Artist Mara Thompson takes A Book About Death to Los Angeles this month with an interactive re-make of A Book About Death, at The Otis College of Art and Design. The ongoing exhibition opens on October 11 and runs through October 31 (or until all the post cards have been taken).
A large shipment of nearly 50 of each of the artists works was sent and delivered to the Otis School of Art and Design, a project spearheaded by Mara Thompson. These works will be featured in an exhibition at the art and design school, and students and others in the Los Angeles area will be invited to attend and collect the works.
Mara's initiative is the most ambitious thus far to restage the exhibition and engender interaction. Otis is one of the country's top art and design schools and is highly regarded for its innovative program, faculty and most important, its students. Otis students and others are encouraged to comment here about about the exhibition at their college.
Download the press release for the Otis Show.
The exhibition was exported to Los Angeles thanks to long time friend Mark Saltzman, an executive with a Teacher's Training concern. He gathered up about 50 cards from each artist, packed them into seven boxes. Christian Xatrec, director of the Emily Harvey Foundation New York, then sent them via FEDEX to Otis. Mara writes: "Yesterday five boxes arrived... today two more... I began unpacking and sorting last night and will continue on until the end of the week."
It's the exhibition that keeps on giving. Artists have taken the show on the road and put it into the world. It's unlike any other art exhibition in that all the nearly 250,000 works were freely given away. Of course, the content is unique, the edition of the entire book is limited to 500 complete copies. Indeed, this is a bit of mail art play very much in line with the late artist who inspired the name of the project, Ray Johnson. It's great to put a little Ray in LA.
"I've sent out a few press releases and contemplating with other artist minds how best to display the postcards," says Mara. "I'll most definitely send a packet to the LACMA Research Library. All the posters are printed and we will mount the Ray Johnson series of images (via Bill Wilson) for A Book About Death to display as well – and of course one each of the cards as was done in New York City."
Students will slowly catch on to this exhibition and participate but, Mara notes that she's letting "the viral nature of the project infiltrate to certain key individuals, low key with high aspirations." For information about the exhibition contact Mara Thompson [mthompson at otis.edu] or Matthew Rose [matthew.rose.paris at gmail.com].
Otis College of Art and Design, Galef Center, 1st floor, 9045 Lincoln Blvd., Los Angeles, CA 90045.