Terry Fox

Defoliation (1970), Selected photo documentation.

Turgescent Sex (1974), Video.

Berlin Wall Scored for Sound (1980-1982), Image reproduction.

Berlino / Rallentando (1988), Sound LP.

Terry Fox, Turgescent Sex (1974), Video still. Courtesy of La Biennale di Venezia - ASAC.

Terry Fox, Turgescent Sex (1974), Video still. Courtesy of La Biennale di Venezia - ASAC.


Terry Fox (1943 –2008) was an American video, conceptual, sound, and performance artist. A central participant in the West Coast art movements of the late '60s and early '70s, Fox became well known for his political, site-specific performances. These performances explored ritual and symbolic content in the objects, places, and natural phenomena of everyday life. His sound works consider sound as a means of communication, a universal language without impediments of language or prejudice. Performance for Fox, in his own words, "is an attempt to discover a language or method of communication which bypasses these barriers as sound does. The most important aspect of performance is the elimination of media or mediating or condition. The action is performed live and in front of its receiver. It exists only on these terms and in this context and no other: like eating. My work with the labyrinth led increasingly to the almost limit less sculptural possibilities of sound."

The VENICE INTERNATIONAL PERFORMANCE ART WEEK shows documentation of four works by Terry Fox:

  • Defoliation (1970), Selected photo documentation, courtesy of Terry Fox Estate. An action/performance held at the University Art Museum, Berkeley.
  • Turgescent Sex (1974), Video, courtesy of La Biennale di Venezia - ASAC. The video shows Fox performing with a blindfold, a fish, a knotted rope, and a pyre.
  • Berlin Wall Scored for Sound (1980-1982), Image reproduction, photo Uwe Walter, Berlin. Courtesy Archiv Block, Berlin. Copyright Terry Fox Estate. Terry Fox created this piece during his DAAD scholarship in Berlin in 1980/81. His studio in Künstlerhaus Bethanien at that time offered him a view over a large section of the Berlin Wall, onto which he, in his words, “decided to draw up a soundscape, a score, a type of audible geography of this structure. … The entire score for six different acoustic tones is an endless loop – just like the wall it is describing.”
  • Berlino / Rallentando (1988). LP, courtesy of Terry Fox Estate. Berlino is a composition made from soundscapes recorded in San Francisco (USA), Liege (Belgium) and Berlin (Germany) between 1978-88. Rallentando is a composition for 3 piano wires, 2 cellos and double basse, recorded live at Het Appollohuis, Eindhoven, Aug.13, 1988. Mastered at Tango Studio Eindhoven, August 18, 1988. Produced by Terry Fox © and Het Appollohuis.