‘Modernism’s Intermedialities: From Futurism to Fluxus’ at AAH Conference

‘Modernism’s Intermedialities: From Futurism to Fluxus’

38th Annual AAH (Association of Art Historians) Conference & Bookfair
The Open University, Milton Keynes
March 29 – 31, 2012

Session Convenors:

Christopher Townsend, Royal Holloway, University of London c.townsend@rhul.ac.uk

Alexandra Trott, Royal Holloway, University of London, alexandra.trott@gmail.com

Rhys Davies, Royal Holloway, University of London, rhys.davies@rhul.ac.uk

This panel explores how intermedial practices in painting, projection and performance corroded boundaries established by modernism’s pursuit of medium specificity and rhetorical purity.

The session focuses on the performative manifestations of modernist art as they developed from the Futurist Serate from 1911, through to the Happenings associated with Fluxus in the 1960s. The Futurist’s collaborative ‘variety evenings’ combined noise-music and fine art with the declamatory rhetoric of the amplified voice to provoke audiences from their bourgeois complacency. This practice – exemplified by the work of Luigi Colombo (‘Fillia’) and the Futurist Artistic Syndicate – re-emerged in its influence upon Fluxus. A further key area of exploration is the legacy of Dadaist intermediality, through Cage and Duchamp, on artists such as Allan Kaprow and Ken Dewey, in distorting the dynamic between the audience and the performance space in Happenings and ‘Events’. These papers explore the idea of intermedial processes as engaged throughout the development of the artwork rather than just in the mode of its delivery.

Our invited speakers will look to challenge the critical integrity of ‘intermedial’ theory, to confront and draw upon arguments that see ‘intermediality’ merely as a concept of research.


Georgeta Maillat (Australian National University, Canberra) From Book Art to Manifesto and Opera: An Itinerary of Russian Futurist Performance in Search of the Fourth Dimension

Ruth Hemus (Royal Holloway, University of London) Dada’s Film-Poet: Céline Arnauld

Jacqueline Rattray (Goldsmiths College) Crystal Trees and Marble Fingers: The Surrealist Poetry of the Catalan Artist Ángel Planells

Fernando Quesada (Universidad de Alcalá, Madrid) Support, Value, Architecture: Space and Spectatorship in Alan Kaprow and Yves Klein

Alison Green (Central Saint Martins College of Arts and Design) Carolee Schneemann: Intermedia and Exile

Jean Wainwright (University of the Creative Arts, Rochester) Mediated Pain: Andy Warhol’s Exploding Plastic Inevitable

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