- 80 LANGTON ST.
— 80 Langton Street: May 1977 thru May 1978, San Francisco: 80 Langton St., 1978. Postcard catalogue of performances/exhibitions sponsored by 80 Langton St. Information includes one photo postcard and a brief description of the work with biographical data for each artist. California artists who presented performances at 80 Langton St. included: Judith Barry (Past, Present, Future Tense (ppft)), Joanne Kelly (Part Four Segway), Jock Reynolds (Five Habitats for Five Members, included Suzanne Hellmuth, Jim Pomeroy, Pam Scrutton, Bill Morrison, and Jock Reynolds), Guy de Cointet (Oh, a Bear!), with Mary Ann Duganne, Monica Tenner, and Jane Zingale), David Antin (Talk Series: Figures of Speech), among others.
- ABRAMOVIC Marina & ULAY, Incision, 1978.
Depuis avril1978, dans la galerie H-Humanic de Graz, une bande en caoutchouc est fixée à mi-hauteur du mur, parallèlement au sol. Enroulé dans cette bande, Ulay, nu, s’élance aussi loin que possible vers le milieu de la galerie, pour ensuite glisser en sens inverse et enfin recommencer depuis le début. Parallèlement, Marina Abramovic est debout, habillée, le regard tourné vers le mur gauche de la galerie (du point de vue du spectateur), telle une observatrice, à la même hauteur que le protagoniste, lorsque celui-ci a parcouru la distance maximale autorisée par l’effort physique.
Le contraste entre les deux personnes ne saurait être plus grand: Ulay s’inflige beaucoup d’effort et de douleur lorsqu’il se lance avec la bande en caoutchouc qui le fait rebondir, alors que Marina Abramovic ne fait rien, se contentant de regarder fixement le point où l’acteur essaie d’écarter la bande à la seule force de ses muscles. Un homme sort soudain du public et étend Marina par terre par une prise de karaté. Ce troisième personnage fait partie de la performance: Abramovic sait qu’il la fera tomber d’un coup de pied, mais elle ne sait pas quand. Le public endosse ainsi un rôle psychologiquement ambigu: d’une part, l’agresseur se trouve au milieu du public, mais personne ne veut s’identifier à lui. D’autre part, Ulay est devenu en l’espace de 42 minutes un personnage d’identification, tandis que Marina Abramovic indifférente du début s’attire des sentiments de haine de la part du public du fait qu’elle ne se révolte pas après avoir reçu le coup de pied. Ce travail fait partie des performances qui associent délibérément le public et jouent avec ses sentiments et ses prises de position.
- ALLEN Terry, The Embrace… Advanced to Fury, University Art Museum, Berkeley, 1978.
— Janice Ross, « Wrestling with Human Relationships », Artweek, v.9, November 4, 1978, pp.1, 20. Review of The Embrace… Advanced to Fury, performed at the University Art Museum, Berkeley, in conjunction with American Narrative/Story Art, 1967-1977 exhibition.
- ALMEIDA Helena, Ouve-Me, 1978-79.
Helena Almeida lives and works in Lisbon. A sculptor’s daughter, Almeida began her career as a painter, turning her canvases into three-dimensional objects. The first exhibition of her work was shown en 1967 at galeria Buchholz in Lisbon. She employs her own body to question spatial constructs and the relationship between artist and viewer using photography and film to share her performative studio practice with an audience. The resulting images both reveal and obscure the artist’s presence.
In Ouve-Me (Hear Me), the artist is behind a see-through gauze screen, seemingly performing from within the ‘canvas’. She sucks air in with her mouth, and with it the gauze. She writes ‘ouve-me’ behind the gauze, then crosses it out with a pen held in her mouth. As a many of Almeida’s works, the border between visibility and invisibility, appearance and disappearance, speech and silence is a suject of exploration.
Ouve-Me is a part of the 1978/79 trilogy Sente-Me, Ouve-Me, Vê-Me (Feel Me, Hear Me, See Me).
- AMELIA Barbara as Camille Parker, The community with us, 1978.
- AMON Susan, Fur Cabbage, 1978. Videotape
- ANT FARM
— Walter Loniak, « The Message: ‘Smash Cars and Burn Televisions », The Santa Fe Reporter, January 19, 1978, p.1A.
