“So you see, this is not a theatrical set… it was real life… . When I did the window, Fluxus was supposed to be life and fun. Today, it is art archaeology.”–Ben Vautier
Since the early 1960s, Ben Vautier (known simply as “Ben”) has been associated with Fluxus, an international community of experimental artists seeking to close the gap between art and life by bypassing the elitism of the museum and gallery system.
Ben’s Window is a recreation of his Living Sculpture, an installation/performance created in 1962. As his contribution to a group exhibition, Ben moved into the small display window of London’s Gallery One and lived there for 15 days, putting himself on display as an aesthetic object and offering himself for sale for £250. In his trademark cursive handwriting, Vautier labeled objects in the room with rhetorical questions or whimsical comments, giving equal importance to everything from the kitchen table to a container of dirty water.
Ben’s Window was recreated by the artist for the 1993 Walker exhibition In the Spirit of Fluxus. Eleven vintage objects and a number of replicas (made by Ben from old film footage and archival photographs) remain from the original installation. Vautier also introduced some new objects, such as the boom box and slide projector.