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Beuys, Joseph; Paik, Nam June «In Memoriam George Maciunas»
Beuys, Joseph; Paik, Nam June, «In Memoriam George Maciunas», 1978
Photograph: René Block | ©


Categories: Sound

Düsseldorf | Germany

 Beuys, Joseph; Paik, Nam June
«In Memoriam George Maciunas»

The relationship of Beuys and Paik to Fluxus founder George Maciunas, who died in 1978, was friendly but occasionally tinged with scepticism – as Beuys demonstrated in his revision of Macunias' Fluxus manifesto. This tribute to Macunias was performed in the auditorium of the Kunstakademie, Düsseldorf, the place where Beuys in 1963 first appeared in Fluxus actions, and even played the same grand piano. The concert lasted 74 minutes – Maciunas died aged 47. Paik has been known to title himself the 'world's most famous bad pianist', and Beuys’ was no professional, either. Beuys gave the following account of their joint strategy: 'We don’t execute an action in which the musical instrument isn’t used, but one in which it is used really simply. We don’t agree beforehand what we’re going to do.' Paik had recently become Professor of Video at the Kunstakademie, Düsseldorf, an appointment that took him back to the city where in 1959 his first action music composition – the 'Hommage à John Cage' – was performed in the Galerie 22.