Fluxus East

Fluxus Networks in Central Eastern Europe

Geoffrey Hendricks

1931, born in Littletown, New Hampshire, USA
Lives in New York and Colindale, Cape Breton Island

From 1956 to 2003, Hendricks taught at Rutgers University, New Brunswick, where he got to know Allan Kaprow and Robert Watts in the late 1950s. Subsequently, numerous actions and events by (later) Fluxus artists took place in New Brunswick. Hendricks documented this in his book Critical Mass: Happenings, Fluxus, Performances, Intermedia, and Rutgers University, 1958-1972 published in 2002. In 1961, he married Bici Forbes, and together they founded the Black Thumb Press in 1965. He was divorced in 1971 – this was celebrated as a Flux Divorce, at which all their shared everyday possessions were split into two. As from 1975, Hendricks lived and worked together with Brian Buczak until Buczak died in 1987. Hendricks has close links to Fluxus from the mid 1960s onwards. In 1978, Hendricks was Flux Minister at both George Maciunas’ marriage to Billie Hutching and a short time later at Maciunas’ Flux Funeral. Hendricks was a guest of the DAAD’s Berlin Artists’ Programme in 1983, later he spent a longer period in Worpswede.

His works – rather unusual for Fluxus – are concerned with myths, with nature, with rituals and dreams. One emphasis is on performances (e.g. headstands) and ritualised actions. Since the mid sixties, observations of the sky play an important part in Hendricks’ creative work – this has earned him the name Cloudsmith. At the artist’s performances, everyday objects, canvases and even the artist’s body are painted sky colour and adorned with clouds.

In 1986, Geoffrey Hendricks travelled to Poznań, to an exhibition in Galeria Akumulatory 2, where he exhibited watercolours and a Sky Ladder, and realised his apparently archaic Wood Pile Performance.

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