"USE THESE MATCHS [sic] TO DESTROY ALL ART" reads Ben Vautier's inscription on a matchbox. It goes on to urge viewers to destroy museums, art libraries, pop-art, and even this particular work. Vautier (or Ben, as he is also referred to), created the piece in the 1960s. It's still around, prominently displayed at the Walker Art Center along with several other of his works, in "Art Expanded, 1958-1978." Like Ben's Total Art Matchbox, the works in the exhibit -- which include pieces from Fluxus, as well as avant-garde artists such as Yoko Ono, Jasper Johns, John Cage, George Brecht, and Yvonne Rainer -- challenge the status quo of the art world, at times giving the finger to the art establishment while pushing the limits of different disciplines to create new forms.
"It's a noisy show," says Eric Crosby, who curated the exhibit. That's because it has so many sound and film pieces to explore, including works from Merce Cunningham and Yvonne Rainer, who besides challenging traditions within dance, were also incorporating visual art as part of their projects. There's also Nam Juke Peik's awesome TV Cello, an actual playable cello made up of working televisions (check out here for a demonstration), and Bruno Contenotte's gorgeous Metaphysica Quantica, a liquid light projection.
IF YOU GO:
Through March 18, 2015
The Walker Art Center