Mungo Thomson: Mail
An artist’s book compendium of the Hammer’s Museum’s entire incoming mail, designed in the style of a mail-order catalog.
For Mail, Los Angeles–based artist Mungo Thomson (born 1969) asked the Hammer Museum in Los Angeles to let its incoming mail accumulate unopened during the run of the exhibition. Over the course of the show a pile of correspondence and packages grew, forming a temporary archive.
This book functions both as an artwork and as an elaborate and exhaustive documentation of the work as realized by the artist. Every letter, package, notice, magazine, flyer, restaurant menu, exhibition postcard, vendor catalog and piece of junk mail is represented.
Featuring an essay by Hammer Museum curator Aram Moshayedi, Mail performs a kind of autopsy of the sculpture, displaying every facet and revealing the infrastructure of both the artwork and the museum.
The design of the book loosely mimics a popular mail-order catalog, and Thomson’s photography of the items in the mail pile at the Hammer was undertaken with this catalog design in mind.