- ANDERSON Laurie, For Instants, 1978.
- ANGELO Nancy & COMPTON Candace, The Nun and The Deviant, 1978. Videotape
- ANGELO Nancy & SHAPIRO Jeremy, You Never Wanted to Be a Prick, Pasadena, March 23-26, 1978
- ANTAL Sandro, Auspeitschung, 1978.
- ANTIN Eleanor
— Art in America, v.66, September/October 1978, pp.70-94. Special issue on Southern California Art. Essays include: 1) Peter Plagens, ‘Plays It As It L.A.’s’, pp.70-74.; 2) Leo Rubinflin, ‘Through Western Eyes’, pp.75-83. Rubinflin interviews 7 artists (Eleanor Antin, John Baldessari, Billy Al Bengston, Chris Burden, Robert Cumming, Robert Graham, Alexis Smith) about life, art and the art scene in Southern California; 3) Peter Frank, ‘Unslick in L.A.’, pp.84-91; 4) Nancy Marmer, ‘Proposition 13: Hard Times for the Arts’, pp.92-94. Excerpt on Eleanor Antin:
« [Eleanor Antin]: I believe absolutely that the feminist movement in Southern California has affected the rest of the Southern California art world. I really think that women practically invented performance in Southern California. I know there are people who’ won’t agree, and there are some very good male performance artists. There’s quite a difference in politics between Southern California and New York. In New York people who are interested in politics have a standard Marxist line, a kind of system they place upon the world without any relation to its fit with experience reality. New York feminism is more contaminated with Marxist bullshit. In California, feminism has been more a social, political and psychological thing about what it means to be a woman in this society, a particular woman, an artist… Which doesn’t imply that the artwork coming out of it is necessarily better, only that very real political questions are often considered. The only kind of politics Southern California has in feminism. »
— Eleanor Antin, « Some Thoughts on Autobiography », Sun and Moon: A Journal of Litterature and Art, no.6, Winter 1978-79.
— 8 Artists, Philadelphia: Philadelphia Museum of Art, 1978. Newsprint 8 page tabloid, the catalogue to a group exhibition, April 29-June 25, 1978. Each artist is given one page coverage; included for Antin are 3 photos, a short essay about the artist, and a statement by the artist.
— Christopher Knight, « History/Art », LAICA Journal, no.20. October/November 1978, pp.27-29. Article on the relationship of history and art; includes discussion of the “historical biographies“ explored in Eleanor Antin’s work.
— Carrie Rickey, « From Balletomane to Balletomanic: Pas Deduced », The Soho Weekly News, May 25, 1978. Review of Antin’s exhibition at the Whitney Museum, May 9-17, 1978, where Antin appears as the Ballerina in three tapes and related documents on exhibit.
- APPELT Dieter, Erinnerungsspur, 1978
- BAKER Mary Winder, RAPOPORT Debra & WICK Susan
— Ann Flanagan, « Craft of Collaboration: Baker/Rapoport/Wick – Three Women Demonstrate that Working Together Works », Craft Horizon, v.38, June 1978, pp.22-24. Discussion of the collaborative art process of Mary Winder Baker, Debra Rapoport, and Susan Wick with photo documentation of some of their performance works. Excerpt:
« Women have always worked together on creative projects; the quiltmakers are the most obvious example among fiber artists. B/R/W calls what they are doing ‘post-feminism’, a trust in their own talent and worth combined with the security of the relationship that makes them want to expand their essentially feminine viewpoint to men and women alike. For example, into the corporate setting, they introduce womanly skills and values – an appreciation for beauty in the day-to-day environment, for what we wear, what and how we eat, for nurturing. They emphasize an intimate connection with tools and work processes, and demonstrate how feminine ideas and customs in the traditionally masculine setting (or in any situation) can make life richer. What B/R/W sells is designed to fill whatever particular need the client may have: They have created artworks for businesses with materials discovered on location; catered lunches in San Francisco’s financial district; Macy’s has twice put the trio in its windo©ws to push cookware and bridal accoutrements. »
- BANANA Anna, Futurist Sound Poetry, in A Literal Exchange, A. Space, Toronto,
And 29 performances in 26 European cities including London, E & W Berlin, Stockholm, Warszawa, Budapest, Geneve, Milan, Paris, and Brussels.
