los-angeles

Wolf Vostell, Endogen Depression, 1980/2013, mixed media, dimensions variable.

Wolf Vostell

The Box

Wolf Vostell, Endogen Depression, 1980/2013, mixed media, dimensions variable.

After recent shows devoted to the likes of Simone Forti and Judith Bernstein, Mara McCarthy’s quasi-commercial space the Box has once again given us the gift of a welcome revival. This time it was the work of an overlooked figure of the neo-avant-garde whose practice bears important lessons for the present: Wolf Vostell, Fluxus affiliate, key proponent of Happenings in Germany, and progenitor of dé-coll/age (the artist’s term for an expanded notion of collage that embraces installations, events, images, and processes of destruction as the means to constructively transformative experiences of alienation). In 1980, Vostell traveled to the then-thriving Los Angeles Institute of Contemporary Art to install his multimedia environment Endogen Depression, a work shown in ten varying iterations between 1975 and 1984. It did not appear again in the United States until the Box’s reconstruction,

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