Day & Night
Jonathan Monk b. 1969, Leicester, UK
Day & Night
Indefinite number of found postcards, signed by the artist and sent by post to the owner of the work
Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York Purchased with funds contributed by the Young Collectors Council, 2003
2002 Jonathan Monk
Jonathan Monk employs key strategies of 1960s and 1970s art making, such as seriality and the use of language as a medium, although he is less concerned with aesthetic politics than some of his Conceptualist forebears and more interested in the personal. For One Moment in Time (kitchen) (2002), Monk projected slides of one-line text descriptions of family snapshots instead of showing the photos themselves. The notion of art as a means of communication also underlies Day & Night (April 20, 2002–). Adopting the ritual of sending postcards to friends back home, Monk selects and mails a postcard of a well-known tourist site or building (since the Guggenheim's acquisition of the work, the cards are sent directly to the Curator of Contemporary Art). In its emphatic reminder of his—and the recipient's—existence, this ongoing piece recalls a similar effort by artist On Kawara, for which he periodically sends telegrams to friends that say, “I am still alive.” In addition to the destination address and the artist's initials, the back of each card reads “Day &” or “Night &,” the ampersand signifying the indefinite continuation of the series and creating a sense of anticipation for the next personalized readymade to arrive.