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Nam June Paik, Flags by Alison Knowles for Paik’s Chronicle of a Beautiful Paintress
Date/ 1963
Artist(Credit Line)/ Manfred Montwé
Classification/ Photography
Dimensions / 30.4×40.2cm
Medium / Black & white photograph on baryta paper

Another score for Knowles is Chronicle of a Beautiful Paintress (Dedicated to Alison Knowles). This score consists of instructions asking a woman to stain the flags of countries of the world every month with her monthly blood and exhibit them in a gallery. At the request of Nam June Paik, Alison Knowles fulfills the score by staining the flags of all nations with her menstrual blood and by exhibiting the flags at Nam June Paik’s first solo exhibition Exposition of Music – Electronic Television in 1963. Paik wanted his scores, including the sexual gestures they contained, to be performed by professional performers, not just by any woman. Paik also asked a fellow Fluxus composer Shiomi Mieko, but she refused. As a matter of fact, Knowles did not perfectly meet the conditions Paik aspired to for the performers of his piece because she didn’t have a degree in music. As Knowles recalls, Paik had a strong will to push ahead with his ideas about women at that time.
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