— Anna Banana, ‘‘Futurist Performance: A European Tour,’’ High Performance, no.5, v.2, March 1979, pp.24-26. Text and photo documentation of a 1978 tour in which Anna Banana and Bill Gaglione (Dadaland) presented Futurist Sound Poetry, original works by the Italian Futurists, in major cities throughout Western ans Eastern Europe. Except:
With the exception of our first show (in which the order was reversed), we began each show with a presentation of documentation (super 8 film and slides) of my banana events and activities, as a crash-course in Bananology, with a Master’s Degree in Bananology available to anyone in the audience at the end of the show.
While I was changing from my banana dress to my all-black, 40’s ‘‘futurist’’ dress, Bill presented two of his original dada sound poems.
Bill: ‘‘Dada sound poem No.1.... D.’’ He then places a large A on his nose. He repeats the sequence several times. ‘‘Dada sound poem No.2.’’ Bill slowly undoes his shirt and opens it, revealing a D shaved in the hair on his chest. he closes his shirt and says ‘‘A.’’ He repeats this sequence several times, then leaves the stage area.
I introduced the Futurist pieces: Written by Italian Futurists between 1910 and 1920, preceding the Dadaists and Theater of the Absurd…
By this time Bill was finished changing into his all-black 40’s jacket, pants and shirt, and waiting on his side of the stage area for me to introduce the first piece, ‘‘Negative Act.’’ As I walked off Bill walked out into the middle, apparently engaged in studying a letter, and remarking, ‘‘Fantastic!…… Incredible!’’ Suddenly he would look at the audience as if he’s had no awareness of their presence, set a defensive stance and scrutinize them very slowly. Then, putting his letter away, he stated ‘‘I have absolutely nothing to say!’’ and stalked off to the left side of the stage area.
We had no backdrop or sets, and generally sought to perform with as neutral a background as possible. At the sides we had a table or chair with the few props we needed for some of the pieces. These were simple noise-makers and costume pieces to indicate character changes – hats, scarves, glasses, wigs.
We ended ou half-hour performances with ‘‘Alternation of Character’’, a married-couple sequence in which each character changes disposition each time it speaks, going from soft and loving to cold and rejecting. Audiences everywhere responded to this piece, whether or not they understood the words, because it delivers such a universally understood plot.
Then we would take our bows and walk off, myself returning as the applause faded, to renew the offer of a Degree of Bananology.
- BARRY Judith, Kaleidoscope, San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, 1978.
- BERTLMANN Renate, Die schwangere Braut im Rollstuhl, 1978.
After a brief spell in Oxford, Renate Bertlmann (1943, Austria) studied at the Academy of Fine Arts in Vienna from 1964 to 1970, followed by twelve years of teaching at the same academy. In her work, Bertlmann uses all kinds of media, from drawings, paintings, objects and installations through photographs, photo films and videos to performances and texts, in which she often examines the erotic and biological conditions of the female existence.
In this piece performed in 1978 at Österreichischer Kunstverein zu Wien, the Pregnant Bride in the wheelchair is pushed into the hall to the sound of a lullaby emanating from a musical box she wears around her neck. Once she is left in the hall, we hear the wailing of a baby. The pregnant woman eventually gives birth to a tape recorder emitting intense babies cries, which she leaves behind in the wheelchair - a female take on Beckettian drama.
- BEST Paul, Octavia Goes Shopping in Her New Hair Color, 1978, Shopping centers in San Diego.
— Paul Best, ‘‘Octavia Goes Shopping in Her New Hair Color,’’ High Performance, no.5, v.2, March 1979, pp.50-51. Text and photo documentation for a word that took place on November 7, 1978 at shopping centers in San Diego.
- BEUYS Joseph, Jeder Mensch ist ein Kunstler. action.
- BIRNBAUM Dara, Technology/Transformation: Wonder Woman, 1978-79. (vidéo).
- BLANCHARD Nancy, Still Life, 1978.
— Janice Ross, « Human Still Lifes », Artweek, v.9, December 23, 1978, pp.1, 16. Review of Blanchard’s performance, Still Life, at 80 Langton St., San Francisco.
- BOB & BOB
— Jesse Kornbluth, « Wet Behind the Ass », Oui, v.7, July 1978. Article on Wet magazine and Bob & Bob.
