MinXus Mail Bag: Asemic Correspondence by Henry Denander (Stockholm, Sweden)

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Mail art by Henry Denander (Stockholm, Sweden)

We are thrilled to have received this FAB art on a stamp sheet from the extraordinary Henry Denander of Sweden. The piece is approximately 8.5 X 11 inches (A4). We are happy with the scan, but in person the image is even more striking. The stamps, signature and other details make the work very special. Henry Denander also sent us an excellent example of his asemic writing, which has been circulating in the Eternal Network lately to much acclaim.

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Currently, the asemic writing arena has grown very contentious with endless bickering and uninvited rants and verbal assaults if one dares to use the term “asemic.” Most of the haters (zealots?) seem to be contending (of course we are generalizing) that most of what is being called “asemic” is just “visual poetry.” To a degree, we are sympathetic with this position, although we will continue to use the term “asemic” in the same spirit that we once used the term “postmodern” even when venerable experts assured us and then cajoled that no such condition existed nor ever would or could exist.

Not long ago one unknown soldier of asemics posted disparaging but brilliant remarks about asemic writing having degenerated into “motel room abstract art.” We agree. Yes, the asemic writing realm is becoming increasingly infested by BAD abstract painters who obviously cannot make it in the visual arts and hope in opportunistic fashion to hitch a ride on the asemic bandwagon usually with little to no understanding of the literary dimension of asemics. (This is our view of the situation.) To mix a metaphor thoroughly, we believe the Motel Room School of Abstract Asemic Art is now sinking the ship. The bad money drives out the good, as they say, not the other way around.

Here at MinXus-Lynxus (where drunken, pompous Australians can’t post unscreened rudeness), we still cling to the concept of asemic writing, which means that asemics involve language and text. Asemic writing explores core issues concerning the nature of language. Yes, the form is hybrid: Involving a mix of textual and visual art, but it is not solely a subset of abstract painting, which – unfortunately – it is becoming at the hands of the Motel Room School of Abstract Asemic Art.

So we find Henry Denander’s back-to-basics asemic correspondence refreshing in the context of the current asemic condition.

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The fundamental question of the mail art is: “What would Charles Bukowski Do?” Charles Bukowski is D-E-A-D, so we will never have an answer. In terms of anything we can ascertain from Bukowski’s writing, he would want you to think for yourself and would have been very annoyed if someone actually asked him such a lame question.

Many thanks to Henry Denander for the great m-a!

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