Fluxus Fetish

November 2-3, 2023, Archivio Conz, Berlin

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Fluxus Fetish
November 2-3, 2023, Archivio Conz, Berlin


SNSF Activating Fluxus in collaboration with Archivio Conz are pleased to announce the event “Fluxus Fetish”, taking place at the Archivio Conz, Lise-Meitner-Strasse 7-9, 10589 Berlin, Germany, November 2-3, 2023. This event explores the legacy of Fluxus through the notion of “fetish” in relation to Francesco Conz’s enigmatic collection of fetish objects.

“Fluxus Fetish” is part of a two day Fluxus Study Day hosted by the Archivio. On November 2, we plan an activation of a Fluxus Cabinet, which is closed to the public. On November 3, we are organising a public panel centred around the idea of a Fetish Tisch (English: “Fetish table”), featuring selected objects from the collection and responses from invited speakers: Horst Bredekamp (Humboldt University), Clémentine Deliss (KW Institute) , Ayesha Fuentes (University of Cambridge, and Patrizio Peterlini (Fondazione Bonotto). The panel will be introduced by Hubertus von Amelunxen, director of the Archivio. If you wish to attend, you will need to register through our Eventbrite page on a first-come, first-served basis. To accommodate any last-minute cancellations, we will establish a waiting list, so we kindly request that you make your reservations responsibly. Although this event can only be attended in person, the recording will be made available later on our channels.

Co-organised by the teams from SNSF Activating Fluxus and Archivio Conz, our event, Fluxus Fetish, aims to delve into the concept of the fetish from several angles. Firstly, we will explore it through the lens of Archivio Conz’s unique collection of fetish objects. This exploration will encompass the vibrant archival life and the latent potential residing within these objects. Secondly, we will engage with the notion of fetish as something possessing distinct agency, investigating how certain objects acquire the ability to exert influence over other objects, individuals and practices. We will draw connections between affect and care, bridging the gap between Fluxus fetishes and other emotionally charged objects, for example, so-called “ethnographic objects.” Thirdly, we will examine the act of collecting artworks as specific objects as a form of fetishism, or how objects become fetishised in the collection through ritual practices of preservation and care.

We will ponder questions like: What desires do these objects harbor, and do they define their own conditions of care? How does a fetish object impact the archive that houses it? What happens when a collected object becomes fetishized within the collection it belongs to? Can we activate a fetish, or conversely, how do fetish objects challenge the notion of activation? Grappling with the paradoxical notion of “knowing, but just the same” we will ultimately explore what these fetishes stand in for and what remains elusive, as well as how they challenge the theory and practice or caring for art.

Horst Bredekamp has been Professor of Art History at the Humboldt University in Berlin since 2003 and a Permanent Fellow of the Institute for Advanced Study since 2003. The honours he has received to date include the Aby M. Warburg Award of the City of Hamburg (1980) and the Sigmund Freud Prize of the German Academy for Language and Literature, Darmstadt (2001). He was Visiting Scholar at the Getty Center for the History of Art and the Humanities, Santa Monica (1995) as well as Research Scholar at the Getty Research Institute for the History of Art and the Humanities, Los Angeles (1998).

Clementine Déliss works across the borders of contemporary art and curatorial practice. She studied art and anthropology in Vienna, Paris, and London, and received her Ph.D. from the School of African and Oriental Studies, University of London. She is currently Global Humanities Visiting Professor of History of Art at the University of Cambridge, and Associate Curator of KW Institute for Contemporary Art Berlin. Her recent book “The Metabolic Museum” (2020) was published by Hatje Cantz in co-production with KW Institute for Contemporary Art Berlin and came out in Russian translation published by Garage Museum, Moscow, in 2021.

Ayesha Fuentes is an objects conservator and material historian, currently Isaac Newton Trust Research Associate in Conservation at the University of Cambridge Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology. She is a graduate of the UCLA/Getty MA Program in the Conservation of Cultural Heritage and has a PhD from SOAS University of London, where she wrote her dissertation on the use of human remains in Tibetan and Himalayan ritual objects.

Patrizio Peterlini graduated in Modern Literature and Clinical Psychology and holds a D.E.A. in Psychanalyse Concept et Clinique at the Université Paris-8. He is a participating member of the Lacanian School of Psychoanalysis in Italy and the scientific committees of the Archivio Luciano Caruso (Firenze), “BAU Contenitore di cultura contemporanea” and of the Comité de Suivi de l’EUR Creates Université Côte d’Azur. From 2005 to 2010 he collaborated with the F. Conz Archive, taking care of its publications, exhibitions and cataloging of works and documents. Since 2013 he is director of Fondazione Bonotto. From 2017 to 2021 he was a permanent member of the jury of the “Prix Littéraire Bernard Heidsieck-Centre Pompidou” which he helped establish. He has curated exhibitions in important international institutions and his contributions are published in numerous art catalogs and in psychoanalysis journals.

Activating Fluxus is a research project that started in April 2022 at the Institute of Materiality in Art and Culture, Bern University of the Arts (HKB). Funded by the Swiss National Science Foundation, the project consists of an interdisciplinary team of researchers including Prof. Dr. Hanna B Hölling (project lead), Dr. Aga Wielocha (postdoctoral fellow), Josephine Ellis (doctoral candidate), Marcus Gossolt (artistic collaborator), and a network of associated researchers: Johannes M. Hedinger, Sally Kawamura, Elke Gruhn, Stefanie Mathey and Émilie Parendeau. Together they are investigating the transitory international lives and afterlives of Fluxus objects, events, and ephemera created from the 1960s – 1970s, not destined for preservation.

Archivio Conz is a Berlin-based research institution dedicated to the presentation, promotion, and research of Fluxus, Concrete Poetry, and Lettrism. It holds one of the largest collections of Fluxus art in the world, amassed over five decades by visionary collector, publisher, and photographer Francesco Conz (1935-2010).

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