Santa Cruz Good Times

Thursday
Jul 30th
Text size
  • Increase font size
  • Default font size
  • Decrease font size

Man Opens Box: a Palimpsest

ae2SQUARE ROOT Ian Everard opens a box at the Sesnon Gallery.A few dozen chairs surrounded the double-wide card table in the middle of the Sesnon Gallery for an event on the afternoon of May 6, when artists Ian Everard and Maria Chomentowski performed the opening of a box. Handling the contents with white cotton gloves, the artists were mindful of the performance score. They encouraged audience members to participate.

The box is a Fluxus box; the score a brief list of actions (“Open the case. Take out the objects…”); the performance, called InFlux, an event in the spirit of Fluxus, an international movement of composers, artists, architects and designers in the 1960s and early ’70s influenced by Dada and springing from the ideas of composer John Cage. Prominent Fluxus artists included George Maciunas, George Brecht, Allan Kaprow (“happenings”), Yoko Ono and Nam Jun Paik. Fluxus influenced Christo and Gilbert and George among others including Ian Everard, an English-born artist now living in Santa Cruz. Everard is a copycat.

“Fluxkit” by George Brecht, was currently on display under plexiglass in Time Lapse: 4 Decades of Art, an exhibition that celebrated the Sesnon’s legacy of exhibitions and programs since its founding in 1971. The irony of displaying a Fluxus box under plexiglass was too much for curator Shelby Graham. The quintessence of Fluxus is the conjunction of art and the everyday, the idea that art was too commercial and should be cheap, include non-artists, allow for randomness and “contingencies.” Now an object of value, “Fluxkit” is rarely seen and carefully protected. The curator invited Ian Everard to perform a Fluxus event by opening the box.

Everard draws extraordinary replicas of flat surfaces, most recently book covers with imagery of charged psychological content. His copies are exact, but often with modifications that alter the meaning. He proposed that he copy the Fluxus box and every item in it so that the final action of the “Fluxkit” score could be fulfilled: attaching the box to balloons and releasing it—no longer possible, due to the value of the artwork.  When Graham agreed, Everard invited performance artist Chomentowski to open his duplicate box, each performing the score, opening and naming the contents.

With noisemakers available throughout the gallery, the audience participated as Everard opened the box and held up each of the contents in turn, naming each—usually the name of the artist but perhaps “Fluxus box containing god,” “Time ladder with clouds from roof slowly.” Chomentowski held up Everard’s corresponding drawing and named it—sometimes the same, or perhaps “Knowles knows beans.” The naming was improvised, accompanied by random whistle blowing and clanger-banging. The culminating balloon-release was abandoned at the last minute for environmental reasons, so the shadow boxes finally danced under the ceiling of the Sesnon. Fluxus lives in the contingencies.


Maureen Davidson writes about the arts as “The Exhibitionist.” This column and her radio spot and blog at KUSP.org/exhibitionist are funded in part by a grant from the Cultural Council of Santa Cruz County.

 

Comments (0)Add Comment

Write comment
smaller | bigger

busy
 

Share this on your social networks

Bookmark and Share

Share this

Bookmark and Share

 

Health Screening

Santa Cruz wellness expert releases app to improve workplace well-being

 

Leo Sun; Full Moon, Venus Retro in Leo; Saturn Direct

It’s a complex week of planetary movements, challenges, demands and callings. We’re in the time of the Leo Sun. Leo—fixed fire, gold, the heart, generous, strong, noble, the king/queen—needs appreciation and praise from everyone in order to move forward. During Leo we gain a greater sense of self-identification by recognizing our creativity. It’s therefore a perfect time for Venus retrograding in Leo. In Venus retrograde we review and re-assess values. Venus retro in Leo concerns our self as valuable, acknowledging talents, gifts, abilities and offerings. Friday, Venus re-enters Leo (29 degrees, a critical degree) continuing the retrograde to 14 degrees Leo on Sept. 6. Friday (Full Moon) is also the (8 degrees) Leo solar festival, Festival of the Future. Leo is the heart of the sun, the heart of all that matters. When attuned to this heart, we have understanding and inclusivity. The heart of the Lion is Mitra (think “Maitreya,” the coming World Teacher). Leo prepares humanity to receive divine love from subtle sources and later to radiate that love to the kingdoms. Sirius, Ray 2, where love originates, streams through Regulus (heart of Leo), into the heart of the sun (Ray 2) and into all hearts. The heart of Leo is Regulus. Joining Venus, the love underlying all of creation appears. Saturday is Sun/Neptune (confusion or devotion) with late night Saturn turning stationary direct. Ideas, plans and structures held long in abeyance (since March 14) slowly move forward. (Read more on Leo and the week at nightlightnews.org and Risa D’Angeles’ Facebook page, accessed through my website.)

 

The New Tech Nexus

Community leaders in science and technology unite to form web-based networking program

 

Jailbreak with Reality

‘The Stanford Prison Experiment’ revisits one of the most notorious studies of all time
Sign up for Good Times weekly newsletter
Get the latest news, events

RSS Feed Burner

 Subscribe in a reader

Latest Comments

 

Holy Cannoli

New bakery opens in Ben Lomond, plus Randall Grahm’s quest to grow 10,000 new grape varieties, and Mexican cooking classes

 

Is Santa Cruz turning into Malibu North?

It's got a ways to go before it gets wrecked like Malibu, but I think we need to be very careful about growth. Maria Mattioli, Santa Cruz, Psychotherapist

 

Bargetto Winery

A much-anticipated annual event at Bargetto Winery is the release of their very special La Vita red wine. June 7 was the day to be heralded this year, and I happily squeezed my car into their overloaded car park in eager anticipation of tasting the new La Vita nectar.

 

Margaritaville

Popular Capitola spot gets new owner and complete makeover