From Here To There

17.03.17 – 20.05.17
The gallery is pleased to present its first solo exhibition of New York artist Jeff Perkins, a self-taught expert in connections, also known as “the Fluxus underdog”.
He met Yoko Ono and Tony Cox by chance, in 1963, while doing his military service in Japan, through them he was introduced to the Fluxus movement, to which he contributed discreetly though regularly. He created performances, but also Endless Column, a sculpture that is a kind of totemic piece made as a tribute to the artists of the movement, as well as several films with Yoko Ono and Tony Cox for the Anthology Film Archives and the New York Underground Film Festival.
Perkins was also friends with Guy de Cointet and the painter Sam Francis. In contact with Francis, he developed in Los Angeles a pictorial and existential research about “waking dreams”, the unconscious and abstraction. While there, he also founded a psychedelic lightshow band, the Single Wings Turquoise Birds, who performed for many bands, including The Velvet Underground, Pink Floyd, The Yardbirds… He also started a film about Sam Francis, shooting the one and only interview of the artist, which he completed in 2008.
When the West Coast art scene took off, he decided to return to New York for personal reasons and worked as a taxi driver. After an encounter in his cab, once again by chance, with Nam June Paik (who at that time nicknamed him “the Fluxus underdog”), he decided to record his conversations with his passengers, with their agreement. He worked on the project from 1995 to 2002, accumulating a huge collection of audio tapes containing more than 400 hours of interviews with strangers inside his taxi.
That impressively large work is presented here as a sound sculpture. The sound from the recordings moves around the exhibition space, making us feel that these conversations are passing us by, that the passengers are moving, in time and space, “from here to there”.
The title of the exhibition also refers to the parallel journey of the passengers, whom Jeff Perkins drove to their destinations, but whom he also led elsewhere as he interviewed them. A kind of meta-journey, a diversion. A diversion of their attention, of his own gainful activity for the sake of his art, but also an overthrow of the power relationships between the client and the driver. The tapes are also part of the exhibition, revealing the numbering and annotations of the filing system Jeff Perkins created for his archives.
Johanna Viprey met Perkins in 2012 and undertook a research on his discreet and multifaceted work, which was published by the Swiss Institute of Rome. Her analysis addresses his practice, his anchoring in history, the highlighting of peripheral positions, and a practice of the “on the side”
Jeff Perkins still lives in New York, and is now working on a new documentary about George Maciunas, the “father” of the Fluxus movement.
La galerie est heureuse de présenter sa première exposition solo de l’artiste new-yorkais Jeff Perkins, autodidacte expert en connexions, surnommé « the Fluxus underdog ».
Il a rencontré Yoko Ono et Tony Cox par hasard en 1963, pendant son service militaire au Japon, et fût ainsi introduit au mouvement Fluxus, auquel il apportera des interventions discrètes mais régulières. Il y réalise des performances, mais aussi la sculpture Endless Column, sorte de pièce totémique en hommage aux artistes du mouvement, ainsi que plusieurs films avec Yoko Ono et Tony Cox pour l’ « Anthology Film Archives » et le « NY Underground Film Festival ».
Il fût aussi l’ami de Guy de Cointet et de Sam Francis, au contact de qui il a développé à L.A une recherche picturale et existentielle sur le « rêve éveillé », l’inconscient et l’abstraction. Là-bas, il monte un groupe de light-shows psychédélique, les Single Wings Turquoise Birds, qui performera pour de nombreux groupes dont le Velvet Underground, Pink Floyd, The Yardbirds… Il y démarre aussi un film sur Sam Francis, effectuant la seule et unique interview de l’artiste, qu’il termine en 2008.
Quand la scène artistique de la côte Ouest explose, il décide de retourner à NY pour des raisons personnelles et devient chauffeur de taxi. Suite à une rencontre, hasardeuse encore, avec Nam June Paik dans son taxi (qui le surnomma à ce moment-là, « the Fluxus underdog »), il décide d’enregistrer ses conversations avec ses passagers, avec leur accord. Il mènera ce projet de 1995 à 2002, composant ainsi une immense collection de cassettes audio, contenant plus de 400 heures d’interviews d’inconnus à l’intérieur de son taxi.
Cette oeuvre au format impressionnant est ici exposée sous forme de sculpture sonore. Le son des enregistrements se déplace dans l’espace d’exposition, donnant le sentiment que ces conversations « passent » près de nous, que les passagers sont en mouvement, dans le temps et dans l’espace, « d’ici à là » (« from here to there »).
Le titre de l’exposition fait aussi référence au trajet parallèle des passagers, que Jeff conduit à destination, mais qu’il emmène ailleurs le temps de son interview. Une sorte de méta-trajet, de détournement. Un détournement de leur attention, de son activité lucrative au service de son activité artistique, mais aussi un renversement des rapports de pouvoir entre le client et le chauffeur. Les cassettes sont aussi présentes dans l’exposition, laissant voir les numérotations et les annotations, le système de classement que Perkins a élaboré pour son archive.
Johanna Viprey l’a rencontré en 2012 et a entrepris une recherche sur cette œuvre discrète et protéiforme, qui donna lieu à une publication de l’Institut suisse de Rome. Il s’agit d’une analyse de sa pratique, de son ancrage dans l’histoire, de la mise en lumière de positionnements périphériques et d’une pratique de l’« à côté ».
Jeff Perkins vit toujours à New York, et réalise actuellement un nouveau film documentaire sur George Maciunas, le « père » du mouvement Fluxus.
Born in 1941, NYC, USA
Lives and works in New York.

