'Anti-Art' is also art
1 December 2012 – 28 April 2013

The 'anti-art' FLUXUS has long since found its place in museums. And yet FLUXUS' characteristic attempt to blur the boundaries between art and everyday life still proves to be highly exciting and still makes us think about what we mean by art today.

The exhibition "Fluxus! 'Anti-art' is also art" illuminates central thematic areas and artistic concerns of the FLUXUS movement and explores the characteristic 'anti-aesthetics' of this art.

A selection of exhibits from the rich holdings of the Sohm Archive of the Staatsgalerie will be presented. The exhibition opens with George Maciunas, who not only gave FLUXUS its name and visual appearance, but also sought to organise the movement. His not uncontroversial role as 'Mr. Fluxus' is simultaneously put up for discussion by juxtaposing him with Wolf Vostell, another important mediator of intermediary art forms. The next sections also show that beyond Maciunas and Vostell, other artists involved in FLUXUS played an organisational role and were important initiators for the development of intermediary art forms: George Brecht, Robert Filliou, Dick Higgins, Alison Knowles, Arthur Köpcke, Yoko Ono, Nam June Paik, Ben Patterson, Takako Saito, Mieko Shiomi, Ben Vautier, Wolf Vostell and Robert Watts. Last but not least, the exhibition pays tribute to the great patron of FLUXUS, Hanns Sohm, whose archive has been in the possession of the Staatsgalerie Stuttgart since 1981.

50 Years FLUXUS

FLUXUS stands for an initiative by visual artists and musicians that radically broke with common notions of art in the early 1960s. In an effort to create an anti-elitist and anti-auratic art, the boundaries between art and everyday life, between producer and recipient, were softened. The rebellious, institution-critical basic attitude of the actors involved, supported by the diversity of artistic forms of expression, produced absurd performances, whimsical and playful objects as well as humorous 'events'.

"Die Irren sind los" ... Fluxus events in Europe 1962-1977

Integrated into the exhibition of the Staatsgalerie is the installation "Die Irren sind los ..." FLUXUS EVENTS IN EUROPE 1962-1977 by curator Petra Stegman, which invites interactive participation with iPads. "Die Irren sind los" comprehensively documents the European FLUXUS events of the 1960s and 1970s for the first time. In addition to revealing information about the historical performances, their reception and their audience, the installation provides insight into the development of the FLUXUS network.

What’s Happening? The Museum in the City

The project "What's Happening? The Museum in the City" accompanies the FLUXUS exhibition with artistic events and performances in the city of Stuttgart. In the process, art leaves the institution of the museum and expands into public space and thus also into everyday life. "What's happening?" is an invitation to actively participate in art and - in the spirit of FLUXUS - to pursue the question "What is art?".

A catalogue in German has been published to accompany the exhibition.

The project is made possible by the Innovation Fund for Art of the Baden-Württemberg Ministry of Science, Research and the Arts.