Fluxus Heidelberg Center BLOG


This FHC BLOG will contain an overview of all news we find and get in connection to Fluxus. Articles, publications, events, celebrations, Biographies, you name it. Every month the collection of the blog will be published on the FHC website as a digital archive

Saturday, December 13, 2008

George Brecht, Fluxus artist and provocateur, dies at 82

Herald Tribune/Europe
George Brecht, Fluxus artist and provocateur, dies at 82
By Ken Johnson Published: December 15, 2008

George Brecht, a core member of Fluxus, the loosely affiliated international group of playful Conceptual artists that emerged in the early 1960s, died on Dec. 5 in Cologne, where he had lived since 1972. He was 82.

He died in his sleep, said Geoffrey Hendricks, a friend, who was also a Fluxus member. He had been in failing health for several years.

Brecht came of age as an artist in the late 1950s, when Abstract Expressionism and the cult of the heroic creative genius were ascendant. Inspired by the Conceptual art of Marcel Duchamp and the experimental music of John Cage, he began to imagine a more modest, slyly provocative kind of art that would focus attention on the perceptual and cognitive experience of the viewer.

American, European and Asian artists who were thinking along similar lines included Dick Higgins, Alison Knowles, Ben Vautier, Nam June Paik and George Maciunas, who in 1962 came up with the name Fluxus for this confederation of like-minded Conceptualists.

Like many other Fluxus artists, Brecht created assemblages consisting of ordinary objects in boxes and cabinets, as well as arrangements that often included chairs. He also made paintings and sculptures that played with language, like a piece with white plastic letters spelling "sign of the times."

Today in Europe
University in Athens, epicenter of riots, is drawing a potent mix of radicalsAfter a day of quiet, riots resume in AthensA Portuguese tradition faces a frozen futureHis most important and original contribution was a form he called the "event score," which typically was printed on a small white card that he would mail to friends. The event score consisted of a title followed by eccentric instructions. The directive for "String Quartet," for example, read simply, "Shaking hands." The musicians would perform it by doing just that.

One of his most famous pieces was "Drip Music," in which "a source of water and an empty vessel are arranged so that the water falls into the vessel." Performances of "Drip Music" can be seen on Youtube.com.

He created event scores for sculptures as well. Instructions for "Three Arrangements," for example, read, "on a shelf/on a clothes tree/black object white chair."

Brecht said that he did not care if any of his event scores were realized. He once wrote that his events were "like little enlightenments I wanted to communicate to my friends who would know what to do with them."

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