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Energy That Matters: Leonard Cohen

  • Jean Baudrillard
  • Charles Bukowski
  • John Cage
  • Leonard Cohen

He was never closely associated with Fluxus, and his work falls pretty neatly into the modernist traditions of art and writing. So, why have I chosen to write about Cohen in The Fluxus Blog? I guess that the first connection that can be made between him and Fluxus is that one could make the argument that as a poet, singer, and songwriter, Leonard Cohen is engaged in the original Intermedia form. What could be more Intermedia than the intersection between poetry, music, and performance? I think that the argument is valid. But it is not overwhelmingly convincing. Fluxus was also about experimentation, humor, and postmodern philosophical ideas. Never-the-less, I think that poetic minstrels, like Leonard Cohen and Bob Dylan, at the dawn of the postmodern era, deserve a place at the Fluxus table. I chose Cohen primarily because of one stanza in one song. The song is Famous Blue Raincoat, and the stanza speaks about a friend who has moved into the desert to build a small home and plans to live off of the land. Cohen says of his friend, "You're living for nothing now, I hope you're keeping some kind of record." And for me, this moves Cohen's work outside of the modernist realm and into the realm of postmodern reflections on meaning and language.

  • Marcel Duchamp
  • Allen Ginsberg
  • Albert Einstein
  • Karl Marx
  • Jean-Paul Sartre
  • Andy Warhol
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Published on Categories Fluxus

About Allan Revich

Allan Revich is a Toronto artist and writer. His work has appeared in numerous publications, in international exhibitions, and on many websites. He is active in the international Fluxus community. He currently writes poetry, creates visual poems, and works with photography. His work includes Web-based art, mixed media art, and mail art.

His books, Headline Haiku 2006, Headline Haiku 2007, and Fluxus Vision are available internationally on Amazon.com and its affiliates, as his most recent collection of poems, “Flux You!”.

1 thought on “Energy That Matters: Leonard Cohen

  1. Nicolas

    Hum

    I like these comments, very intersting

    Waiting for Andy Warol

    (but I don't see my name... 🙂

    Best

    Nicolas

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