« Upon entering the gallery, audience members found on their chair seats party favor cups, each containing three jelly beans and a cigarette. The gallery was decorated with crepe paper which, coupled with the party favors, suggested a child’s birthday party. The piece opened with a satirical documentary film that employed devices similar to those used by comedian Steve Martin to expose the foibles of the status seeking middle class: we experience a day in the life of two “Mr. Entertainment“ personalities who repeatedly fall prey to slapstick mishaps. We visit them in their sumptuous home – a laughably tasteless Blue Chip Stamp environment. An off-camera narrator with an FM D-Jay voice chats with the pair, both of whom are noticeably ill-at-ease while struggling to be suave. We stroll along as they take their daily ‘nature walk’ to their ‘think spot’, attired as always in let’s-make-a-buck business suits.
The film was followed by a live presentation of music and comedy penned by the team and closed with a rendition of ‘Heard It Thru’ the Grapevine’ that left the audience clamoring for more. The remainder of their set was a study in calculated amateurishness comprised of tunes suitable for a children’s TV show:
That’s our friend the fireman
He risks his neck without public thanks
He’s a modern hero
We’ve got just a few friends
But all of them are winners
They all help the world
By being what they are“*
*© 1978 “Mr. Personality“ by Bob & Bob for M.I.T.B. Music »
— Cece Milder, « Art for People Who Drive Fords », Los Angeles Free Press, March 2, 1978.
- BOB & BOB, Simple and Effective, Long-playing 33 1/3 record, 1978. 14 songs. Lyrics to Go to the Police:
« Go to the police, tell them all you know
Go to the police, tell them all you know
Go to the police, tell them all you know
Go to the police, tell them all you know
When I needed them
They were always there
In a minute or two
Knockin’ at my door
Call’em day or night, they are always there
Call’em day or night, they are always there
Call’em day or night, they are always there
Call’em day or night, they are always there
They’ll do anything, they’re braver than us
They’ll do anything, they’re braver than us
Go to the police, tell them all you know »
- BOURGEOIS Louise, Costume for ‘A Banquet’, 1978. (latex)
- BRISLEY Stuart, 180 Hours, 1978.
- BUCHANAN Nancy, Deer/Dear, 1978
— Nancy Buchanan, « Deer/Dear », High Performance, no.2, v.1, June 1978, pp.32-33. Slide show/narrative work performed at Santa Ana College, January 11, 1978. Excerpt:
« I think of this performance as a travelogue in fear. It was a slide show/narrative which represented the beginning of consciousness about an unpleasant state of affairs: as woman, we DO have a great deal to fear, but we are simultaneously trained to be fearful of the world AND to disregard our fears as symptoms of weakness and paranoia… I was moved to make this piece when the body of a victim of the ‘Hillside Strangler’ was found quite near my house – this reactivated my personal feelings about danger, which I usually repress. »
- BUCHANAN Nancy, Tar Baby, 1978. Videotape
- BURDEN Chris
— Louise Lewis, « Actions Performed and Documented », Artweek, v.9, September 16, 1978, p.7. Review of an exhibition curated by Chris Burden at the Los Angeles Institute of Contemporary Art entitled, Polar Crossing, which included photography, video, book documentation and performances by 3 European artists: Richard Kriesche (Austria), Gina Pane (France) and Petr Stembera (Czechoslovakia).
- BURDEN Chris, Big Job, 1978, Venice, Ca.
— Chris Burden, ‘‘The Curse of Big Job,’’ High Performance, no.5, v.2, March 1979, pp.2-3. Description of Burden’s experience with a 1952 Ford rig, ‘‘BIG JOB,’’ owned December 14-January 22, 1978. Excerpt:
… I purchased and antique 1952 Ford ‘‘rig’’ ( a tractor-trailer combination weighing 16,000 pounds empty). In large bold letters the words ‘‘BIG JOB’’ were stamped on the chrome strips attached to either side of the truck’s hood. The thirty-five-foot black bat wing spray painted on either side of the trailer and the bent step bumper, marking where a man had killed himself by ramming the back of the trailer in a small foreign car, imbued ‘‘BIG JOB’’ with a power and evil which I found irresistible…
With this huge truck I envisioned an almost endless series of projects that would free me from being an artist. My first plan was that I would drive to shopping centers with the B-CAR and the C.B.T.V. in the trailer and display them to members of the public for a nominal fee, much in the manner of an old-fashioned road show. Another was that I would install a satellite receiving dish and transmitter, making the truck a rolling communication command post. I fantasized that ‘‘BIG JOB’’ would become the world’s first mobile car factory: I would pull into a small Mexican village and produce the type of vehicle best suited for their specific local needs…
The truck had turned into a giant liability rather than the fantastic asset I first envisioned. I decided to sell ‘‘BIG JOB.’’
