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He was a confidant of minimalist pioneer LaMonte Young; he performed at Yoko Ono's Chambers Street loft; he took guitar lessons from Lou Reed; and he had a band called the Insurrections with artist Walter De Maria on drums. In 2008 Flynt performed at the Empty Bottle with his niece Libby Flynt as part of the Wire's Adventures in Modern Music festival. As a fan of his, I was disappointed and perplexed by the show, which is probably as it should've been.
Flynt is widely credited with coining the term "concept art" in 1961, in an essay that later appeared in the proto-Fluxus book An Anthology of Chance Operations, published by Young and Jackson Mac Low. The following year he began a highly conceptual anti-art campaign, picketing New York's Lincoln Center (among other institutions) with Tony Conrad and Jack Smith; they wore placards reading "Demolish serious culture."
Flynt returns to Chicago next week, more or less in that context; he'll lecture about art and screen some of his abstract films (a creative outlet he's begun to pursue relatively recently). The visit has been organized by the Eye & Ear Clinic film series at the School of the Art Institute, and this is the first time any of Flynt's films have been shown in Chicago. On Tuesday at 4:15 he'll give a lecture entitled "Visual Gestalt: Recognition of Signature Styles"; on Thursday at 5 PM he'll screen his films and give an associated lecture; and on Friday, also at 5, he'll give another lecture entitled "Great Fractures of Contemporary Civilization."
All events are free and take place at the School of the Art Institute's MacLean Center, 112 S. Michigan. Tuesday's lecture is in room 608 on the sixth floor, and the events on Thursday and Friday are in the Flaxman Theater, room 1307 on the 13th floor.
photo: Christian Xatrec
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