Monday, April 5, 2010

Fluxus and Joseph Beuys Art

When researching Fluxus and Joseph Beuys I kept finding information pertaining to the metaphors of the movement. "Fluxus" is derived from the latin words "flow" and "change". Fluxus work challenged the standard definition of art including genres from writing, to music, to street performances. One of the most well-known Fluxus artists was Joseph Beuys who is most famous for his installation of a piano covered in felt material. I read some quotes from Beuys about him using material as a metaphor, especially his felt installations. The process through which felt is formed makes the fibers of the material inseparable. In Beuys' words this relates to "the social dimension of humanity, man is his milieu. He cannot cast off his communal bonds; he cannot defend himself agains the dangers of life and develop his potential alone."In other words the felt is a metaphor for our society and the pressures man faces in life.

This also demonstrates the idea that Fluxus artists, along with the artists of other movements, do not come up with their ideas on a whim. Beuys did not decide that it would be a good idea to throw a curtain of felt over a piano and call it "art". His installations were well thought out and developed ideas dealing with metaphors that pertain to human life, as Beuys explains; "The outward appearance of every object I make is the equivalent of some aspect of inner human life."

The Fluxus movement was a strong reinforcement of this idea, that artists plan what they include in their work rather than doing it on impulse, because the movement involved such a broad spectrum of mediums all meant to speak about society in some way through metaphors.

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