Tag Archives: conceptual art

Inhabiting Allan Kaprow’s Push and Pull

kaprow push pull instructions
[Excerpt from instructions page at Kaprow’s Push and Pull. The full text of the instructions is available online here, or for the typewriter/paper feel, read them here.]

Creative Time organised a presentation of Allan Kaprow’s Push and Pull: A Furniture Comedy for Hans Hofmann, during the Performa Festival. It ran for three days at a space called Passerby.

Push and Pull is a dynamic installation in which anyone can come and rearrange furniture which is spread around in a room. Well, we might call it an installation now, but in Kaprow’s day (the piece was first presented in 1963) it was a “Happening” (or an “Environment”). It’s clear that Kaprow, in the four years since 18 Happenings in 6 Parts was presented, had substantially reworked his idea of what a Happening should be. If 18 Happenings in 6 Parts was a sort of experimental theatre involving specially prepared “actors”, then by the time he devised Push and Pull, Kaprow had moved on to creating situations where the “audience” was now the primary activator of the work.
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18 Happenings in 6 Parts

allan kaprow happening
[more photos here]

On Sunday night Lizzie and I went down to Long Island City to see the “re-do” of Allan Kaprow’s 18 Happenings in 6 Parts. I’m a big fan of Kaprow’s work and his writings, and I’m also really interested in re-enactment or re-creation as a method of experiencing ephemeral artwork from the past. (Karinne Keithly has written another account of 18 Happenings over here).

A few notes on the event:
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SHELVE – notes from the archive

shelve at cross arts

In April 2006, SHELVE (a sculpture I made back in 1997) was included in an exhibition at the Cross Art Projects called “Art Language – Every Publishable Place”. The page about that show is here: http://www.crossart.com.au/art_lang.html.

A few more pictures of the work are here. Ruark Lewis who curated the 2006 show at Cross Art, asked me to answer some questions about the work.

So here are my thoughts. Rough and unedited for the sake of the archive- Continue reading

Ian Milliss

Ian Milliss has just uploaded his new website. True to character, it’s information rich, but lacking in images. I like this a lot.

Ian is a legendary Aussie conceptual artist and an inspiring activist, having been involved in the defence of Darlinghurst’s Victoria Street squats in the early 1970s. There are some terrific articles about all his activities at the site.

Here are a few of my faves:

  • New Artist. Around this time, Milliss stopped exhibiting art altogether. This document gives an idea why…(1973)
  • The Barricades. In which he takes an aesthetic approach to describing the construction of barricades at Victoria Street. (1974)
  • Don’t moan, organise! (with apologies to Joe Hill) by Ian Burn and Ian Milliss. In which Burn and Milliss call for the restructuring of the Sydney Biennale along artist-run lines. (1979)

There really is a lot of great stuff on Ian’s site. It will become essential reading for many of us involved in art and activism, and who are interested in finding new ways to be artists (rather than just content providers to an existing system).

rent a body

"Everybody rents themselves in the marketplace," said Cao, a 31-year old Spanish conceptual artist. "You work, and somebody pays you for it; there is no difference between that and prostitution." While questions about the body as a commodity are central to the "company mission" of Rent-A-Body, Cao is decidedly not in the business of carnal knowledge: sexual rentals of any kind are strictly prohibited.

The agency, according to its promotional brochure, offers "an up-to-date body. . . prepared to function as a living extension of your will." The prospective customer is promised "an articulate, versatile human, in possession of a wide variety of mental and physical capabilities. . . for a reasonable hourly fee." If this sounds to you like a boutique-y version of Temps USA serfdom, you're on the right track.

for the whole essay, go to:
thanks to margie for the link!