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This important collection of original material concludes with a specially-commissioned essay by Gunther Berghaus, entitled E Articles, statements, interviews and essays by and about some of the most influential avant-garde artists and performers are gathered here. This important collection of original material concludes with a specially-commissioned essay by Gunther Berghaus, entitled European Happenings.

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To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up. To ask other readers questions about Happenings and Other Acts , please sign up. Be the first to ask a question about Happenings and Other Acts. Lists with This Book. This book is not yet featured on Listopia. Lainie Love rated it it was amazing Oct 29, Warwick rated it it was ok Dec 20, Fluffy Singler rated it it was amazing Dec 28, Brittany rated it it was ok Mar 18, Kari Barclay rated it liked it Dec 18, Dawn rated it really liked it Feb 20, Karin rated it it was ok Dec 16, Lindsey rated it liked it May 26, Asho rated it liked it Jul 27, Lois rated it really liked it Jan 31, John marked it as to-read Mar 27, Robin added it Jul 28, Stephanie Plenner added it Oct 13, Michael Allen Rose added it Feb 01, Jessica Bennett added it Aug 09, Keith Stern added it Sep 25, As opposed to Kaprow, in his introductory essay Michael Kirby states that Happenings have nothing to do with plastic arts, they are in fact a new form of theatre.

If we redefine theatre as Cage did saying that theatre is a performance which engages simultaneously the two public senses of eye and ear, then they are. In his brilliant typological analysis Darko Suvin groups Happenings in four different categories. Events are single nonverbal activities.

Aleatoric scenes are longer aleatoric activities where text is treated mainly as sound. Happenings proper range from nonverbal symbolic activities to clear compositions with well-rehearsed actors and a composed text, like modern allegorizing plays.

Happenings and Other Acts (Worlds of Performance)

Finally Action Theatre which might be nearer to drama than to Happenings. Time, which follows closely on space considerations, should be variable and discontinuous. Fluids, a happening by Kaprow is a good example of his work:. A single event done in many places over a three-day period. It consists in building huge, blank, rectangular ice structures thirty feet long, ten feet wide, and eight feet high.

People set the structures up using rock salt as a binder - which hastens melting and fuses the blocks together.

Happenings and Other Acts : Mariellen R. Sandford :

The structures are built about 20 places throughout Los Angeles. If one crosses the city he might suddenly be confronted by these mute and meaningless blank structures which have been left to melt.


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The structures indicate no significance, their very blankness and their rapid deterioration proclaims the opposite of significance. Space becomes the sum of all objects structured through object-relations which include real objects, as well as people.

Happenings and Other Acts

Happenings thus assign the audience the same ontological status as the performers: European Happenings must be distinguished from their U. For Jean-Jacques Lebel art, above all, must be a sociopolitical critique of the consumer society. Art and crisis are one and the same, and artists disgusted with the "civilization of happiness" must reform social and cultural life through breaking taboos concerning sex and death, violating prohibitions. Lebel argues that art can create an impersonal freedom of thought and thus it establishes an interpersonal communication between the artist and its audience.

Happening is no longer the art of voyerism that lets art be at the mercy of the shortsighted but the art of participation which introduces the looker directly into the event.


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It eliminates the old ontological dilemma of "aberrant subject-object relationship", the cause of alienation, by equating thought and action, representation and creation. Happenings were designated to reorient people through the direct perception of an aggressive kind of experience, by brainwashing, and shocking them. Artists theatricalized their audience which thus became its own spectacle. Subjectivity, the lack of interest in the audience, the magico-religious stance, the ignoring of language and blindness to history, Suvin concludes, have prevented Happenings from becoming a major spectacle form.

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Each Worlds of Performance book is a complete antology, arranged around a specific theme or topic. Esposizione, a small opera by Ann Halprin, originally traditional dancer, explored the architectonic concept of space and was performed on a large stage. To make the relatively large stage compared to the audience sufficient for their six-member company performance they suspended a cargo net across the proscenium in the air, to allow the dancers to move vertically.


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