A tribute to anthology
The Fluxus group of artists, poets, composers and film makers are the self-proclaimed heirs of the anti-art streams of thought first introduced by Dada at the start of the 20th century. Using film as their medium of choice (“art by the metre”), they seek to fully dissolve the borders between art and life.
The Fluxus film anthology was launched by George Maciunas (1931-1978) in 1965 and contains forty or so works by artists, poets, composers and film makers including Nam June Paik, Dick Higgins, Yoko Ono, Mieko Shiomi, George Brecht, Robert Watts, Jeffrey Perkins, Paul Sharits, Wolf Vostell, Ben and George Maciunas himself. As self-proclaimed heirs of the anti-art streams of thought first introduced by Dada at the start of the 20th century, they use film as their medium of choice to fully dissolve the borders between art and life. They believe film, a medium with infinite reproducibility, mechanical and impersonal in nature and with a popular dimension, is the ideal tool for the subversion of art, which they view as being taken too seriously. Each film is based on a precise structural approach or design and explores the relationships between the performance and the visual limits of the medium itself.
As Fluxus is formally and conceptually a minimalist movement, they generally limit themselves to just one action, one idea or one plan. Their works go directly against the reigning aesthetical canons of the American cinematographic avant-garde at the time (a visionary and poetic type of films imbued with romance), but reveal their parodic nature on a material level rather than through fiction. Varying in duration from a few seconds to several minutes, Fluxfilms were originally created for consecutive screen projection on a loop or even individually inside ‘capsules’ at the Flux Space Center, individual cubes separated by white cotton and vinyl curtains. Although the properties of the medium are often re-enacted to the absurd, the insolence of the films selected as part of this tribute to the anthology makes them the perfect embodiment of the “art by the metre” advocated by George Maciunas.