Monday, August 18, 2014

Heebee Post #1121 - CrackerJack Kid (Chuck Welch) - Hancock, New Hampshire - USA

 Okay folks, time for Heebee Jeebeeland and the 4th Dimension to get back to the "Paper Sport" (Mail Art),  after an unintentional hiatus that kept the initial broadcasting from the new mountain forest studio from fully functioning - Anyway, I received this superb little slice of Mail Art history from the professor-like Kid. This entertaining snapshot is from a performance ("A Nothing") by Ray J. and the CrackerJack Kid. Let  me help to explain:

It reads, "It was Saturday, April 25th, 1984, the day Ray J invited me to meet him at his only retrospective exhibition ("The Works of Ray Johnson"), Nashua County Museum of Fine Art, Roslyn Harbor, NY. He and I performed a "Nothing", although I never announced this event , until now". Nice one Chuck
The CrackerJack Kid never fails to courageously pique the viewer's imagination - either with new innovative arrangements and postal ensembles or with recollections of Mail Art's beginnings, having been a driving force for the genre in it's nucleus stage. See ya in the mail Chuck, I love this card, thank you very much Kid and for your patience with me.
 CrackerJack Kid Mail Art.at IUOMA

15 comments:

  1. A few years ago the John and Mable Ringling Museum of Art/Florida State University Police made out "5 Florida warrants for Use of Personal ID Info by Use of Harassment with a $5000 bond" for Dennis James Gergel Jr.'s mail art activities at the time (he used the names of some of their employess in his mail art.) That led to his arrest and he was put in jail for a night, it also ended up costing thousands of dollars in fines and fees, a probation term and he had to pay for and complete a class about stealing. The arresting officer advised Mr. Gergel to do a different kind of art from now on. His arrest made him lose his emplyment in the local library before he even made bail. So be warned my fellow mail artists, it seems The John and Mable Ringling Musuem of Art would rather put artists like us in jails, then to display our mail art on their precious walls.

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  2. The mail art that got Dennis James Gergel Jr. arrested by the John and Mable Ringling Museum of Art was pretty interesting actually. I had received one in the mail myself. What he did was this: He took names of employees like Derek Ross and Douglas Kingsley and made silly puns on them like Betsy Ross and Douglas Kinksley. He wrote those on magazine subscription cards and then added those magazine subscription cards to his collages on 8 1/2 by 11 inch paper and then mailed those collages out to his mail art friends. Those friends that received his collages would sometimes remove the subscription cards and send those in to the actual magazines. Dennis wrote me that when the FSU Police came to his front door the officer made a point of saying that he would have a handwriting expert prove that the handwriting on Dennis's art was his own and that he would have the state crime lab prove that Dennis's fingerprints were on Dennis's art. It all seemed so stupid. This was clearly was an art project, but they charged him with 5 counts of using other people's personal ID.
    One of things that I just can't understand is that the John and Mable Ringling Museum of Art will often play up the number of pieces in its collection by Marcel Duchamp. He is credited with sending the first piece of mail art. So how can the same museum that holds him up so high, will put in jail another artist who simply follows his lead regarding mail art?
    The Ringling Museum of Art
    5401 Bay Shore Road
    Sarasota, Florida 34243 USA





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    1. http://www.rayjohnsonestate.com/exhibitions/please-add-to-and-return-to-submissions/works/367/

      Ray Johnson RIP
      From the depths of death, Ray Johnson strikes a blow at The Ringling.

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  3. Back in the mid-2000’s I donated a few original K-Line Electric Train pieces of artwork of its officially licensed Ringling Brothers, Barnum and Bailey circus model trains to the John and Mable Ringling Museum of Art/FSU. I thought they would appreciate this because of their circus museum and for the fact that in their gift shop they actually sold K-Line by Lionel Ringling Brothers, Barnum and Bailey officially licensed model circus trains. The John and Mable Ringling Museum of Art/FSU never contacted me back and acknowledged my gift, they never thanked me and I have no idea what they did with the original artwork that I donated to them. I was very disappointed in the total lack of respect they showed me and my gift to them. I wish I had the artwork back and I am very sorry I ever donated it to them.

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  4. July 4th 2015, The United States of America, the land of the free?

    Behave yourself and obey your parents. Go to school. Follow your teacher's instructions. Go to the church of your choice at least once a week. Go to college. Get a good job. Go to work at least 5 days a week. Get married, then have children. Follow fashion and don't stand out. Act normal and be polite. Walk on the pavement and don't step on the cracks. Watch TV. Obey the law. Pay your taxes. Consume and buy into the latest fad. Save up for your old age.

    Now repeat after me: "I pledge allegiance to the Flag of the United States of America and to the
    Republic..."

    So I went to Hobby Lobby and bought a rubber stamp that quoted JFK and I altered the stamp to read: "Ask not what your country can do for you, ask what you can do to your country." Now I will stamp this on my mail art. Do little things add up? Does anything make people think anymore?

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  5. Now repeat after me: "I pledge allegiance to the Flag of the United States of America and to the
    Republic..."

