the main avant-garde artforms of the second half of the 20thcentury. Additionally, mail artists exceeded the limits of the envelope, employing both the envelope itself and the stamp, using “artistamps” and “rubber stamps”.
With a consistent focus on free expression and a disregard for the commercial art market, Mail Art in Spain, was quite successful starting in the 1970s. This trend continued in the 1980s with the growing popularity of the photocopy machine, and expanded even further in the following decade during the machine’s heyday. (Genealogy of the Mail Art in Spain, Merz Mail: http://www.merzmail.net/ entrevistamerz.htm). The tendency was supported by numerous editorial projects, including the publication starting in 1994 of P.O.BOX, the first mail art fanzine in Spain, from Merz Mail in Barcelona, and BOEK, a newsletter devoted to mail art and visual poetry.
The donated collection includes all sorts of Mail Art, including postcards and decorated envelopes, artistamps, collages, tampography, copy art, digital art, objects, visual poetry, engravings, drawings, art books, limited editions, fanzines, magazine collages, audiovisual material and copious documentation about Mail Art artists and the movement itself. In addition, dozens of self-published catalogs and information about national and international notices have shaped and given life to the movement, allowing artists to escape official channels in the last several decades.