Observer: ‘Liquid Reality’ at MoMA Explores the Intersections of Shigeko Kubota 2

John Reed

Fluxus is everything we’re interested in now: mixed media, beyond categorization, collaborative processes. But Fluxus isn’t the first thing we talk about; it isn’t the toast of the table, or the footnote on the opening page. Fluxus is too many mediums, too many people, and we need heroes with superpowers. To sell Wheaties and paintings and records and newspapers and search histories and all the junkola we need to be heroes to ourselves—like brand new Cadillacs, and Hermes belts, and Dr. Squatch soap. 

The problem of Shigeko Kubota is the problem of collaborative artists. The collaborative spirit isn’t how we move product or entertainment; it doesn’t feed our marketplace or nourish our narcissism. Kubota was integral to Fluxus and the works of the Fluxus artists we talk about—Yoko Ono, George Maciunas, John Cage, Nam June Paik, etc. To present her without that context is to tear meaning from the work, but to isolate her within Fluxus is to diminish her work’s importance and dollar value.   

In “Shigeko Kubota: Liquid Reality,” the Museum of Modern Art assembles six of the artist’s sculpture and video installation hybrids ...

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