Text The Fluxus, Chaz With Finches

By Gabriel Thy • Art Theory, Deadly Arts, Literary Observation • 2 Jun 2009

Fluxus

Fluxus : Bird Out of Hand

THIS WAS ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED in the 1997 Fluxus Subjectiv catalogue. The formatting here mimics the original version.

Today there is great interest but also great confusion as to the Fluxus movement;

There are those who keep theorizing about Fluxus.

They say that after Dadaism and Duchamp, Fluxus is “the most radical movement”; those who make a fetish of Fluxus. They collect the trouser buttons by Maciunas, the handkerchief by Beuys or the dirty bath water by Ben;

those who speculate with the Fluxus. “If van Gogh‘s ear is worth 100.000 million dollars and the bottle rack by Duchamp is worth 300.000 dollar, how much will the water glass by George Brecht then be worth on the fair in Basel in two year’s time?”

those who say that the Fluxus movement does only consist of spoiled children who make art by stating that they are against art, who expect to win fame by saying “we are against fame”, who want to get back into the Louvre by staying in the bistro vis-รก-vis;

those who say, okay, Fluxus is something mad, but still it’s better than those who produce works of art for the consumer society;

those who say that Fluxus is rather a story of attitude towards life and art than towards products;

those who say Fluxus is individuals and not works of art;

those who say that Fluxus contradicts itself, that it consists of failures who happen to be succesful just now, anti-art stars;

“good artists borrow, great artists steal…”
As far as I am concerned, I think that
Fluxus is not a production of objects, of handicraft articles to be used as a decoration in the waiting rooms of dentists and professionals,
Fluxus is not professionalism
Fluxus is not the production of works of art,
Fluxus is not naked women,
Fluxus is not pop art,
Fluxus is not an intellectual avant-garde or light entertainment theatre,
Fluxus is not German expressionism,
Fluxus is not visual poetry for secretaries who are getting bored.

NO

Fluxus is the “event” according to George Brecht:
putting the flower vase on the piano.
Fluxus is the action of life/music: sending for a tango
expert in order to be able to dance on stage.
Fluxus is the creation of a relationship between life and art,
Fluxus is gag, pleasure and shock,
Fluxus is an attitude towards art, towards the non-art of anti-art, towards the negation of one’s ego,
Fluxus is the major part of the education as to John Cage, Dadaism and Zen,
Fluxus is light and has a sense of humor.

Snagged off a page created by Ben Vautier and barely modified with just enough impulse to render this recreation pure fluxus, or not. After all as T.S Eliot put it (or was it Picasso), “good artists borrow, great artists steal.”


A statement which of course has nothing to do with this column.So let me try my own hand at this:

Fluxus is not the square root of the VNV Nation strapped like a hard plastic rain in the desert bloom parentheticals of Bob Dylan practicing his deliverance among the Beatles (see Jim Morrison), who in fact, failed to understand loss in the beginning,

Nor is Fluxus the seemingly arbitrary but repetitive use of bold tags and link tags per genus on an underwhelming page dedicated to the veracity of ideas concerning what is and what is not Fluxus;

Hey, this is fun stuff. I wonder how long I can keep it up, and for how much longer. Now THAT MY DARLINGS is Fluxus, or (with creeping doubt) perhaps I misunderstood, after all…

—GT

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