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Null Object: Gustave Metzger thinks about nothing / Metzger, Gustave., 2012

Identifier: CC-55630-9999234

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Scope and Contents

The editors of this volume are Bruce Gilcrist and Jo Joelson of London Fieldworks.Wikipedia: Gustav Metzger (born 1926) is an artist and political activist who developed the concept of Auto-Destructive Art and the Art Strike. Together with John Sharkey, he initiated the Destruction in Art Symposium in 1966. Metzger is recognized for his protests in the political and artistic realms. Metzger was born to Polish-Jewish parents in Nuremberg, Germany in 1926 and came to Britain in 1939 as a refugee under the auspices of the Refugee Children Movement. He has been stateless since the 1940s. It is with an experience of twentieth century society's destructive capabilities that led Metzger to a concentrated 'formulation of what destruction is and what it might be in relation to art.Metzger is known as a leading exponent of the Auto-Destructive Art and the Art Strike movements. He was also active in the Committee of 100 and took part in their early anti-nuclear base campaigns of direct action and occupation. In 1959, he published the first auto-destructive manifesto Auto-Destructive Art. This was given as a lecture to the Architecture Association in 1964, which was taken over by students as an artistic 'Happening'. In 1962, he participated in the Festival of Misfits organised by members of the Fluxus group, at Gallery One, London. His proposal to exhibit the front pages of the Daily Mirror covering the Cuban Missile Crisis was rejected by the organisers Robert Filliou and Daniel Spoerri. In 2005, he selected EASTinternational which he proclaimed to be "The art exhibition without the art." Throughout the 60 years that Metzger has been producing politically engaged works, he has incorporated materials ranging from trash to old newspapers, liquid crystals to industrial materials, and even acid. " From September 29, 2009 through November 8, 2009, the Serpentine Gallery in London features the most extensive exhibition ever in the U.K. of Gustav Metzger's work. The exhibit includes the installation Flailing Trees, which consists of 15 upturned willow trees embedded in a block of concrete, symbolizing a world turned upside down by global warming. He feels that artists face a threat that global warming will lead to the extinction of things in nature, which they rely on because nature is such a big inspiration to artists. Metzger stated that "artists have a special part to play in opposing extinction, if only on a theoretical, intellectual basis." -- Source of annotation: Marvin or Ruth Sackner.


  • Creation: 2012



0 See container summary (1 soft cover book (96 pages)) ; 23.9 x 18 x .8 cm

Language of Materials

From the Collection: English

Physical Location

shelf alphabetical

Custodial History

The Sackner Archive of Concrete and Visual Poetry, on loan from Ruth and Marvin A. Sackner and the Sackner Family Partnership.


Published: London, England : Black Dog Publishing. Nationality of creator: German. General: Added by: RUTH; updated by: RUTH.

Repository Details

Part of the The Ruth and Marvin Sackner Archive of Concrete and Visual Poetry Repository

125 W. Washington St.
Main Library
Iowa City Iowa 52242 United States