archive sohm – stuttgart

In November 2003, Jane and I went to Stuttgart and look at the Archive Sohm (which was bloody amazing)…
Dr Sohm was a dentist who tended to the teeth of many of the Fluxus/Happenings/Vienna Aktionists artists. There are letters to him from George Maciunas, for example, begging him to accept a bunch of flux objects in exchange for 1000 US dollars so he can look after the health of his mother (I hope i have that story right). Or maybe it was so that George himself could pay his medical costs after he was beaten by thugs who broke into his house (he was having problems with the city authorities). Anyway, Sohm always accepted these objects and sent the money. He now has the largest collection of Fluxus stuff in the world. He died a few years ago.
[If anyone intends to visit the archive in Stuttgart, I recommend calling to arrange an appointment a few weeks in advance. We emailed but got no reply, and just showed up. Luckily they accomodated us, but we were told to book ahead next time.]
My interest in fluxus was ignited when I went to Adelaide’s Experimental Art Foundation in 2002, looking through their fab fab artist book archive. I think that the old Irish fella Noel Sheridon who helped to set up the EAF must have collected it, either him or Donald Brook.
In the EAF I found a beautiful flux-event-score by Albert M Fine called Piece for Fluxorchestra, and I conducted its “re-enactment” in the small cinema attatched to the Mercury, the Iris Cinema. I became fascinated with the legacy they had left, which was – very little tangible documentation of actual events, but indeed the recipes for the events themselves, which you, I, anyone, could recreate – thus experiencing DIRECTLY the “original” work for ourselves! This is why I was so interested to embark on the expanded cinema stuff.
…and also why i was excited to find out about the Carolee Schneeman
re-performance, and indeed all the Whitechapel Gallery
pieces I looked at and wrote about on my blog.

One thought on “archive sohm – stuttgart

  1. Lucas Post author

    ps – Piece for Fluxorchestra is from 1967. This link has info about it, which I reprint here:

    Fine, Albert
    PIECE FOR FLUXORCHESTRA
    NYC: Fluxus Editions, 1967
    12 x 9.3 x 1.3cm, transparent plastic box with
    printed label on lid, contains 25 cards; one
    general instruction card, and 24 different scores,
    one for each performer.

    Reply

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