Benjamin Patterson, REISEBÜRO FLUXUS, Wiesbaden, 1994

Opening: September 17, 1994, 4 p.m., the artist presents a performance

Duration: September 17 October 2, 1994


Further Information: Born in Pittsburgh, Benjamin Patterson studied Bass in Halifax, Canada, as due to racial segregation he was not allowed to study music in the USA. Patterson came to Germany in 1958, as part of the U.S. military’s Seventh Army Symphony Orchestra. Stationed in Stuttgart, he toured with the orchestra across West Germany and Europe for several months. In 1960 Patterson came back to Cologne, where he met Karlheinz Stockhausen, and later John Cage and David Tudor. Since that visit, Wiesbaden and Cologne along with New York and Paris remained one of his main places of residence. There he made acquaintances with the Fluxus artists George Maciunas and Wolf Vostell, among many others. Today, Patterson is recognized as experimental double-bassist and Fluxus co-founder. In 1962 he performed at the Fluxus – Internationale Festpiele Neuester Musik (Fluxus – International Festival of the Newest Music) in Wiesbaden, which is considered the first official Fluxus festival to take place.

Over the years, Patterson always remained associated with the Fluxus movement. In 1994 the touring exhibition Fluxus – Eine lange Geschichte mit vielen Knoten. Fluxus in Deutschland 1962-1994 was initiated with its first realization in Stuttgart. Patterson was invited almost to every opening to perform.

The invitation flyer Reisebüro Fluxus (Travel Agency Fluxus) shows a project that took place during the Kulturwochen Wiesbaden in 1994. With the subtitle “Ihr Spezialist für individuelle Fluxus-Liebhaber-Reisen mit einem Experten als Reisebegleiter.” (Your specialist for individual Fluxus-Fan-Travel with an expert as travel companion.), the flyer announces an opening event with a performance by Patterson. On the back, one reads the two travels offered: Prague “Nur Träume kein Schlaf,” (Only Dreams no Sleep), and Paris “Chansons d’amour et d’humour.” The “imaginary” travels were events organized in a private apartment containing readings, and singing with piano accompaniment.


Images: Images of the invitation and all other archival documents shown on this page are part of the online collection of Archiv der Avantgarden, Staatliche Kunstsammlungen Dresden.

Benjamin Patterson