Programs and Tours
Life and the Essential Questions of Fluxus: a lecture by curator Jacquelynn Baas
Fluxus was part of a century-long trend on the part of avant-garde artists to reintegrate art into the activities of everyday life—in other words, into the process of being alive. Being alive is rife with problems, of course, and so too is Fluxus. In this lecture, curator Jacquelynn Baas discusses some of the ways Fluxus has complicated, and is still complicating, life in the realm of art. The artists and art of Fluxus—irreverent, provocative, sometimes downright wacky—first emerged in the early 1960s as an art phenomenon that aimed to circumvent traditional museum-gallery presentation platforms. Scholars disagree about Fluxus's historical precursors, among them Dada, Marcel Duchamp, and John Cage. Baas's contribution is Fluxus and the Essential Questions of Life, an accessible and engaging exhibition and catalogue intended to present this unconventional "art" in an experiential way. For those who would like to better understand Fluxus from both historical and experiential points of view, don't miss this informative and insightful lecture.
Jacquelynn Baas was a museum-practice student of Charles H. Sawyer, UMMA Director from 1957 to 1972. She received both her MA and PhD in the Department of the History of Art at the University of Michigan, and was Registrar and then Assistant to the Director at UMMA from 1974 to 1982. Baas went on to Dartmouth College, where she served as Chief Curator and then Founding Director of the Hood Museum of Art. Baas is currently Emeritus Director of the University of California Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive, and an independent scholar and arts consultant. In the course of her museum career Baas has organized over thirty exhibitions including The Artistic Revival of the Woodcut in France 1850-1900, a traveling exhibition that opened at the University of Michigan Museum of Art in 1983; The Independent Group: Postwar Britain and the Aesthetics of Plenty; The Here and the Hereafter: Images of Paradise in Islamic Art; and Transformation: The Art of Joan Brown, a major retrospective organized by the University of California Berkeley Art Museum and the Oakland Museum of California, 1998–99. More recently, Baas has curated No Boundary: Duchamp, Cage, and Especially Fluxus for the 6th Gwangju Biennale, 2006; and now Fluxus and the Essential Questions of Life, which opened at the Hood in April 2011. Baas has published books, essays, and reviews on subjects ranging from print culture to the Mexican muralists, and from Asian perspectives in European and American art to Fluxus and contemporary art.
This exhibition was organized by the Hood Museum of Art and was generously supported by Constance and Walter Burke, Dartmouth College Class of 1944, the Marie-Louise and Samuel R. Rosenthal Fund, and the Ray Winfield Smith 1918 Fund. UMMA's installation is made possible in part by the University of Michigan Health System, the University of Michigan Office of the Provost, Arts at Michigan, and the CEW Frances and Sydney Lewis Visiting Leaders Fund.
Sunday, 11 March, 2012
Helmut Stern Auditorium
University of MichiganMuseum of Art
525 South State Street
Ann Arbor, MI 48109-1354