- BURDEN Chris, C.B.T.V., 1978.
— Leo Rubinfien, « C.B.T.V.: Ronald Feldman Gallery, N.Y.; Exhibition », Artforum, v.16, January 1978, pp.68-69. review of Burden’s exhibition at the Ronald Feldman Gallery which consisted of a single work, C.B.T.V., a reconstruction of the first television ever designed.
- BURDEN Chris, Chris Burden 74-77, Los Angeles: Self-published, .
A catalogue documenting Burden’s performance work from 1974 through 1977; photographs and text.
- BURDEN Chris, Coals to Newcastle, 1978, Calexico, Californie, December 17, 1978.
Calexico, California and Mexicali, Mexico, are actually the same city separated by a tall steel and barbed wire fence demarking the international border between the USA and Mexico. On the morning of December 17, standing on the American side of the border, I flew a small rubber-band-powered model airplane over the fence into Mexicali, Mexico.
— ‘‘Coals to Newcastle,’’ High Performance, no.5, v.2, March 1979, pp.12-13. Text and photo documentation of a work in which Burden flew a rubber-band model airplane carrying two marijuana cigarettes across the U.S. border in Mexico, December 17, 1978. Excerpt:
‘‘From each wing of the plane, like a miniature bomb, hung a cigarette of the finest seedless marijuana, ‘‘Sensimilla,’’ grown in California. The plane bore the following inscriptions: ‘‘Hecho in U.S.A’’ (‘‘Made in U.S.A.’’), ‘‘Fumenlos Muchachos’’ (‘‘Smoke it, Kids’’) and ‘‘Topanga Typica’’ (‘‘Typical Topanga’’).
- BURDEN Chris, Full Financial Disclosure, Baum-Silverman Gallery, Los Angeles, 1978.
— Dwight Chrissmass, « Chris Burden’s Full Financial », Dumb Ox, no.6/7, Spring 1978, pp.64-65. Review of Burden’s exhibition, Full Financial Disclosure.
- BURDEN Chris, The Citadel, Los Angeles, Ca., August 8-12, 1978.
« The Citadel was a combination installation and performance dealing with outer space. A small oddly-shaped room with a rear brick wall was made completely light tight and painted black. Over five hundred extremely detailed miniature metal space ships ranging in size from one-quarter of an inch to four inches were hung from the ceiling using black thread. Four folding chairs were provided for the audience.
Each group of four was let into the pitch black room and seated by an assistant. Because they had been waiting outside in the bright sunlight, they could not see anything. I turned on two tape recorders. One tape was a recording of a steam jet on a cappucino machine, repeated over and over. This simulated rocket noise. The other tape began with the message that ‘these starships have assembled here from all corners of the universe to investigate the infinite, inexplicable citadel wall, the end of the universe’. At the same moment I lit a candle which illuminated a small portion of the spaceships. While the rocket noise continued, the audio tape related a series of excerpts from outer space war games, such as travel in suspended animation, the use of the Jump Drive for interstellar travel, atmospheric conditions, names and uses of the different types of ships, the vast array of different types of weaponry, etc. I moved slowly back and forth through the suspended ships. Slowly, as the audience’s eyes adjusted to the candlelight they could see more and more of the small ships, which are hovering in front of them, above them and on either side of them. Towards the end of each performance I moved to the rear of the room revealing the brick wall (the Citadel Wall). The candle was extinguished. The two tapes came to an end and the audience was ushered out. Each session lasted ten minutes and was repeated continuously from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. during the day from August 8 to August 12. »
— Bridget Reak-Johnson, « Chris Burden », LAICA Journal, no.20, October/November 1978, pp.68-69. Review of Burden’s work, The Citadel, performed in a warehouse in Los Angeles, August 8-12, 1978. Excerpt:
« Chris Burden waits in the dark for his audience to be ushered in. They sense his presence, although the utter darkness of the room prevents any visual contact. They grope for chairs, are settled and an audiotape is activated. Burden lights a candle to otherworldly simulated sound. Gradually eyes adjust to the dark; Burden, expressionless, illuminates the verge of a seemingly endless array of tiny space ships. These rockets, the recorded message dictates, have come from the reaches of the universe to investigate the inexplicable, infinite citadel wall. Feeling a triffle like the monk he is, Burden reveals battalion upon battalion of space equipment suspended on invisible wire, in perfectly elegant formation. The variation is endless, authentic. The recorded voice (his) drones on, a veritable manual of technological futurity: atmospheric conditions, planetary organization, life support systems, structures of commercial fleets, armadas, weaponry. By candlelight it is impossible to perceive the entire array, but the spectators, in an excruciating exercise in slow perception, gradually develop a mnemonic picture of the installation. Finally, the citadel wall is revealed – infinite, inexplicable – the incantatory monotone accompanies Burden’s exploration of what the audience realizes is the rear brick wall, painted black the citadel wall! »
- CAROOMPAS Carole, Five Fables, 1978, Jan Baum/Iris Silverman Gallery, Los Angeles.
