Fluxus Baby!

Fluxus is dead – long live Fluxus!

No, really, fifty yeras ago, a group of young artists from all thinkable disciplines – ranging from classical composition over poetry to architecture – gathered in a first fluxus-festival in Wiesbaden, germany, to promote a to be Magazin on contemporary music. The Magazin was never published, but the artists sticked together and founded Fluxus (deriving from a latin term for fluid, flowing), a contemporary art mouvement that linked itself back as well to DaDa as to the theories of John Cage, with whom some of them took courses in New York.

The artists participating in Fluxus over the years is somewhat a who is who of the art world back in the sixties and seventies: Nam Jun Paik, Joseph Beuys, Yoko Ono, Ben Vautier and many others. Even today Fluxus is oftenly mentioned as a source of inspiration by artists as different as Gerhard Richter and Ai Wei Wei, because of the liberating act and the primate of performative that is essential to Fluxus. In the first years, Fluxus nearly almost consisted of performances, short compositions or scores which were brought to the stage. One, for instance, is simply „Salad making“ (Alison Knowles). You would see a person that makes a salad. What ingenious and subtile humour, as well as a shifting of awareness on everyday acts. Fluxus, for that instance, really liberated art from the last boundaries linking it back to the 19th century and the „work“ as the necessary ending point of any art and is thus one of the most influential (even though not so well known outside the art world) movements in contemporary art.


poster for the fluxus festival in düsseldorf, germany

Happy birthday Fluxus!


Über philippkoch

author and curator, specializing in literature and writing on visual arts
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