Tracing the Roots of Photo Sharing, From Mail Art to Instagram
Apr 4, 2019
The New York Times
Jori Finkel

“We have been sending postcards and snapshots since the early time of photography,” Mr. Chéroux said, though noting that the volume and intensity of communication have of course grown with social media. “The whole exhibition is playing with this tension,” he said. “It’s new — and not so new.”

The show makes its argument most dramatically with its focus on “mail art” of the 1960s and ’70s, artists’ projects that used the Postal Service as an unwitting collaborator. Ray Johnson, for instance, sent a photographic self-portrait to Joseph Cornell in 1966 in hopes of establishing a relationship with one of his artistic heroes. And Lynn Hershman Leeson made postage stamps in 1972 with images of her face partly obscured, challenging the United States government to stamp them and further obliterate her identity…