Published in Lund Art Press (no. 2, 1991)
Uncensored and Unreflected Thoughts on F---us
Guttorm Nordø is a painter and mail artist who lives and works in Trondheim, Norway. He is well known as the publisher of El Djarida magazine which recently released the Fluxus Performance Workbook, the largest collection of Fluxus performance pieces and event scores ever presented in a single volume.
F---us both seems to be and to have been.
If F---us isn’t the Biggest Joke, it has to be ONE of the Biggest Ones.
I like to talk about F---us. The reason: It has been PART of the ongoing avant gardistic artistic development up through this century.
F---us has been very energetic in the field of documentation. F---us has recycled, rewritten, used, abused, and also invented new strategies for art presentation. But, still I want to claim: In the tradition of Dada (no doubt in my opinion).
Being a Maximalist, I’m able to enjoy (from a view above quarrels, distinctions etc.) and accept ALL trends, fashions, movements, directions, theories, art groups.
To me, F---us was and is just like everything else which has been or still is. What specifies F---us is that tricky grip: management – methodological – public relations – conspiracy – religious – joy – trip.
Concerning F---us performances: I see them as Anti-Theatre. A main point is to express arrogance toward the audience; to create distance and non-involvement, kind of a provocation – action instead of acting (or none of both). Watching a F---us performance isn’t far from watching TV – the distance between actors and watchers looks equal to me.
Anonymous, distant, emotionally absent: the perfect F---us Actor. The distance has always been great (how do I know?) between the F---us Idea of direct involvement with the audience, and the real situation. It’s perhaps by purpose.
Humourless Humour. Academics and intellectuals pretending to be no-brains (not now-brains). Non-involvement. F---us performance seems to be most successful kept as written scores: Anti-Theatre should rather be presented on Anti-Stages.
I’ll suggest for the future F---us performances: Install huge mirrorwalls on stage, separating actors/audience – mirror on both sides. The actors could then do as they wish; either perform their piece and watch themselves, or go to a nearby restaurant, perhaps travel to a foreign country, while the audience could watch each others and their reactions to eventual expectations to whatever they thought would take place on stage. Maybe better this way?
F---us: Keep the secrets hidden? I would have prefered staying mystified. Now that I know too much about the right things to mean and to think about F---us, the fun has run (a way). (Explain it all to Ms. Understanding and Mr. Ease … calmcool it’s just my contribution to a – maybe – collaborative confusion … I don’t look for truths, only for possible explanations and why am I asked over and over again to explain my views on F---us?)
Please, save the mysteries for the esoteric massmovement! Hide all answers to questions never raised. The flux is in the war. Wars. Fluxury Luxus?
Yep; F---us is interesting as history, especially when explained by historians who really admire it, or who own F-collections. Today, is it right that F---us has gone through chemi-wash-treatments; cleansed, put inside glassboxes in pure, sterile museums and hip galleries all over the western world? Has F---us got a marble heart beating twice a-year? If so – so what?
I didn’t want F---us to dissolve. Neither did
I want the dadaists to disappear. I want the return of the futurists, expressionists, surrealists, tramps, beboppers, rockers, beatniks, mods, situationists, hippies, jippies, metalglammers, punks, rappers – I don’t want just to read about them in boring magazines.
F---us: Is that a word for day and night (open 24 hours)? Art (or the presentation of art) is so dead and boring, like it always has been. Oh how I wish that anyone or everyone would do anything or absolutely everything in the name of the great Nothingness!
And how can I say nice things about F---us? From my point of view Maximalism overgoes and includes all thinkable theories, philosophies, formations, movements etc.
– I can only look to F---us in the same way which I look to a graveyard or to the birth-rate statistics of Indonesian ghosts … or in the same manner which I look to the Bible, Buddha, Wittgenstein or my own diaries.
F---us is neither past nor presence, but rather the future of politics and poetry. True intentions? Plagiarism?
Another thing is that I have heard ugly rumours, saying that F---us was invented by a little group of artists who always were met with refusals at juried exhibitions and ignored by hip galleries, because they were making traditional contemporary art that simply wasn’t GOOD enough. By forming a group and presenting a mixmax of their theories, by putting their loss of originality and missing talents together, some extraordinary concepts of meaninglessness evolved, which gave them the opportunity to break through the thick brick walls of media.
If that’s true, I’m surely IMPRESSED.
Strategy, there has to be a clever strategy behind F---us. Maybe some sort of the same conspiracy that found place in art-/cultural life of countries like Norway, Denmark, Germany: totally dominated by marxist leninists of the late 60s and 70s? Those old commies who decided to become system racers, in order to enter the chairs of committees, juries, funds, museums, publishing houses etc.
Tactic: Friendship rules. Contacts contacting contacts of contacts, to get contracts, prizes, grants, awards, roles, showrooms – perhaps that’s what everything is about: to play the social games clever enough, join the free-masonry, find good pals and likeminded revolutionaries. Whatsoever: Talk beside the matter. Shit too becomes valuable, to the cultural life in the soil.
Runaway conclusions: But arrogance! Intellectualism! Distance! Heartly Humour!
F---us seems to be (or to have been) individual. No group. No Big Plan. Just coincidences, a bit of luck, a few analytic persons with talents for word- and media treatment, good contacts (or work) on a social level; putting up shows where artists are /were collected under an invisible banner, and ablakaDada: FUCKUS!
Excuse me (for Nothing).