1d for Abroad is one of four linked postcard shows on in London this Spring; The World Exists To Be Put On A Postcard: artists' postcards from 1960 to now at the British Museum; Jeremy Cooper and kennardphillipp at Danielle Arnaud Gallery; and Political Postcards of the 1980s and 1990s at Bookartbookshop.
Much has been written about the cheap accessibility, and compact democratic ubiquity of the postcard – and as the other shows testify, the postcard has provided a rich springboard for artists to re-invent, radicalise and appropriate the postcard form. Jeremy Cooper asserts that “Artists’ work with postcards from the 1960s onwards is a concealed element in the history of contemporary art.”
Unlike the other exhibitions, Tintype’s 1d for Abroad does not solely present postcards. Roughly three-quarters of the work has been made specifically for the show and includes film, sculpture, print, painting, photographs, a wall-text, embroidery, collections, posters, drawings – and postcards.
With thirty-one artists participating, 1d for Abroad is a playful postcardian offering – a response to the role postcards play in people’s lives; an experiment with the formal elements of a simple postcard; postcards as documenters and disseminators of fugitive events; postcards as significant visual markers or references.
Postcards function as containers and carriers that have a throwaway temporality as well as a role as keepsake or record. The artists in 1d for Abroad improvise on the efficient composition of image, message and text offered by the postcard format; how their flatness stores short-hand, symbolic information – gestures of love, duty, or tenderness, feelings which the postcard seems to hold so resiliently.
Id for Abroad includes postcard works designed by Jeremy Cooper in homage to Susan Hiller, Gilbert & George, and Gavin Turk.