the latest exhibition at the Henry Moore Institute is more than just an exhibition – it’s a card game too.
Robert Filliou: The Institute of Endless Possibilities, is open to the public until June and features the work of the highly respected French artist. In 1969 Filliou visited Leeds, the same year Yoko Ono came to the city. A member of a famous performance art group called Fluxus, when he was in Leeds Filliou created a card game and called it Leeds.
Lisa Le Feuvre, head of sculpture studies at the Institute, said: “While here he invented a card came, called Leeds – which involves a lot of drinking, the players being blindfolded and the audience shouting instructions to the players who are using double-sided cards.
“The players have to trust the audience and allow their moves to be orchestrated by people who are watching over them. If we were in France, this exhibition would be very significant, but because he is not as well known in Britain I expect it to be very popular, but more of a slow burn. His art was essentially about research into the way people live.
“It seems perfect for us to host an exhibition at the Institute of his work.”
Filliou is perhaps most famous for his declaration, on January 17, 1963, that Art had been born a million years ago, when someone dropped a dry sponge into a bucket of water.
Filliou’s invention of Art’s Birthday was an absurd and humorous invention, typical of the ‘Fluxus’ movement. It has since become an idea that artists around the world picked up on and have since celebrated every decade.
Robert Filliou: the Institute of Endless Possibilities, Henry Moore Institute, Leeds, to June 23.