Santa Cruz Good Times

Sunday
May 03rd
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

 

Mountain Mystic

When Cora Evans died in Boulder Creek in 1957, her thousands of pages of religious writings hadn’t yet been published. More than a half a century later, Evans’ fiery visions and spiritual devotion have inspired a crusade within Catholicism to make her the Santa Cruz Mountains’ first saint

 

Wesak (Water) Taurus Solar Festival, Buddha Blesses the Earth

A most important celebration occurs Sunday, May 3—the Wesak Taurus Buddha Solar Festival/full moon. At the moment of the full moon the Buddha’s presence enters the Earth plane for eight minutes. He brings the Will-to-Good from the Father, which, when reaching humanity becomes goodwill (Mother Principle). Held yearly in a valley hidden deep within the Himalayas, the Wesak festival is prepared for for months in advance (beginning at Winter Solstice). On festival day, amidst pilgrims, disciples and Holy Ones gathered in the valley, the Buddha is invoked through movement, symbols and mantrams. At the moment of the full moon, hearing the words, “We are ready, Buddha, come,” the Lord of Illumination (brother of the Christ) appears in the clouds above the altar to emanate forth the will and purpose of God to earth. The blessing of the father is then held in safekeeping for distribution at the June full moon Goodwill Festival. The day of Wesak (May 3, 8:42 p.m. West Coast) all disciples (east and west) place crystal vessels filled with pure water outside (in gardens, on rooftops, porches and steps) under the heavens. As the Buddha blesses the world, all waters, including waters within our bodies, are blessed. The Buddha is accompanied by the Forces of Enlightenment to illuminate humanity’s minds. Humanity then begins to express new constructive, productive and beneficial ways of the Art of Livingness. Wesak covers five days—two days (before) of dedicated preparation, the actual festival “Day of Safeguarding,” and two days (after) distributing goodwill (the NGWS to humanity). Join us in the Valley by reciting the Great Invocation, mantra of direction for humanity.

 

The New Tech Nexus

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

 

Film, Times & Events: Week of May 1

Santa Cruz area movie theaters >
Sign up for Good Times weekly newsletter
Get the latest news, events

RSS Feed Burner

 Subscribe in a reader

Latest Comments

 

Hole in the Wall

Popular Aptos spot opens for dinner

 

How do you connect with the natural world?

My connection to the natural world is through my art. I totally feel it there very physically in nature and even right here on the street. Jonathan Rosen, Felton, Pastor

 

Hess Collection Winery

My friend Emma from London came to visit for a few days in early March, so I took her wine tasting in the Santa Cruz Mountains—a rare treat for her, as there aren’t too many vineyards in the middle of London. Her visit reminded me how fortunate we are to live in this paradise of ultra-fresh produce, with grapes growing in wild profusion.

 

Springtime Walkabout

May Day Flower Festival, free tours of the UCSC Farm, and a nondairy chocolate indulgence