Many bridges to cross

Tim Davies, from the series Bridges, 2009-present (sanded postcard)

I really like postcards. I like the way they represent a place without necessarily being anything like its day to day reality. They seem optimistic somehow. I don’t much like writing them – I tend to restrict myself to a few words and a good deal of flippancy – so can’t really claim to like sending them with any degree of conviction, but I like getting them (and if they arrive back ages after the sender so much the better, especially if they’ve followed a convoluted route) so I send them in the hope that their recipients might enjoy them in much the same way as me. When I choose postcards I aim for maximum cheesiness, as long as it’s authentic (whatever that means) – there is no place for knowing postmodern pastiche here – and often choose cards featuring photographs that aren’t exactly recent. Doubtless a good few artists have worked with postcards but two of the examples that have stayed with me as works I’ve particularly enjoyed are ones I first saw in the Venice Biennale (one in 2009, the second two years later). And, since I’m in Venice this weekend for too short a visit to warrant sending any postcards, I thought I’d write about them here in the form of one of those memorable works.

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