Emmett Williams: Fluxus Cathedral
Feb 21–Apr 28, 2019
Exhibition view “Fluxus Cathedral”, Photo by Giorgia Palmisano.
Exhibition view “Fluxus Cathedral”, Photo by Giorgia Palmisano.

For the stained-glass windows of the Fluxus Cathedral:

...All these funny little people, who are they, where do they come from, and where are they going? I don't think they are self-portraits, although they do creep into a lot of my works. They have been keeping me company as far back as I can remember, even as a child, ever-present doodles dancing in and out of a kind of automatic drawing. They have danced their permutational dance on a mountaintop in Japan, on wooden wheels carved by native craftsmen in Kenya, at a Fluxus festival in Korea, on real stained glass in Verona, in a variety of prints and paintings, and here they are in the black marble hall of the former Imperial Castle in Poznań. Keep going, little fellows, and who knows where you'll end up. In a real cathedral, maybe, some day.

Emmett Williams, Berlin, 1991.

Emmett Williams uses humour and mock seriousness with an underlying deliberate intent in a way that is characteristic of Fluxus performance. His participation in Fluxus group activities and collaborative projects started in the late 1950s. Maciunas proposed Fluxus as a complex of different approaches to art, music and poetic practice, evident before this in the work of Marcel Duchamp. These involved chance operations, influenced by Duchamp and composer John Cage, for example in the first ‘happening’, and the ideas of gesture proposed by writer Antonin Artaud. For Emmett Williams ‘Fluxus simply provided a forum, free from the entanglements of the art establishment’, in which many artists could demonstrate their works in the company of kindred spirits.

Emmett Williams (Greenville, US, 1925 - Berlin, DE, 2007).
Emmett Williams was an American poet and visual artist. He was married to British visual artist Ann Nöel. Williams spent most of his later life in Europe. His highly productive oeuvre finds form in written and performative expressions. He translated and “reanecdoted” Daniel Spoerri's “Topographie anecdotée du hasard” (An Anecdoted Topography of Chance), collaborated with Claes Oldenburg on Store Days, and edited An Anthology of Concrete Poetry, all published by the Something Else Press, which was owned and managed by fellow Fluxus artist Dick Higgins. From the mid-1960s through the early 1970s Williams was editor in chief of the Something Else Press. Francesco Conz and Williams were friends and collaborators for more than thirty years and produced numerable editions and works together in Asolo and Verona.

Archivio Conz houses artworks, documents, editions and personal belongings collected and catalysed by Francesco Conz (Cittadella, 1935 – Verona, 2010) over the course of more than 30 years, first in his house in Asolo and later at the ‘Secret Museum’ outside Verona. More than a collector, he worked closely with artists of the main artistic avant-garde movements of his time – Fluxus, Viennese Actionism, ZAJ, Lettrisme, Concrete Poetry, Visual Poetry, Sound Poetry and Gorgona. He left a collection of more than 3000 items by more than 150 artists that are now kept in a storage facility in Berlin.

The Edizioni Conz Raum showcases selected works and editions of the Archivio Conz in the city. A series of Guided Tours and performance projects by artists will activate the presentations throughout the year. The Edizioni Conz Raum shares its offices with Outset Germany/Switzerland in the premises of Kunstwerke Berlin and is open from Wednesday-Saturday from 11-6pm.