 
 
Exhibitions / Performances
 
2017     
From Here to There
, Galerie Sébastien Bertrand, Geneva, Switzerland
Performance, The Emily Harvey Foundation, NYC, NY
 
2016     
Performance at Blago-bung Festival, Fracis Naumann Fine Arts, NY 
 
2015     
LUFF (Lausanne Underground Film Festival), Lausanne - CH 
Works On Paper (Group Show), Galerie Sébastien Bertrand, Geneva, Switzerland
 
2014     
Die Young Or Stay Pretty, interview and lecture with J. Viprey, Swiss Institute, Milan, Italy
Count, performance and conference at NABA, Milan, Italy

2010     
Daniel Reich Gallery, NYC, NY
          
2009     
Brain damage on Broadway, Emily Harvey Foundation Gallery, NYC, NY

1997     
Diapason gallery, NYC, NY

1996    
Seoul-NY MAX Fluxus Festival
, curated by Nam June Paik

1994    
Seoul-NY MAX Fluxus Festival
, curated by Nam June Paik
Fluxus Film #22, The American Century, MOMA, NY

1992    
Special Fluxus Pavilion (sculpture)
, Venice Biennial, Venice

1989     
Emily Harvey Foundation gallery, NYC, NY

1980     
The New Gallery, Santa Monica

1978    
L.A. Institute of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles, CA

1967     
UCLA Student Center Hall, curated by Joseph Byrd

1966     
Is-real Gallery, NYC, NY

1963    
The Stone
, Judson Church Gallery (with Anthony Cox, Yoko Ono, Michael Mason)

1963     
Sogetsu Hall, Tokyo, Japan. Joins Yoko Ono in her Farewell to Tokyo performance


 
Light show performances
(Single Wing Turquoise Birds multi media group, founded 1967)
 
2015     
USC George Lucas Soundstage, Los Angeles, CA
Pacific Standard Time, Getty Museum, Elibroad audit, UCLA, CA
 
2014     
Young Projects Gallery, Los Angeles, CA

2010    
X Initiative, NYC, NY
The Kitchen, NYC, NY

2009    
Bortolami Gallery NYC, NY  
The Hammer Museum, LA,CA
The Silent Movie Theater, LA, CA  
The Evan Holloway Studio, LA, CA

1967    
Schoenberg Hall
, UCLA MUsic Dept.
Exhibitions in concert with major rock groups at the Shrine Hall, Los Angeles :
The Velvet Underground, Pink Floyd, Creme, The Who, The Grateful Dead, The Jimi
Hendrix Experience, and several others.
Concerts at The Santa Barbara Museum of Art.,Stanford University, The studio’s of
Sam Francis, Santa Monica.

 
Movies
 
2017    
George, documentary portrait of George Maciunas, in progress (26 min. short real)

2008     
The Painter Sam Francis, 85 min

1996    
Movies for the Blind, 60 min
 

 
Screenings
 
2017     
The Emily Harvey Foundation, NYC, NY
 
2015     
LUFF (Lausanne Underground Film Festival), Lausanne - CH 
 
2012    
The Louvre auditorium , Paris, France

2010    
National Gallery of Art, Washington, DC

2009     
Louvre Museum, Paris, France
Anthology Film Archive, NYC
The American Century, MOMA NY

2008    
Doku-Arts Film Festival, Amsterdam, Holland
LYON Film Festival, Lyon, France
Naples Film Festival, Naples, Italy
Laemmle Theaters, Santa Monica & Pasadena, CA

2003    
Museum of Contemporary Art Tokyo (MOT)

1999    
American Federation of Art (AFA)

1996     
Seoul-NY MAX Fluxus Festival, Anthology Film Archives

1966   
1st Fluxus Film festival
NY Cinematheque, curated by George Maciunas
       


Collections

MOMA , NY
Museum of Contemporary Art Tokyo (MOT)
   


Publications

2014     
The artist as a cabdriver, Johanna Viprey. NERO publishing
 
2013    
Initiales – GM, Ed. ENSBA

2012     
A secret Poet, interview L’atelier du son, France Culture
 
1999     
The American Century : Art and Culture, 1950-2000, Lisa Phillips, Whitney
Museum of American Art
 
1968    
Single Wing Turquoise Birds, in «Expanded Cinema» by Gene Youngblood.

1966    
Film Culture; Expanded Media Special Issue, edited and designed by George Maciunas