Ursula Reuter Christiansen
Henning Christiansen

THEY WON’T SURVIVE WITHOUT THE BIRD SONGS


November 16 – December 21, 2019

 

Opening reception: Saturday, November 16, 6 – 8 PM

Performance: Sunday, November 17, 3 – 9 PM

 

In 1980 the Danish Fluxus artist and composer Henning Christiansen staged a ten day action titled Die grosse grüne Zelt-Symphonie (mit Vögeln), outside the Düsseldorf opera house with a group of young artists and activists, including Joseph Beuys and Johannes Stüttgen, as a ‘kind of propaganda’ for the early Green Party, of which Beuys was co-founder. This happening was one of several collaborations between Beuys and Christiansen that engaged the concept of Social Sculpture – performances and gestures that embody an understanding of art's potential to both shape society and the environment. For ten days they lived together in a tent, holding conversations, making performances and cohabitating in close proximity. Simultaneously, Christiansen blasted continuous music, field recordings and sounds out into the public space. When describing this he said: “underneath it all was a recording of bird song… The people in the tent would not have survived if it weren't for the bird song.”

 

THEY WON’T SURVIVE WITHOUT THE BIRD SONGS
brings together historical works from Ursula Reuter Christiansen and Henning Christiansen for their Los Angeles debut, investigating two disparate practices that grew and developed alongside one another. While Reuter Christiansen’s paintings and films draw from archaic symbolism and myth, Christiansen played with a tension between structure and chaos in kinship with the international Fluxus movement of which he was part. Still, they made several profound collaborations and came together through a mutual ongoing investigation of ‘nature’. A selection of paintings, scores, sound installations and sculptures, as well as Reuter Christiansen’s seminal psychedelic feminist film Den Røde Skov (1986) will be on view, working as an introduction to the prolific, life-long practices of these two artists.

 

On November 17, a six hour durational performative happening will take place from 3 PM to 9 PM at The Box, LA. SAVE THE NATURE - USE FLUXUS will include new actions and compositions from Thorbjørn Reuter Christiansen, artist and founder of the HC Archive which houses a vast collection of compositions, scores and correspondence of the late Christiansen, and Mark Harwood, founder of the expansive experimental independent label Penultimate Press, archival sound from original actions will be incorporated. Bjørn Nørgaard, pioneering Danish artist and long-time collaborator and friend of Henning Christiansen will present Homage to Henning and Joseph, as well as enact an iteration of Manresa, a piece he first collaborated on with Henning Christiansen and Joseph Beuys at Galleri Schmela in Düsseldorf in 1966. Mai Dengsøe Hansen will perform EURASIENSTAB fluxorum organum op. 39. Ursula Reuter Christiansen will make a live painting action as Two Brooms. Special guests from Los Angeles will also take part.

 

Curated by Chiara Giovando and Thorbjørn Reuter Christiansen.

Please visit www.theboxla.com or email info@theboxla.com for more information about this exhibition.

These events are free and open to all.