In 1962, the Fluxus art movement was officially born, even if it had already been widespread since the late 1950s in the work of a number of intellectuals, including the Lithuanian artist George Maciunas, who invented the name.
This extraordinary international, interdisciplinary community of artists, composers, designers, and poets engaged for over two decades in experimental art performances which emphasized the artistic process over the finished product.
More than sixty years later, in the premises of the Pirelli HangarBicocca in Milan, the Shanghai-based nonprofit platform devoted to contemporary art ArtHub presents Flu水o (Fluxo), a complex immersive, cross-disciplinary project, that won the Italian Council award in 2020.
The project explores fascinating issues in the relation between distant epochs and civilizations, resulting in unexpected crossovers throughout many activities and genres, including opera music and performance, installations and dance, video, and workshops.
Water is the core topic of this imaginative project, an essential element for our existence and a resource of tremendous lyrical force but that can also represent death and annihilation, the focal point for important contemporary social, political, and anthropological challenges.
Born from an idea by Luciana Galliano and curated by Davide Quadrio, the framework of Flu水o reflects this dichotomy of values, with re-enactments and reinterpretations of some performances by 1960s East Asian artists with connections to water coexisting with a staging of Mauricio Kagel’s satirical chamber opera Mare Nostrum.
Golden Lion winner Alessandro Sciarroni directed the opera and chose to collaborate on the project with a number of contemporary Italian and international artists. Andrea Anastasio envisioned the scenes, the musicians’ costumes, and the site-specific installation, inspired by the Mediterranean waters. Chiara Bersani was chosen for the re-enactment of Shiomi Chieko’s work Water Music, Anna Raimondo forThe shapes of dreams return to the sea, based on Shiomi Chieko’s Water Music, Rossella Biscotti and Attila Faravelli will re-enact Takemitsu Toru’s 1960 work Water Music for Magnetic Tape.
Silvia Gribaudi was chosen for the iconic Water Piece by Yoko Ono, and Silvia Calderoni with Ilenia Caleo for the 1964 work Covered in Detergent on Stage, Bathing in Water by Nam June Paik.
Countertenor Kai Wessel and baritone Miljenko Turk have been cast for Mare Nostrum, with the Ensemble Bernasconi, led by Arnaud Arbet and featuring Elena Casoli at the guitar, and Yuka Ohta at the percussion. Muna Mussie, a performance artist, will also be featured in the show.
Flu水o will be performed live and in its entirety on Thursday, November 25, and Friday, November 26, right below Anselm Kiefer’s colossal work The Seven Heavenly Palaces. A central moment in the life of this multi-faceted international initiative, now landing in Milan. A project that united Europe and the Far East.