Welcome to the archiveThe Mogens Otto Nielsen mail art archive contains around 16.000 pieces of mail art from more than 600 artists around the world. At KUNSTEN Museum of Modern Art Aalborg in Denmark, it is my job to sort it out, to categorize it, and to make sense of it, without tearing it apart, making it fit too well, or to make sense where there should have been nonsense. I will keep you posted.
- Andrzej Dudek-Dürer Anna Banana archaeology Artpool Atmosphere Controlled autobiography banknotes Belgium Berlin Bernd Olbrich Bjørn Bennike Bodo Berheide bureaucracy Canada Carsten Schmidt-Olsen Chuck Welch Clemente Padin collage Copy-Left Crackerjack Kid Denmark East Germany envelope Finland France Francesc Abad Germany Guy Bleus György Galántai H.R. Fricker hair Hanneke Clappers heart Henning Mittendorf Henryk Gajewski Hungary Italy Japan Juppitter-Larsen Jürgen O. Olbrich Karla Sachse Keith Bates KUNSTEN Museum of Modern Art Lon Spiegelman mail art mail art exhibition map mapping Masao Kanai matchbook Mogens Otto Nielsen money music nature Netherlands network New York nuclear personal greetings photography Poland Ray Johnson Robin Crozier Rod Summers rubberstamp Ruggero Maggi Ruud Janssen Ryosuke Cohen stamps Sweden Switzerland TAM USA Vittore Baroni West Germany
In Mogens Otto Nielsen’s mail art archive, I found this postcard with a picture of the galleries in Kunsten Museum of Modern Art. With a typewriter Nielsen has written “atmosphere controlled” which is the name of his workshop/lab and art business/practise. Years later, the postcard would actually become a part of the museum along with the rest of the archive. The archive is still in the basement, though, but one day the Nielsen archive will ascent to the galleries. When it does, the mail art will be presented in a different fashion than the artworks you see on display here.
In the archive files, I once stumbled upon this mail art piece by the Danish artist Mogens Otto Nielsen. The piece is a picture of an “asphalt igloo”, the word “Supertanker” meaning either “super tanker” or “super thoughts” in Danish, and one of the artist’s recurrent rubberstamps that reads:
ALL REPRODUCTION • MODIFICATION • DERIVATION AND TRANSFORMATION OF THIS OBJECT IS PERMITTED
Mogens Otto Nielsen’s rubberstamp is a parody of the postal and governmental bureaucracy, but it is nonetheless a sincere statement. By stamping it, the artwork is open for change, copying, additions etc., thus spelling out the mail art network’s intention to creating and facilitating open-ended, ever-changing works of art. So, Mogens Otto Nielsen’s small “Supertanker” is one of these ideas meant to be circulated, copied and absorbed in other people’s work.