In the late 1960s, during his 30s, the artist and graphic designer Marcos Kurtycz left Poland and took refuge in Mexico, where he lived until his death in 1996. Kurtycz’s mail art “bombs” and metaphoric “bombings,” begun in 1981, are the focus of a display guest-curated by Mauricio Marcín for Untitled at Witte de With. Kurtycz’s Bombs consisted of packages sent by the artist to institutions internationally, and which included drawings, letters, and other printed matter critiquing the academicism of their time.
These missives were sent to institutions that, for Kurtycz, were imposing Eurocentric perspectives unto aesthetic production in Latin America. He called these institutions out for creating “aesthetic belts” and importing “imperialist tendencies” that were alien to, or simply unconcerned with, the histories and realities of the region. For Marcín, Kurtycz’s Bombs stand apart from the common understanding that mail is a communication tool that brings interlocutors closer; and that, instead, the artist uses mail art as a weapon that can set the art canon on fire.
This display of Kurtycz’s Bombs is sited in one of the two vitrines of Untitled at Witte de With, and this presentation marks the first occasion of their exhibition in the Netherlands.