Plump the Post! (2018)

Title (as given to the record by the creator): Plump the Post!
Date(s) of creation: 2018
Organizer:  Almah Lavon Rice
Physical description:  Plump the Post! describes a mail art project
Reference #:  Plump-the-Post
Source: Almah Lavon Rice
Links:  [ Plump the Post! ] [ Almah Lavon Rice ] [ Sarah Mangle ] [ Kelci Crawford ]

Plump the Post!

From the project’s funding application to NOLOSE:

“While the mail art community prides itself on its egalitarian, subversive roots, the movement is still marked by accessibility and visibility issues. The source waters of mail art are often traced to the Dada, Surrealist, Futurist, and Fluxus art movements, which are largely white and male. Many of the images used in mail art (as well as the mail artists themselves) belong to white, cishetero, able-bodied, and thin norms.

Enter Plump the Post!

Plump the Post! is a raucous interruption of correspondence art’s “business as usual.” It’s a mail art intervention that centers and celebrates fat queer iconography. For Plump the Post!, queer fat folks are invited to submit drawings, photographs, scrawls, sketches, typographic art, scribbles, self-portraits, collages, mixed media, comics, abstract art, and any other imagery that reflects fat liberation of the queerest, juiciest kind. Identifying as an artist is not required, being a “good” artist is not necessary–this plush populist project welcomes fat queer visuals of any “quality” that can be sent through the mail. Submissions will be solicited from across the intersectional spectrum and once received, they will be scanned and uploaded online (with permission and with return addresses obscured) for all to revel in. In addition to being featured in this online exhibition space (a dedicated website/Tumblr/etc), Plump the Post! participants will also receive a zine anthology containing scans of all the mail art sent in during the six-month submission window.

So the goal of Plump the Post! is to fatten mail art imagery in the key of Queer, and W  I  D  E  N representation within an artistic tradition that could stand to be less narrow. In accordance with NOLOSE’s mission, the centerpiece of this endeavor: to 1) seek out fat mail artists who also belong to historically marginalized communities–including incarcerated people, who, despite their copious creative contributions, are left out of mainstream mail art conversations; and to 2) contribute, with flair, to the visual culture associated with fat queer communities. Fluxus artists/postal experimenters George Brecht and Robert Filliou invented the Eternal Network (or “La Fête Permanente”/ The Constant Festival) as a nod to the human creative impulse that is forever ongoing and anarchic; Plump the Post!, therefore, is a parade in which all fat queers can fall in, and join the festive fray. Extravagant welcome*, extravagant bodies, extravagant expression!

*from the UCC

From the final report:

In the end, five contributors were included in the Plump the Post! zine: two from the U.S. (Ohio and Maryland), two from Canada (Alberta and Québec), and one from Australia (Western Australia). I went to a locally owned printer to make color copies for crafting the five zines. In addition to these color copies, for the hard copy zines I used specialty collage papers and recycled silk fiber from the sari production process. All contributors got one, unique hard copy mailed to them. For the e-zine, I used ello to upload the contributors’ images:

IMAGE DESCRIPTIONS: There are 7 postcards by Sarah Mangle of Montreal and one illustration by Kelci Crawford of Ohio. Postcards show both the art side and the stamp/address side, which contains the name of the work, and the following text: “Sarah Mangle’s Postcard Subscription Service”

  1. Postcard “Local Mermaid,” a richly-colored image made with markers or paint, showing a fat mermaid with red hair, peach skin with a pink bra, and blue scales,  peeking from behind spiky red tulips and blue flowers with rounded petals.
  2. Postcard “Beach Reading,” a marker drawing of a fat light-skinned person in a polka dot bikini, seen from behind sitting on a towel, reading a book.
  3. Postcard “Coffee Break Portrait,” a marker drawing with a sky blue background, and a fat, light-skinned person driving a pink and green Vespa-style scooter.
  4. Postcard “Your look’s on fire,” a simple, richly colored marker drawing on lined paper. A white person with a red shirt, yellow hair and blue eyes, with orange flames dancing on their hair and shoulder. The background is pink.
  5. Postcard “Surprised and delighted by your love.” Against a rich blue and aqua pattern, a white fat person with rosy cheeks, short black hair, and eyes and mouth open. They’re wearing a shirt of a different blue patterned with irregular pink dots, and yellow puppies are crawling all over them. In pink handwritten script it says “Surprised and delighted by your love.” Pink hearts float around the puppies, some of whom are wearing pink sweaters.
  6. Postcard “I am wonderful.” A fat white person with majestic, wind-blown, orange and yellow hair, standing against a marker blue sky with puffy white cut-out clouds. They wear a red shawl over a green shirt with yellow lightning bolts that’s tucked into brown pants with a black belt. The pants are tucked into red boots. The shawl hides their arms and hands, which might be in their pants pockets. Their eyes are open and their mouth has a slight, knowing smile.
  7. Postcard “Lucky You,” black marker outlines a face, tall hair, a squiggly patterned dress. Spot color of teal, yellow and pink, and a speech bubble saying “Lucky you.”
  8. Cartoon-style illustration on paper of a fat, white person with a pink vest over a white shirt, and curvy hips in tight blue jeans, which match their blue beret. Short, orange curls fall on their face. Their lips are painted green and they have one eye open as they hold a dark red flower to their nose with one hand, and gesture with the other hand by holding their index finger and thumb in an “o” shape with the other fingers up. In front is a banner that says “Liberation” and in back is a flag with 3 stripes: purple, white and green.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.