Includes original footage of The American Moon (1960) and Flower (1963), a recent performance of Prune Flat (1965), and Ghost, Whitman’s recent theater work, as well as short documentaries about the works.
A provocative history of live art traces the precedents of contemporary multi-media events to Bauhaus experimentalism and surveys the Futurists’ manifesto-like events, the Dadaists’ cabarets, and later “happenings” and “spectacles.”
A study of installation art, from its marginalized beginnings in the late 1950s to its central position in today’s art world.
Rodenbeck offers a rigorous art historical reading of Kaprow’s project and related artworks. She finds that these experiential and experimental works offered not a happy communalism but a strong and canny critique of contemporary sociality. Happenings, she argues, were far more ambivalent, negative, and even creepy than they have been portrayed, either in contemporaneous accounts or in more recent efforts to connect them to contemporary art’s participatory strategies.