"Fluxus Music - The Everyday Event"
Artspace And Auckland Art Gallery Present
"Fluxus Music - The Everyday Event" A Lecture By Prominent German Curator Rene Block
Wednesday 29 November At 6pm Auckland Art Gallery Auditorium
Prominent German curator Rene Block is visiting New Zealand in conjunction with his exhibition Fluxus In Germany: A Long Tail With Many Knots, currently on at New Plymouth's Govett-Brewster Art Gallery. Block has been developing a close relationship with New Zealand in recent years. In 1998 he curated Toi Toi Toi: Three Generations of New Zealand Artists for his gallery, Kassel's Kunsthalle Museum Fridericianum. On Wednesday night he gives a talk at Auckland Art Gallery auditorium on Fluxus music.
FLUXUS is one of the key movements of post war art, alongside its contemporaries, conceptualism and minimalism. Emerging in New York around 1960, taking root in Europe, particularly Germany, and then Japan, Fluxus encompassed a new aesthetic, part Dada, part Bauhaus and part Zen. The irreverent Fluxus artists leavened scientific, philosophical, sociological, and other extra-artistic ideas with a hefty dose of the burlesque. They satirised bourgeois artforms with their concerts and happenings, performing their music concrete in tails. Fluxus artists included ringmaster George Maciunas (the man TV critic Matthew Collings called "the Stalin of Silly"), Alison Knowles, Al Hansen, Emmett Williams, Ben Vautier, Henry Flynt, Yoko Ono, John Cage, Nam June Paik, Dick Higgins, George Brecht, Ben Patterson, Joseph Beuys... the list goes on. When the Fluxus movement was at its height in the 1960s, artists all over the globe worked in concert with a spontaneously generated but carefully maintained Fluxus network. Since then, Fluxus has endured not so much as a movement but as a sensibility - a way of fusing certain radical social attitudes with evolving aesthetic practices. Initially received as little more than an international network of pranksters, the admittedly playful artists of Fluxus were, and remain, a network of radical visionaries who have sought to change political and social, as well as aesthetic, perception.
RENE BLOCK opened a gallery in Berlin back in 1964 at the tender age of 22. His first projects included exhibitions and performances by Gerhard Richter, Sigmar Polke, Wolf Vostell, Joseph Beuys and Nam June Paik. They may be household names now, but back then they were still young artists. Block's gallery proved a hothouse for new talent, and in 1967 he was admitted into the Association of Progressive German Art Dealers, which organised the first Cologne art fairs. In 1974 he was awarded the art prize of the German Critics Association for his ten year gallery programme. The same year he opened an exhibition space in New York with Joseph Beuys' notorious performance, I like America, America Likes Me, where the artist was imprisoned in the gallery with a wild coyote. Block was a key player in the dissemination of Fluxus art, especially through his Edition Block multiples, produced with artists like Joseph Beuys and John Cage. After a period as a freelance curator, Block ran the DAAD Berlin Artists Residence Programme, organising exhibitions and concerts from 1982 until 1992. From 1993 until 1995 he was the architect of the art exhibitions programme for IFA (Germany's Institute for Foreign Relations). Block has organised many crucial exhibitions including The Readymade Boomerang (the 1990 Sydney Biennale), and Orient/ation (the 1995 Istanbul Biennale). In 1994 he won the prestigious Arthur Kopcke Prize in Copenhagen, following artists Laurence Weiner, Per Kirkeby and Ilya Kabakov. Block currently directs Kassel's Kunsthalle Museum Fridericianum where his exhibitions have included Echolot (1998) and Toi Toi Toi (1999).
For further information, please contact Sonya Korohina or Robert Leonard at Artspace, ph 9 303 4965.
NOVEMBER AND DECEMBER AT ARTSPACE
KARIN SANDER until 9 December; with the support of the Goethe Institut
German artist Karin Sander's latest works are small human figures. These Lilliputian figures are not made by hand, and they reveal nothing of her touch or subjectivity. Instead she draws on advanced 3-D scanning technology, outputing the digitised image layer-by-layer in acrylic at 1:10 scale in a process called "fused deposition modeling". Finally the figures are airbrushed. So the results are really a hybrid of sculpture, photography, painting and computer art. Sander has so far invited friends, associates, and virtual strangers to be scanned, and the results are intensely and eerily human, right down to the nuances of expressions, creases in clothes, postures, eye color and hairdos. It's not like looking at miniature sculptures, but at miniaturised people. All the big and tiny details of the body are there, but so too are pronounced traces of the high tech process, the ridges of the acrylic layers from which the figures are comprised suggesting video scan lines.
LECTURES at Auckland Art Gallery auditorium, in conjunction with Auckland Art Gallery Toi O Tamaki. RENE BLOCK - German curator on "Fluxus Music - The Everyday Event", Wednesday 29 November at 6pm, with support from the Goethe Institut. JESSICA BRONSON - visiting L.A. video installation artist, Monday 18 December at 6pm, with support from the Govett-Brewster Art Gallery. ____________________________
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