At the same time as American and European publishers started to commission and distribute non-traditional art mediums, Fluxus founder George Maciunas envisioned so- called “Fluxshops”. Tiny retail spaces made accessible for the general public, in the same way, any other hardware store would be. Meant to be informal the presentation of the products on sale was presented in a non-exhibition-like manner, reducing the work of art to an object. While this concept highly supported the collective aim of self-authorship for the artists, it also further informed the discourse around material and concept. Objects created were meant to be interacted with, touched, held and read by the viewer. New York’s “Flux-Hall” on 359 Canal Street, became an active retail space open with regular opening hours during the day, and at night transformed into a meeting place for performances and discourse.
“The fact that art was for sale not in a museum or a gallery anymore, but as a Mail Order project! […] It was a work itself and I’m glad it stayed together and didn’t become commercial. I always liked that Fluxus wasn’t official. It wasn’t museum or gallery culture.”
(Willem de Ridder, 2002)
“The Fluxkit”, a portable suitcase containing a variety of small products, produced by the Fluxus members, remains known as one of the more elaborate and more remembered examples of the inventory presented at the “Fluxus European Mail-order Warehouse/ Fluxshops”. About the production of “Fluxkits”, artist and member of Fluxus, Alison Knowles explained that they served the purpose to present and contain various mediums by different artists. The latter wanted to break away from any traditional medium further. Knowles, for example, produced a miniature version of canned literature, containing nine beans for the 1964 Fluxkit.
Italian collector and arts patron Francesco Conz was an acclaimed supporter of various avant-garde movements of the 1970s. As a leading publisher of art ephemera and art multiples, Conz has been attributed to have immortalised a vast selection of works across a range of movements and groups such as Fluxus, Viennese Actionist, ZAJ, Concrete Poetry, Gorgona Group and Lettrist. The Archivio and Edizioni Conz exists to preserve his legacy and promote the vast collection of works ranging from painting, drawing, photographs, musical scores and machines, poems, sculptural works, relics from performances and ephemeral to other genre-crossing collectables. Cardi Gallery is proud to present a selection of Fluxus works on view per requests or the gallery’s Artsy page.