Posts by Jordan Carter
If you visit MoMA’s exhibition There Will Never Be Silence: Scoring John Cage’s 4’33”, you will encounter a suite of enigmatic drawings by Fluxus-affiliated poet Jackson Mac Low, comprising swirling letters and seemingly nonsensical combinations of words. Although they seem like meaningless scribbles, the words are actually legible and meant to be read aloud.
As the 12-Month Fluxus Collection Intern in the Department of Drawings and Prints, I received a research grant to travel to Germany and survey a number of Fluxus-related exhibitions, some of which celebrated the movement’s 50th anniversary, as well as the 80th birthday of Fluxus artist Yoko Ono.
Plenty of people think of museums, libraries, and archives as stagnant and apolitical places; sites where histories are not created, but simply preserved. In her performance Archive as Impetus (Not on View)—presented several times per week during the month of June as part of MoMA’s Artists Experiment initiative—artist Xaviera Simmons asked viewers to reconsider the role of the museum.
Exhibiting Fluxus: Decomposition Contained in Wait Later This Will Be Nothing: Editions by Dieter Roth
The title of the exhibition Wait Later This Will Be Nothing: Editions by Dieter Roth befits a number of the works on display that are slowly decomposing in front of spectators’ eyes. This post is dedicated to one particular pocket-sized perishable—Roth’s Pocket Room (Taschenzimmer) from MoMA’s Gilbert and Lila Silverman Fluxus Collection. In 1968, Dieter Roth—who challenged the boundaries of printmaking and publishing by integrating cheese, fruit, sausage, chocolate, and other organic materials into the process—released an unlimited edition comprising a banana slice on stamped paper tucked inside of a plastic container small enough to fit into the owner’s pocket.
Fluxus currents flow throughout the exhibition Tokyo 1955-1970: A New Avant-Garde, not only in the graphic scores discussed in my last blog post, but also in a section devoted to the experimental art collective Hi Red Center.
This is the first post in a new blog series entitled Exhibiting Fluxus, showcasing works from the Gilbert and Lila Silverman Fluxus Collection Gift that are currently on view.
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