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'FluZUsic/FLUXUS MUSIC' exhibition exhibition opens at the Bob Rauschenberg Gallery at FSW
The exhibition features an interactive and immersive installation with newly commissioned works by Yoko Ono.

FORT MYERS, FLA.- Florida SouthWestern State College announces the opening of FluZUsic/FLUXUS MUSIC at the Bob Rauschenberg Gallery. An interactive and immersive installation with newly commissioned works by Yoko Ono, Geoffrey Hendricks, Alison Knowles and Philip Corner (who also provided the exhibition’s playful title), FluZUsic/FLUXUS MUSIC provides both an in-depth historical examination into this seminal art movement and a hands-on/participatory and sonic experience for visitors.

Most heavily inspired by the ideas of John Cage, Fluxus art often relied on chance to shape the outcome and actively involved the viewer. Fluxus compositions or scores for performances and events involved simple actions, ideas and objects from everyday life. Incorporating concrete poetry, visual art and writing, Fluxus performances were the embodiment of Dick Higgins’ idea of “intermedia”—a dialogue between two or more media to create a third, entirely new art form. Yet, as many of the Fluxus artists had formal training in music, musical composition and performance (frequently involving the alteration, misuse or abuse of traditional instruments), this activity became a central focus. Beginning with a series of festivals featuring concerts of experimental music and other avant-garde performance, Fluxus artists reacted against the commodification of art, its commercialization in the gallery system, and its static presentation in museums. While Bob Rauschenberg famously stated his interest in working “in the gap between art and life”, the primary goal of most Fluxus artists was to destroy any boundary between the two. Founder George Maciunas stated that Fluxus was "anti-art," to underscore the revolutionary mode of thinking about the practice and process of art while using humor to mock the elitist world of "high art" and to bring art to the widest possible audience.

A special preview Q. & A. and exhibition walk-through with visiting artist and FLUXUS pioneer Alison Knowles was held the morning of Friday, August 25th. An active participant in New York City's downtown art scene and close collaborator of both John Cage and Marcel Duchamp, Ms. Knowles (like her fellow Fluxus colleagues) is noted for event scores and performances that rework the everyday into art – including visual, aural, tactile and often participatory elements. Involved in sound since the late ‘60s, Knowles designed and co-edited John Cage’s Notations, a book of music manuscripts published by the Something Else Press. Her 8 x 12 ft. “Bean Garden” (1975/2017) newly-constructed for FluZusic/Fluxus Music invites Bob Rauschenberg Gallery visitors the unique opportunity to walk through a platform of nearly two-tons of amplified great northern beans – as their sounds resonate with each step.

The Bob Rauschenberg Gallery was founded as The Gallery of Fine Art in 1979 on the Lee County campus of Florida SouthWestern State College/FSW (then Edison Community College). On June 4th 2004 the Gallery of Fine Art was renamed the Bob Rauschenberg Gallery, to honor and commemorate our long time association and friendship with the artist. Over more than three decades until his death, the Gallery worked closely with Rauschenberg to present world premiere exhibitions including multiple installations of the ¼ Mile or Two Furlong Piece. The artist insisted on naming the space the Bob Rauschenberg Gallery (versus the “Robert Rauschenberg Gallery”) as it was consistent with the intimate, informal relationship he maintained with both the local Southwest Florida community and FSW.

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