fluxus

Nam June Paik, Performing La Monte Young’s “Composition 1960 No. 10” to Bob Morris (Zen for Head), (1962)

 Presented during the Fluxus International Festival of New Music, this performance was Paik’s interpretation of La Monte Young’s Composition 1960 No.10 dedicated to artist Robert Morris who was quoted saying, “Draw a Straight Line and Follow it”. Paik’s performance consisted of him dipping his head, hands and tie in a bowl of ink and tomato juice and drawing a line by dragging his head along a narrow piece of paper laid out on the floor. Fluxus was concerned with carrying out deceptively simple actions in order to concentrate on the subtlety of a gesture, bringing about a fusion of art with life. In Zen for Head, Paik parodies the notion of meditative art-making by physically enacting a painting gesture using the body as a tool rather than the repository of mental or spiritual processes. The head, the source of creative thinking, becomes the mark maker, actively engaged in the process of material and action.

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Three musical scores via MoMA, Exhibiting Fluxus: Keeping Score in Tokyo 1955–1970: A New Avant-Garde

Yasunao Tone. Anagram for Strings. 1961 (Fluxus Edition released 1963). Score. Master for the Fluxus Edition, typed and drawn by George Maciunas.

Toshi Ichiyanagi. Music for Electric Metronome. 1960 (Fluxus Edition announced 1963). Score. Master for the Fluxus Edition, typed and drawn by George Maciunas.

Toshi Ichiyanagi. IBM for Merce Cunningham. 1960 (Fluxus Edition announced 1963). Score. Master for the Fluxus Edition, typed and drawn by George Maciunas.

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[Yoko Ono. Painting to See in the Dark (Version 1). 1961. Installation view with the artist, Paintings & Drawings by Yoko Ono, AG Gallery, New York, July 17–30, 1961. Photograph by George Maciunas. The Museum of Modern Art, New York. The Gilbert and Lila Silverman Fluxus Collection Gift, 2008. © 2014 George Maciunas]