In 2017, Museum Abteiberg acquired one of the world’s most comprehensive collections of Fluxus work and related material: the art collection, archive, and library of Erik Andersch (1940–2021). Artists featured in the collection include members of the Fluxus inner circle, those in the broader milieu of the international Fluxus network, and still others who shared a view that first emerged in the United States, Europe, and Japan in the early 1960s: art is tied to action, community, play, and chance; it is conceptual, intermedial, humorous, ironic, and critical of museum- and art-historical traditions. Artistic praxis involves and incorporates social, civic, and political spheres.

The museum team is currently processing this new acquisition, a task that includes taking measures to conserve, document, and inventory one-of-a-kind pieces along with multiples, postcards, posters, photographs, audio and video documentation, books, newspapers, magazines, and contemporary historical documents by more than fifty artists.

A visible storage (Schaumagazin), has been set up to facilitate the long-term care, display, and mediation of the ANDERSCH COLLECTION/ARCHIVE in addition to making these holdings accessible for research. First experiments with the format employ filing cabinets, glass display cases, and flat files as moveable set pieces in successive, changing, year-long presentations known as “field tests.” Assorted holdings in these exhibitions offer a first look at this particular part of the Museum Abteiberg collection.

Taking its cue from Fluxus, which used systems, structures, and chance to counter the myth of artistic creation as a spontaneous, purely subjective act, the order of exhibited artist groupings is based on the alphabet: a presentation of Joseph Beuys (2021/22) is followed by those of holdings related to George Brecht, Brian Buczak, John Cage, Giuseppe Chiari, Philip Corner, Erik Dietman, Jean Dupuy, Robert Filliou, and others.

Concept and exhibition texts: Felicia Rappe, Denise Wegener
Inventory and documentation: Bianca Grüger
Restoration: Christine Adolphs, Katja de Grussa, Anja Peter
Exhibition technology: Achim Hirdes, Lars Wolter
Design: Paul Wenert
Research consultation ANDERSCH COLLECTION/ARCHIVE: Susanne Rennert

Image: Robert Filliou, Hand Show, 1967, SAMMLUNG/ARCHIV ANDERSCH im Museum Abteiberg; Courtesy Estate Robert Filliou & Peter Freeman, Inc., New York / Paris © Estate Robert Filliou, Foto: Achim Kukulies