Gorzo and Buga versus Maciunas and Klein

Fluxus performance—concerned mainly with the interaction between human bodies and the objects and actions of everyday life—debuted in 1962 in a series of concerts across Europe organized by artist George Maciunas. [source: moma.org]

Left: John Lennon and Yoko Ono standing in front of Maciunas' USA Surpasses all the Genocide Records!, c.1970.

Alina Buga (right) and Dumitru Gorzo (left) simulating  a fight  above Romanian Flag in Romania versus Dusmania, a Rostopasca performance video, c. 2000.
[source: rostopasca.blogspot.com]
USA Surpasses all the Genocide Records!
poster, 54.8 x 87.8 cm, c. 1966.

The flag poster  by George Maciunas was designed as an  American Flag and compares the massacres in U.S.A., Near East, Spain,  Nazi Germany, Russia and Vietnam.
The shop [George Maciunas FluxShop], like all his business ventures, was notoriously unsuccessful, however. In an interview with Larry Miller in 1978 shortly before his death, Maciunas estimated spending about $50,000 on fluxus projects over the years that would never recoup their investment.

Larry Miller:  May I ask a stupid question? Why didn't it pay off? Because isn't part of the idea that it's low cost and multiple distribution...

George Maciunas: No one was buying it, in those days. We opened up a store on Canal Street, what was it, 1964, and we had it open almost all year. We didn't make one sale in that whole year... We did not even sell a 50 cent item, a postage stamp sheet... you could buy V TRE papers for a quarter, you could buy George Brecht's puzzles for one dollar, Fluxus yearboxes for twenty dollars.

[Source: Interview with Larry Miller, 1978, quoted in Mr Fluxus, E Williams and A Noel, Thames and Hudson, 1997, p114,  Via: wikipedia.org ]





Left: Romania versus Dusmania, screenshot from the performance art  video, with Dumitru Gorzo simulating defecatio  on the Romanian Flag, or suggesting The Flag is his defecatio?  c. 2000.
[source: rostopasca.blogspot.com]


Left:  Anthropometries de l-epoque bleue
Musicians play music as Yves Klein directs young women to imprint their blue-painted-bodies onto canvas.  February 1960. Klein’s painting took on a performative element when he used nude women as living paint brushes [1], making his Anthropométrie (Anthropometry) paintings in front of a seated audience. 

Klein’s idea for the Anthropométries stemmed in part from his practice in judo, as he became fascinated by the markings left on the mat as a judo fighter fell. His initial experiment into using the human figure as a medium dates back to June 1958 in a friend’s apartment. It was here that he first applied blue paint to a nude model and guided her in rolling across a sheet of paper that had been placed on the floor. Surprisingly, this initial work troubled Klein. To him, the heavily-coated paint traces left by the body on the paper were too much about the workings of chance and spontaneity. However, he continued to be intrigued with the idea of using  living brushes and in February 1960 staged a live public premiere at his own apartment utilizing his new medium.
Klein gave a signal to his model Jacqueline to first undress and then to cover her breasts, stomach, and thighs in blue paint. Under his supervision and direction, she pressed herself against a sheet of paper fixed to the wall.The torso and thighs of the female body had been reduced to pure essentials; to Klein, it was an anthropometric symbol that served as the pure canon of human proportion, and he called it  the most concentrated expression of vital energy imaginable.  He believed that the model’s impressions represent the health that brings humans into being,  and that their presence in the work transcends personal presence. [Kirstin Russell]

[1] Steinmetz, Julie, Heather Cassils, and Clover Leary. Behind Enemy Lines: Toxic Titties Infiltrate,  Journal of Women in Culture and Society 31.3 (2006)
[source: Kirstin Russell, walkerart.org]

Left: Romania versus Dusmania, screenshot from the performance art  video, with Dumitru Gorzo used as a living brush by Alina Buga. 
[source: rostopasca.blogspot.com]

Compared with Fluxus performances  and Klein’s  Anthropométries  Alina Buga and Dumitru Gorzo performance in  Romania versus Dusmania is  40 years retarded and Con-Temporary Art rather than Contemporary Art.

Con  [kn]  adj. Of, relating to, or involving a swindle or fraud,
Temporary   [ˈtɛmpərərɪ ˈtɛmprərɪ] adj.  lasting only a short time.


Although backed by John Lennon and Yoko Ono, George Maciunas sold nothing in his New York shop. There was no market for those who played with a nation's symbols.  In the same years, Jasper Johns   painted flags as they are and his works became iconic.  According to the New York Times, the Whitney Museum of American Art bought Johns' Three Flags for $1 million in 1980, considered the highest price ever paid for the work of a living artist at the time. 

Right: Jasper Johns, Flag, Encaustic on canvas, 1966.
Flag, which was completed in 1966 and hung for decades in the home of the late Jurassic Park author Michael Crichton, sold at Christie's in 2010,  to  art adviser Michael Altman,   for $28.6 million. [source: Wall Street Journal].