    In a different era, in a different country school children would repeat "Adolf Hitler is our savior, our hero. He is the noblest being in the whole wide world. For Hirlter we live. For Hitler we die. Our Hitler is our Lord."

    The key here is that those in charge always indoctrinate the masses from as young as possible. It doesn't change. Only the flags and nation names change. The few in charge always try to conquer and control the masses using the same game plan. The USA is no better or no worse then those other governments that have come before it. History just keeps repeating itself over and over. Will we never learn?

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  6. It is sad that in America in this modern age, a museum of art will go out and have an artist arrested for creating artwork. Why would a museum of art want to stop artists from making art? I find this totally unacceptable. The John and Mable Ringling Museum of Art needs to be investigated for harassing this artist. And we are to believe that America is "the home of the free"? I guess you are not very free when you can be arrested for creating art.

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  7. What Dennis James Gergel Jr. did was this: He took names of employees like Derek Ross and Douglas Kingsley and made silly puns on them like Betsy Ross and Douglas Kinksley. He wrote those on magazine subscription cards and then added those magazine subscription cards to his collages on 8 1/2 by 11 inch paper and then mailed those collages out to his mail art friends. And for this, the John and Mable Ringling Museum of Art/FSU had him arrested for use of Personal ID.

    This is so disturbing. Just yesterday I was looking at a piece of art by Ray Johnson and he used the name of Betsy Ross in it. He never got arrested for using that name.

    The John and Mable Ringling Museum of Art/FSU were clearly out to get this former employee. And because he is not famous artist, as say a Ray Johnson, nobody really notices or cares about his arrest for making art. It is unfair and wrong of the John and Mable Ringling Museum of Art/FSU to have gotten away with this.

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  8. Regarding the Ulla R. and Arthur F. Searing Wing of the Ringling Museum of Art, I have a letter from Ulla R. Searing, 500 South Palm Avenue #72, Sarasota, Florida 34236 dated May 25, 2009 to James Clarke (actor) and in it she writes that "after all of these years" nobody "has actually come up and thanked me personally" so to me it seems that she did not feel that her help was appreciated in a personal way. It is too bad that after giving millions away, she was not thanked while she was alive. Shame on the John and Mable Ringling Museum of Art/Florida State University and others for not thanking her while she lived.

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    1. Image is http://www.rayjohnsonestate.com/exhibitions/please-add-to-and-return-to-submissions/works/344/

      Text is: Robert (Bob) Reyes is a former employee of the John and Mable Ringling Musuem of Art/Florida State University.
      While on duty at the FSU Center for the Performing Arts at the Ringling Musuem, Mr. Reyes often proudly told the story of a dead female body he once found. He was able to determine her name and she was a known prostitute. He transported her remains in his police car and found that some of it had stained his rear carpet. Instead of cleaning it, he left it alone so it would smell very bad. This way no other officer would want to ride in his vehicle. He enjoyed riding alone. He said he got used to the smell and each morning he would get in his police car and say out loud hello to her by name. When his shift was over, he would tell her out loud goodnight by name when he left his car. He said that his commander finally had to order him to clean out his car after hearing so many reports of this strange behavior and complaints of the disgusting smell of Mr. Reye's vehicle.

      Sometimes truth is far stranger then fiction could ever be. Like Ray Johnson, Robert (Bob) Reyes is now deceased.

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  9. I just noticed that the Ray Johnson, Crackerjack Kid snapshot at the top of this page was used in this:

    http://www.rayjohnsonestate.com/exhibitions/please-add-to-and-return-to-submissions/works/394/

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  10. I thought art musuems were here to support the arts, not to have artists arrested for making artwork! Shame on The Ringling Musuem of Art for doing this. John Ringling would not approve of this having been done under his name. He supported artists and did not try to destroy them. This artist should sue them!

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  11. This just shows that the John and Mable Ringling Musuem of Art's top concern is money and not the Arts. If they cared about the Arts, they would support the work of artists and not go after having them arrested for their artworks. They are most concerned about making money and worried about their image. They do not want their patrons and visitors to know how they ruined this artist, because then they would stop donating money and coming to the musuem. After all, what true fan of the Arts would support a musuem that punishes artists for making art? It is a true shame that in here in America this happened.

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  12. When I worked at The Ringling, I knew a young man in his early 20’s that worked in the security department named Justin. He quit after about a year and moved to Colorado. I tried to avoid him as much as possible, because whenever you talked to him he steered all conversations to his fascinations with Adolf Hitler and with sex. He was inspired by Hitler because he was impressed with how one man had changed the lives of millions of people and all of modern history. Justin worked a lot in the Visitor’s Center as you first enter the museum complex. He sat at a desk facing the visitors coming in. He purchased a copy of Hitler’s book Mein Kampf (My Struggle) and was determined to read it there while on duty and being paid by the State of Florida (as a employee of The Ringling, he was a state employee technically.) The book was black and on the front cover he put a piece of black colored tape directly over the text of “Mein Kampf”, so visitors to The Ringling did not see what he was sitting there actually reading. He took great enjoyment in what he was getting away with. He loved that Florida tax payers had paid for him to read the book of one of his idols.

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  13. R.I.P. Dennis James Gergel Jr. 1970-2016

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