Allan Kaprow’s Eighteen Happenings in Six Parts, Reuben Gallery, New York, October These works are part of an associated work. 14 works online. At the time, I had not yet seen Kaprow’s detailed choreographic scores, nor had I examined the All I knew of 18 Happenings in 6 Parts was pretty much what is generally known about it: that . Der Text ist zuerst erschienen in: Allan Kaprow. Kaprow’s happenings are often cited as a major influence on the development of performance art 18 Happenings in 6 Parts by Allan Kaprow.

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Essays on the blurring of art and life. Sitting by the wall near the entrance in room one, looking up, the misalignment of our box with the rest of the building generated a kaprwo sensation of vertigo. Like the Black Mountain untitled event ofthe environments, actions, sound, light and the timing were all integral parts of 18 Happenings in 6 Parts.

Berkeley, University of California Press. As a student of John Cage, Kaprow put chance at the centre of his creative process. From the hxppenings s and throughout the s, artists, musicians, dancers, filmmakers, performers were working with these ideas and making pieces and events across the world.

Allan Kaprow’s Eighteen Happenings in Six Parts, Reuben Gallery, New York, October | MoMA

A second problem was that of casting. Richard Dorment loves the idea but hates the result.

But the true problem in terms of space was happeings that of figuring out correct dimensions nor of overcoming the lack of an original ground plan. Just like Kaprow, before the piece began Butcher gave each of her four participants a set of written instructions.


Happenings were not rehearsed and participants did not kqprow before reading their instructions what they were going to do next — indeed, since Kaprow shuffled the index cards before he handed them out, neither did he.

For the redoing, a decision had to be made about what mechanical toy to use. This academic background surely accounts for his fanatical attention to detail. Now, however, they were happeninge to imitate, drop, scold, accuse, shake, manhandle and hug their fellow performers. In their rigorous delivery Kaprow had certainly purposefully?

Allan Kaprow’s 18 Happenings in 6 Parts, Festival Hall, review – Telegraph

Spaces were trashed, paper and objects scattered, and at one moment an actor lay on the floor like a corpse in a mortuary. The first issue to solve was that of space; rather, that of place — of where to place the redoing. Happeningss with the grid, Butcher used an open-plan set made out of irregularly shaped plywood frames so the performers could move fluidly from one space to another as multiple events unfolded at the same time in multiple spaces. In the end, Kaprow himself dropped the term.

It flew to Munich with me and performed the redoing with us every night. And, of course, I had not read yet his plan to dispatch happwnings Happenings in 6 Parts to unknown futures …. He suggested that the art to come was one that incorporated everyday life, and everyday objects.

One could even say that a significant part of the materialization of those eighteen happenings take place only on paper, they happeninsg exclusively to paper, words and drawings and sketches performing away on dozens upon dozens of pages. We were watching a play in which parents and children interact emotionally by arguing, loving, hating and forgiving.

Redoing “18 Happenings in 6 Parts”

Stephanie and I immediately agreed that we had to rebuild with as much accuracy as possible the precarious architecture Kaprow had created within the Reuben Gallery: The end of the event was signalled by a bell ringing twice. Kaprow’s 18 Happenings in 6 Parts receives an unsatisfactory new airing at the Festival Hall.


In his will, Kaprow permitted other artists to re-stage his work. Indeed, how could anyone return to a piece that was so iconic, but that had also been so radically set aside by its own author? This could not be taken as a small detail in the work of a sculptor and a painter so invested in critiquing the history of Western art a critique that 18 Happenings in 6 Parts partakes fully. So for the Hayward show the curator, Stephanie Rosenthal, asked Rosemary Butcher to reinvent 18 Happenings in 6 Parts in ways that preserved its structure but changed most of the details.

She also performed in the redoing, and was assistant to the director. It was a catch word.

About one foot high, it was the brightly colored figure of a Negro dancing on a drum; the legs jiggled and swung frantically when the toy was started. One detail required a major decision to be made in terms of casting. I had not read his amazingly beautiful text on time, delivered by Kaprow himself in room one, part two. But very quickly Christin Vahl the architect that early on became part of our creative team, also responsible for creating all the art work installed in the redoing and I deduced the dimensions of the rooms from photographs of the performance.