Some people will tell you that Fluxus died in 1978 with George Maciunas, but how can Fluxus die? The Fluxus approach to art is not any one thing; by nature, Fluxus art is intermedia, combining sound, object, image, text, audience and time into a single experience that allows for both happenstance and accident. That's a way of life in the 21st century, not a dead movement.
Homecoming: Fluxus and Visual Poetry by Regional Natives, an art exhibition featuring work by John M. Bennett, Keith A. Buchholz, Larry Miller and Cecil Touchon, is further proof of Fluxus' ongoing vitality. The show encourages interaction and promises fun for those open to share in the experience — and fun is a vital element of Fluxus.
Homecoming opens with a free public reception from 5:30 to 8 p.m. Friday, May 28, at the Regional Arts Commission (6128 Delmar Boulevard; 314-863-5811 or www.art-stl.com), and the performance begins at 7 p.m. The gallery is open daily, and the show remains up through Sunday, July 11.
May 28-July 11, 2010
Over the past few days I've been reading some comments that were critical of the "flippancy" observed in discussions about Fluxus and on sites like Facebook and online communities like the Fluxlist. Some of this criticism has even come from Fluxus and avant-garde old-timers. I find this criticism to be, how can I say this politely... precious.
Recently in response to an earlier post on the Fluxus Blog it was suggested that belonging to a "50 year old art movement" was absurd. My friend. colleague, and respected Ray Johnson authority, Mark Bloch, had this to say,
I mentioned Brad Brace in my previous post about Photography and Fluxus. Below is a quote directly from Brad (from his Facebook page) in which Brad talks about his latest photo-pased project.
dISCREET pROFILES (the Oregon collection): Thousands of enlarged and enhanced photographs, mostly low-res cellphone, web-cam, and low-end digital camera self-portraits, culled from dating/social websites -- as you might expect, there is some explicit content (more than is permitted here unfortunately: you really shoul...d see them all, but take a deep breath first) -- fascinating and occasionally disturbing. You may realize that this is not the first time I've collected public imagery: notably dumpster-diving at photo-finishers' in the 70's. Whenever possible I retained any color casts, cropping and lighting. The portraits are actually very considered, sometimes selections made/altered merely to obscure the identity that they wished to presumably portray initially. Sunglasses are a popular ruse, as are close-ups of clevage, butts, feet and groins. And some, but surprising few, are filched from somewhere online, but this must be a risky choice in the event of an 'actual encounter.' How much introductory information/description do you want to put out there to begin with? There are some very creative, even artful, solutions to this dilemma. This massive 2+ GB PDF ebook is $250
(sorry about the price but it was a hellish amount of work and I guarantee you won't be disappointed or YMB), and must be ordered directly. Use my verified Paypal account to have the DVD delivered at no charge: [firstname.lastname@example.org; http://bbrace.laughingsquid.net/buy-into.html] (in two parts, each 1600 pages/photos; 6.94 x 6.94").
Recently, my friend and fellow Fluxus practitioner, Cecil Touchon, sent me a copy of an email that he had sent to a mutual colleague. I have excerpted a really nice explanation about how contemporary Fluxus fits in with historical Fluxus. I have addressed this issue from a similar, but different perspective, but I think that Cecil's piece adds an interesting and complementary viewpoint.
It sometimes seems to me that photography has been the forgotten child of Fluxus over the years. I suppose it is not hard to understand why... there has not been a lot of photographic work that has been identified as being explicitly "Fluxus". Unlike video, which lemds itself so readily to Fluxus interpretations, the lines between Intermedia and multimedia are ill-defined and lurry at best, static photographs find their place most often as either "documentation" or "fine art".