A prominent member of the Fluxus movement and a legendary organizer of 60’s era Happenings, American artist Geoffrey Hendricks’s art communicates a fascination with nature, collaborative rituals, and the performance of gender and sexuality in public life. A frequent performer at Charlotte Moorman’s Annual New York Avant Garde Festivals, Hendricks’ work was display in the Block Museum exhibition A Feast of Astonishments: Charlotte Moorman and the Avant-Garde 1960s-1980s, including the classic Ring Piece (1971), documenting the end to his marriage and embrace of a queer identity.
On Wednesday, April 20th 2016, the Block Museum hosted a conversation between Hendricks and David Getsy, art historian and Goldabelle McComb Finn Distinguished Professor of Art History at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. Together the two explored Hendrick’s autobiographical practice and the way in which avant-garde contemporaries such as Moorman, Carolee Schneemann, and Hendricks himself, mounted public work that gave new voice and visibility to queer history and expanded sexualities.
The Block Museum is pleased to make the full audio and images from this fascinating discussion available online for scholars, artists and historians.
David Getsy: For me this is one of the great themes of your work, that it emerges from a queer experience but it doesn’t simply talk about that. It actually talks in these larger ways about self determination.
Geoffrey Hendricks: I think this rediscovery of the self is something that is a very affirmative act and leads to an opening up an expansion into your own potential and what you are doing in your own work.