Wolf Vostell and the Vostell Malpartida Museum
German artist Wolf Vostell lived from 1932 to 1998 and was part of the Fluxus movement. A brief explanation of the word is that it comes from a Latin word meaning “flow” or “Flux.” In the case of the artistic movement, an international group of artists, composers and designers got together in the 1960s. They went on to use Fluxus to describe the blending of several different artistic media and disciplines, using visual art, noise music, design, architecture and video.Vostell was one of the earliest proponents of this method, along with artists such as Yoko Ono, Dick Higgins, Al Hansen and Joseph Beuys. Back in 1976, he created the Vostell Malpartida Museum to perfectly represent the Flux movement
The museum nestles in the Los Barruecos de Malpartida Natural Park, around 8 miles from the city of Cáceres, Spain. It was in 1976 that Vostell took over what was previously an old wool washhouse building from the 18th century. He created a bizarre and fascinating avant-guard exhibition relating to the meeting of life, nature and art.
About the exhibitsVostell created three huge collections in the floor space of the old building. Meanwhile they were named Wolf and Mercedes Vostell Collection, the Conceptual Artists Collection and the Fluxus Donation Gino di Maggio Collection. To get an idea of the work, the following relates to the Wolf and Mercedes Vostell Collection.
This particular collection features a number of installations, including the fascinating Fluxus Buick Piano, Auto Fever (1973) and the Breakfast of Leonardo da Vinci In Berlin in 1998. He took the cars and combined them with sound and television to give a definition of today’s society.
Besides the vehicles, Vostell created a number of large reliefs and sculptures including the Burial of the Sardine (1985), Transhumance, Concrete Bullring and the Girls of Snooker (1986). Meanwhile, all the exhibits display the fascinating Fluxus technique, making the museum in Cáceres a fascinating visit.
Outside the Vostell Malpartida MuseumOutside the museum stands a permanent sculpture by Vostell called “Why did the process between Pilate and Jesus last only two minutes?” The unusual sculpture (pictured above) consists of a Russian Mig-21 aircraft, two cars, three pianos and various computer monitors, standing at a height of 52 feet. Other sculptures include Car in Concrete. While it is difficult to describe Vostell’s work in words, the best way to experience it is to visit the Vostell Malpartida Museum itself. However, a YouTube video gives an idea of what to expect from the museum. Watching the video has a sense of recent science fiction movies about a dystopian society. This is particularly so with the discordant notes in the background, as well as the TV screens playing out various scenes recorded in the installation itself. Meanwhile, a more detailed video can be seen on YouTube here.
Visiting Cáceres in Extremadura, Spain is a great experience for the city’s history and culture, and taking time outside the city at the Volstell Malpartida Museum is a true marvel in itself. Read more on the museum’s official website.