Henning Christiansen

Biography of Henning Christiansen

Henning Christiansen (born 1932 in Copenhagen, Denmark; died 2008) was a Danish composer and key figure in the post-war Danish branch of the Fluxus movement who incorporated varied practices into his visual, performance art, and music. Having studied composition in the 1950s at the Royal Conservatory of Music in Copenhagen, he made the acquaintance of Korean artist Nam June Paik in 1961, which sparked his involvement in the movement. A pillar of experimental performance in Denmark, Christiansen resented the concepts of isolated artistic genius and instead chose to cultivate collaboration and integration as key aspects of his artistic practice. He participated in events throughout Europe and worked with artists such as Joseph Beuys, Wolf Vostell, Nam June Paik, and Bazon Brock as well as his wife Ursula Reuter Christiansen.

From 1964–1985, Henning Christiansen collaborated regularly with Beuys, frequently providing the sonic backdrop for his performances. In 1985, he received a professorship in multimedia at the Academy of Fine Arts in Hamburg. Christiansen remained very active until his death in 2008, participating in the music festival Wundergrund and presenting a large retrospective in Copenhagen a year prior. 

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