Alison Knowles, BOHNENWEG, Fluxus Museum Berlin, 1984

Duration: November 30 – December 22, 1984; January 7 – February 6, 1985

Dimensions: 42 x 29.9 cm

Further Information: Alison Knowles is one of the founding members of the Fluxus movement and is known as visual artist for her performances, installation and experimental poetry. Along with John Cage, George Maciunas and Dick Higgins she began realizing performances in the early 1960s, and became an established figure through works such as Make a Salad (1962), and Identical Lunch (1969).

Knowles started including beans as part of her artworks in the so called book object Bean Rolls in 1963. Bean Rolls consisted of a can with texts on rolled papers and dried beans inside. Later she developed the idea of a big book, an immersive installation of objects, becoming in the second big book The Book of Bean (1982) with walk-in pages.

In the late 1960s, Knowles started working on sound pieces partly in collaboration with John Cage. During Charlotte Moorman’s Annual New York Festival of the Avant-Garde, in the sound piece Bean Garden (1971) the artist experimented with resonant sounds of beans touching on different surfaces by placing the beans on a large amplified platform visitors could walk on. In 1982, Knowles received the Kark Sczuka Award for her sound work Bohnen Sequenzen.

Knowles continued working with the sound of beans throughout her career creating objects such as the Bean Turner for her performance Play Paper in 2003.

The project Bohnenweg was realized in collaboration with the Berliner Künstlerprogramm des DAAD.


Image: Images of the invitation are part of the online collection of Archiv der Avantgarden, Staatliche Kunstsammlungen Dresden.

Alison Knowles