— Carole Caroompas, ‘‘Five Fables,’’ High Performance, no.5, v.2, March 1979, pp.40-41. Text and documentation of a presentation by Caroompas with Marlene Bleich, Margaret Nielsson and Alexis Smith entitled, Five Fables, presented at the Jan Baum/Iris Silverman Gallery, Los Angeles, September 29, 1978.
- CHA Theresa Hak Kyung
— Theresa Hak Kyung, « Reveille Dans La Brume », High Performance, no.2, v.1, June 1978, pp.26-27. Description of work presented at La Mamelle Arts Center, San Francisco, on October 30, 1977.
- CLEVELAND Buster, Cleveland Burns Chicago, Mendocino, Ca., 1978. Videotape, b/w.
Cleveland, “First of the red hot dadads“.
- CLOSE RADIO
— « Close Radio », High Performance, no.4, v.1, December 1978, pp.12-15. Article describes past and present activities of Close Radio, Los Angeles, an “Audio Space for Visual Artists“, which broadcasts on KPFK, 90.7 FM. Directors, John Duncan and Paul McCarthy. Includes a Program History 1976-78, listing artists and works programmed by Close Radio. Excerpt:
« Among the shows heard on Close was a ‘car opera’ produced by the Ant Farm (a San Francisco group who created the Cadillac Ranch outside Amarillo, Texas, by burying Cadillacs hood-first in the ground). The opera was recorded at the Sydney, Australia, Opera House. Cars of different makes were placed in a circle and were ‘conducted’ by a kangaroo. On cue they opened and closed their hoods, started wipers, revved engines. »
— John Duncan & Paul McCarthy, « Close Radio », LAICA Journal, no.20, October/November 1978, p.59.
- COLETTE, Justine, 1978.
- CONCIERTO ZAJ, Rumore di Fondo, Bologne. Italie. Performers : Ferrer/Hidalgo/Marchetti.
- CONWILL Houston
— Suzanne Muchnic, « Ju Ju Ritual – Cycles of Life », Artweek, v.9, February 25, 1978. Review of a performance work written By Houston Conwill and performed by Conwill and Kinsha Sha at Space Gallery, Los Angeles. Excerpt:
« Conwill exalts continuity of life and death as he recounts a tale of strength derived from adversity. Elements of African ritual – chants, dance, music and ethnic props – enhance triumphant stories of people, past and present. »
- DARLING Lowell, Campaigning for Governor of California, Breen’s Bar, Salon of MOCA, San Francisco, Ca., 1978.
— Ruth Askey, « Barnstorming with Lowell Darling », Artweek, v.9, April 29, 1978, p.4. Article on Darling’s campaign for Governor of California. Excerpt:
« Darling said that if he is elected, there will be no more jobs. He’ll give everyone $30,000 a year for ‘just being themselves’. ‘I’ll hire Jerry Brown to play Jerry Brown but he’ll have to take a cut in salary’. When Darling was asked where the money was going to come from he answered, ‘I’m going to put Reverend Ike in charge of the state budget’.
