Saturday, October 23, 2021, 1 pm
Fluxus, Action Art, Anti-art and Performativity – Tomas Schmit Retrospective – Symposium

With contributions by Marius Babias, Zdenka Badovinac, Beatrice von Bismarck, Julia Friedrich, Jenny Graser, Krisztina Hunya, Monika Lichtenfeld, Dieter Mersch, Karen Moss, Alexandra Pirici, Susanne Rennert, Gerhard Rühm, Kristine Stiles
Location: Hamburger Bahnhof – Museum für Gegenwart – Berlin
In German and English

Admission is free, please register in advance.
3G rules apply: participants must be vaccinated, recovered or tested.

The symposium has also been available via livestream.

On the occasion of the
Tomas Schmit Retrospective, an international symposium will highlight the work of artist and author Tomas Schmit on Saturday, October 23, 2021. The focus is on Schmit's work and role as a co-creator of the early Fluxus festivals, his demands for conceptual stringency, and his performative approaches. In his early Fluxus pieces, Schmit uncompromisingly questioned hierarchies between authors, performers, and audiences. He rejected the institutionalized, elitist understanding of art and countered it, first through the conception of actions (1962–1965), which focused on elementary processes, sensory experiences, and everyday actions, and later in his books, texts, and editions (from 1965), as well as in his drawings (from 1969), which also center on the activation of the viewer and investigate modes of perception. What relevance do Schmit’s pieces have today, more than half a century since their creation? How have their impact, the context in which they are performed, and their audience changed, so that questions concerning the relationship between art and everyday life can be posed anew? The symposium at Hamburger Bahnhof will discuss the relevance of Schmit's aesthetic approaches and the legacy of Fluxus in contemporary art and cultural production, deliberately giving space to a linkage with contemporary discourses.

On the eve of the symposium, on Friday, October 22, 2021, the Arsenal Institute for Film and Video Art will present a film evening starting at 8 pm, devoted to the
Fluxfilm Anthology, a collection of avantgarde films from the 1960s and 1970s that was put together by George Maciunas. The collection of films by Fluxus artists, many of them very short and experimental, that were shown at events and happenings, form the canon of the Fluxus film work to this day. 32 films from this collection, which was expanded over time, can be found in the Arsenal film archive. During the evening at Arsenal a selection of films from the Anthology will be shown, placing a special focus on works that deal with the body, sexuality and femininity, a.o. by Yoko Ono, Nam June Paik, George Landow, and Shiomi Chieko. Taking this as a starting point, the program undertakes digressions through the Arsenal film archive, explores those who accompanied the Fluxus project such as Carolee Schneemann, and sets off in search of connections, motifs, and references in the works of the collection.

Saturday, October 23, 2021, 1–8 pm

1 pm

Marius Babias, director n.b.k., and Gabriele Knapstein, curator and head of Hamburger Bahnhof – Museum für Gegenwart – Berlin

1.15 pm
Jenny Graser, curator for contemporary art, Kupferstichkabinett – Staatliche Museen zu Berlin

1.30 pm
Keynote lecture
Kristine Stiles, professor of Art, Art History and Visual Studies, Duke University, Durham, NC

2.30 pm
Performativity in the Work of Tomas Schmit
Jenny Graser, Susanne Rennert, art historian, author and curator, Dusseldorf, Dieter Mersch,
philosopher, aesthetic theory, Zurich, moderated by
Julia Friedrich, curator Museum Ludwig, Cologne

4.30 pm
The Legacy of Fluxus – the Role of Artists and Anti-art today
Zdenka Badovinac, curator and author, Ljubljana, Karen Moss, professor of Critical Studies at the Roski School of Art and Design, University of Southern California, Kristine Stiles,
moderated by
Beatrice von Bismarck, professor of Art History and Visual Culture, Academy of Fine Arts, Leipzig

6.30 pm
Thinking in Hybrid Patterns
Gerhard Rühm, artist, Cologne, Alexandra Pirici, artist, Bucharest,
moderated by
Krisztina Hunya, curator and project manager n.b.k.

Location: Hamburger Bahnhof – Museum für Gegenwart – Berlin, Invalidenstraße 50–51, 10557 Berlin