This analogue antidote to Instagram-fatigue is exactly what the artworld needs in continuing uncertain times. We’ve always known that online exhibitions can’t articulate everything the real deal can. While these postcards can’t give you a properly three-dimensional experience, I am so thankful to not need to be in front of a screen to engage with work from exciting emerging artists.
Picking up a postcard at the end of an exhibition was a childhood tradition (read: prize for not whining too much during our visit). Having your art on a postcard was the tell-tale sign for having made it big, and I love the impact the form gives these works from young creators.
In a culture of instant-gratification, receiving the exhibition in the post was valuable. As opposed to exhibitions being a click- (or visit) away, I had to wait for this one. I didn’t look at the Going Postal Instagram account beforehand to find out the pieces included, which added to the excitement of receiving the pack.
I’m sure I’m not the only person who has ordered goods online almost entirely for the dopamine-hit of having something to unwrap once it arrives. Going Postal have created an experience-object which is properly joyous to open.
The cards arrive in a lilac folding envelope sealed with a sticker – a millennial take on the wax-sealed letters of the past. The paper quality is thick, and the postcards (plus introductory card) fit snugly into a plastic bag and internal paper pouch. It’s remarkably satisfying. You could do an ASMR video with it.
The front card that introduces Going Postal and its aims is written brilliantly: well-worded but without jargon, not ‘dumbing-down’ but also not flaunting academic lingo for the sake of it. This is what good art writing should do.
On the back of the introductory card are the biographies of the artists involved, and a short review of their portfolio as a whole. Not writing about the specific works included in the show was a great choice. Giving viewers the freedom to make up their minds about the pieces in front of them is always a good move in my book, but this exclusion really helps the recipients of the cards engage with the artworks freely.
The team behind Going Postal cleverly curated their 5-card exhibition by including both painting and sculpture, each piece taking up a different amount of the postcard. By using works of different sizes, styles, and colour schemes, we’re invited to curate the cards imaginatively. Going Postal may have chosen the cards to send us, but we get to choose their order in the pack, on our walls, or in postcard swaps.
Going Postal have created an accessible experience that is engaging from start to finish (is there one?) and I eagerly await their next show to land on my doormat.