Happenings

Allan Kaprow (1927-2006), the first person to create a happening, defined them as radical prototypes of performance art. According to Kaprow, happenings are non-narrative performances ranging from 'sophisticated, witty works' to 'Zen-like rituals', as well as actions that are 'crude, lyrical and very spontaneous'. Happenings are attempts to break the fourth wall that exists between audience and artists in a traditional performance, as well as the boundary between art and life.

The items for sale in this category are mostly related to happenings from the Sixties, especially those in The Netherlands and Belgium, that were the predecessors of or related to the Sixties underground and Provo movements. In The Netherlands, Fluxus happenings, Open het Graf (Open the Grave), Living Painting, Stoned in the Streets and the happenings performed by Robert Jasper Grootveld are examples. In Belgium, the group around Panamarenko, Hugo Heyrman and Wout Vercammen in collaboration with Yoshio Nakajima (member of the Unbeat Art Association, Japan) that published the magazine Happening News, performed happenings in Antwerp that shared some elements with the Dutch happenings.

Refs.: Allan Kaprow (1993) Happenings in the New York scene (1961). In: Jeff Kelley (ed.) Essays on the blurring of art and life (University of Califoria Press, Berkeley) pp. 15-26.; Stefan Wouters (2016). Vluchtigheid en verzet. Sporen van het internationaal happeninggebeuren in België. VUBPress, Brussels. Pages 3, 7, 8.

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