Wednesday, 26 October 2011

50th anniversary : Fluxus at Rutgers

at/around/beyond: Fluxus at Rutgers
September 24, 2011 - April 01, 2012
Jane Voorhees Zimmerli Art Museum
Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey
71 Hamilton St., New Brunswick, NJ 08901
Tel 732.932.7237, ext. 659
Fax 732.932.8201
The spirit of Fluxus imbues Art After Hours on Wednesday, November 2, at the Zimmerli Art Museum at Rutgers. An exhibition tour, Flux Concert, and chess tournament spotlight at/around/beyond: Fluxus at Rutgers, which celebrates the 50th anniversary of this radical international art movement that has historic ties to the university. Art After Hours is the popular eclectic evening series held on the first Wednesday of the month from 5 to 9 p.m. at the Zimmerli. Admission is $6 for adults, $5 for adults over 65, and free for museum members, as well as Rutgers students, faculty and staff (with ID), and children under 18.

As a prelude to the concert, a tour of at/around/beyond: Fluxus at Rutgers begins at 5:30 p.m. More than 60 sculptural objects, games, photographs, assemblages, ephemera, books, and films are assembled from the museum’s permanent holdings and private collections. Long associated with the movement, artist Larry Miller conducts a Flux Concert at 6:30 p.m. Miller first became involved with Fluxus during his student days at Rutgers University, where he received his M.F.A. in 1970, before moving to New York City to establish a career as an installation and performance artist. The Flux Concert is free with admission, but reservations are required at 732.932.7237, ext. 615. The Zimmerli Student Advisory Board (ZSAB) hosts a chess tournament beginning at 4 p.m. Players have the unique opportunity to play Miller’s Fruit and Vegetable Chess. Finalists face off following the Flux Concert. To participate, contact ZSAB at

“Fluxus has been described as an attitude, a way of experiencing the world, and as a laboratory of ideas,” notes Donna Gustafson, Andrew W. Mellon Liaison for Academic Programs and Curator. “Interaction was so integral to Fluxus attitudes towards life and art that the display of objects alone can’t completely convey the spirit of the movement.” This philosophy inspired Gustafson and Gerry Beegan, who teaches design at Mason Gross School of the Arts, to develop the Byrne Family First-Year Seminar, Artists, Musicians, and Poets in the Museum. A contingent of the students from the course is scheduled to perform with Miller.

Visitors to Fluxus at Rutgers also have the opportunity to interact with several Fluxus games during Art After Hours. Larry Miller’s Fruit and Vegetable Chess features fresh produce pieces, while Sound Chess by Mieko Shiomi (reconstructed by C. Greg Hagerty) has identical wooden chess pieces, requiring players to distinguish the hierarchy by shaking them to hear the rattles inside. Fluxus Balance, another game by Shiomi, allows visitors to conceptually weigh words and ideas on a tiny scale, and Ay-O’s Finger Boxes allows brave souls to insert their fingers into the mysterious holes of five small wooden boxes.

The exhibition has been organized by Donna Gustafson, Andrew W. Mellon Liaison for Academic Programs and Curator, and Eveline Baseggio Omiccioli, Ph.D. candidate in the Department of Art History and Zimmerli Graduate Assistant, with the assistance of Heather Cammarata-Seale, MA Candidate in the Department of Art History, and Dodum Chun, Museum Interns.
at/around/beyond: Fluxus at Rutgers is on view through April 1, 2012. Support for the exhibition and related programs has been provided by an endowment established by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, Class of 1937 Publication Fund, and the Dorothy Dehner Foundation for the Visual Arts.

George Maciunas
Gift Box for Jerold Ordover: Spell Your Name With These Objects, ca. 1970
Assorted objects in leatherette and velvet-lined box
Collection Zimmerli Art Museum at Rutgers
Museum Purchase, Class of 1921 Acquisition Fund
Photo Peter Jacobs