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Art Talk Live: Benjamin Patterson—Action as Composition

February 22, 2022 @ 12:30 pm - 1:00 pm


February 22, 2022
12:30 pm - 1:00 pm
Event Category:


Harvard Art Museums
32 Quincy St
Cambridge, MA 02138 United States


Harvard Art Museums
(617) 495-9400

A small open translucent plastic box contains a folded paper towel and a soap bar.

Experimental composer, bassist, and artist Benjamin Patterson was the sole African American founder of Fluxus, an international network of anti-establishment artists committed to dissolving the boundaries between art and life in the early 1960s. Although Patterson’s radical performance events and concept of “action as composition” defined the Fluxus ethos and profoundly shaped contemporary artistic practices, he has been historically marginalized in the Fluxus canon. In celebration of Black History Month, join curatorial fellow Kyle Stephan as she explores Patterson’s life, art, and legacy by taking a closer look at his works in the Harvard Art Museums collections.

Led by:
Kyle Stephan, Nam June Paik Curatorial Fellow, Division of Modern and Contemporary Art

This talk is part of a series inspired by ReFrame, a museum-wide initiative to reimagine the function, role, and future of the university art museum. These talks examine difficult histories, foreground untold stories, and experiment with new approaches to the collections of the Harvard Art Museums, reflecting the concerns of our world today.

This talk will take place online via Zoom. The event is free and open to all, but registration is required. To register, please complete this online form.

Please read these instructions on how to join a meeting on Zoom. For general questions about Art Talks, email am_register@harvard.edu.

Art Talks Live are presented via Zoom every other Tuesday at 12:30pm (ET) and offer an up-close look at works from our collections with our team of curators, conservators, fellows, and graduate students.

The Harvard Art Museums are committed to accessibility for all visitors. For anyone requiring accessibility accommodations for our programs, please contact us at am_register@harvard.edu at least 48 hours in advance.

The Harvard Art Museums are open to the public. Currently, reservations are required for all visitors and can be made up to three weeks in advance. Please visit the museum website for more information.