By Mariellen Sandford
First released in 2004. Routledge is an imprint of Taylor & Francis, an informa corporation.
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Extra info for Happenings and Other Acts (Worlds of Performance)
Traditionally these arts did not structure the time dimension as theatre does, but in recent years paintings and sculptures have begun to move and give off sound. ” Some of the works of Rauschenberg and Tinguely are obvious examples, and pieces of kinetic sculpture by Len Lye have been exhibited to an audience from the stage in New York’s Museum of Modern Art. Art displays, such as the large Surrealist exhibitions and the recent “labyrinths” of the Groupe de Recherche d’Art Visuel de Paris, are turned into environmental mazes through which the spectator wanders, creating a loose time structure.
For example, Brecht places three glasses on the floor of the “playing area” and then fills them with water from a pitcher: it is his Three Aqueous Events. An Event is not compartmented. Formally, if not expressively, it is equivalent to a single compartment of a Happening. Based upon the general characteristics and the specific terms that have been mentioned above, a definition can now be formulated. Happenings might be described as a purposefully composed form of theatre in which diverse alogical elements, including nonmatrixed performing, are organized in a compartmented structure.
At the opening of the exhibition, the odor of roasting coffee filled the hall. A recording of a German army marching song was broadcast, and a girl performed a dance around the pool. Duchamp transformed the 1942 Surrealist Exhibition, held in New York, into an Environment by crisscrossing the space with a complicated network of twine. The 1947 exhibition, which was again held in Paris, included a room where rain constantly fell onto artificial grass, and another attempt to involve the visitors failed when all of the balls were stolen from a billiard table in the room.