Another innovative plank in the Darling platform is his stand on parking meters. They’ll become slot machines and as such will pay us money for stopping our cars and not polluting the air. He feels people should burn their parking tickets in the late 1970s much as they did their draft cards in the late 1960s. ‘What could the government do’, Darling said, ‘send everybody with a parking ticket to jail?’ »
— Lowell Darling, « One Thousand Dollar a Plate Dinner », High Performance, no.2, v.1, June 1978, pp.38-39. Description of an event that took place at Breen’s Cafe, sponsored by the Museum of Conceptual Art, San Francisco, on March 8, 1978; a promotional event for Darling’s campaign for California governor. Excerpts:
« WRITE YOUR OWN TICKET:
That part of the state budget presently allocated to building highways, roads, buildings and the space shuttle program will be used to hire people to be themselves for the State of California…
All billboards will be put in one location rather than being spread throughout the state. Visitors will drive through it like Lion Country Safari.
To reduce the mounting paranoia resulting from George Orwell’s book, we will get rid of 1984…
PRESIDENTIAL TELEVISION NETWORK (PTN):
The Presidential Television Network will be started by surgically implanting a video camera in the President’s forehead so that Americans will see what the President sees on their television sets at home…
Everyone gets Wednesdays off.
THE HUMAN ZOO:
I propose that all wild animals be returned to their oirginal homes – jungles, forests, rivers. I recommend that in their place we commission artists to make wild animal costumes and hire the unemployed to wear them… »
— Alfred Frankenstein, « A politician’s Concept Platform », San Francisco Chronicle, February 16, 1978, p.55. Article regarding Lowell Darling’s announcement made at the University Art Museum, Berkeley, to run for Governor of California.
— Jonathan Kirsch, « The Fine Art of Politics: Only you, Lowell Darling », New West, v.3, February 13, 1978, pp.36-38. Article on Darling’s campaign for California governor with photo by Ilene Segalove.
- DAURIAC Françoise & DURASTANI Sylvie, Art-Performance Minute, 1978, Louvre, Paris. Organisé par Jean Dupuy.
Tableau vivant devant la toile de l’École de Fontainebleau Gabrielle d’Estrée et la Duchesse de Villars.
- DEAK Norma Jean, Travel Log, Portland Center for the Visual Arts, April 10, 1978.
— Mindy Aloff, « Norma Jean Deak’s, ‘Travel Log’ », Artweek, v.9, April 29, 1978, p.12. Review of Deak’s performance, Travel Log, presented at the Portland Center for the Visual Arts, April 10, 1978. Excerpt:
« …black-bound diary (recited in tremolo); the 8 1/2“ x 11“ letters (delivered in an unconvincingly cheerful manner); a white table with a violet blotter lit by a glaring lamp; another chair positioned, prisoner fashion, under another glaring lamp; a blank wall on which a slide projector throws printed captions and color scenes of people and places (shot by Blaise Tobia, Frantisek Deak and Claudia Martinengo) to which the narrator may respond or remain oblivious. »
- DEAK Norma Jean
— Moira Roth, « Moira Roth Interviews Norma Jean Deak », High Performance, no.1, v.1, February 1978, pp.8, 42-43. Excerpts:
NJD: …I was interested in diaries and letters. how valid are they really? As David Antin said, just because something is written in the first person, everyone assumes that it is true. It isn’t necessarily. When I decided some written by women – primarily by Simone Weil and Virginia Woolf…
MR: How did you deal with this material in the actual performance?
NJD: The set for the performance was rather simple: a table and chair in the center and a single chair to the right of the table. The slides were projected on the left. During most of the performance I am seated behind the desk. The performance begins in a very relaxed manner. I begin talking to the audience in my natural voice explaining: “This is an account of a woman’s visit to a foreign city. She didn’t plan the visit. It wasn’t on her itinerary… etc.“
At a certain point I go into a different voice that attempts to create a romantic mood while I describe the city in which she found herself. It is a port city where “You could see the ships sailing out of the harbor for Marseilles, Istanbul, Alexandria, Odessa…“ After that I sit behind the desk and become the observer, the narrator, for which I put on glasses. The voices are extremely important, as always, in my performances. I used an interested, enthusiastic voice, full of energy, for the letters I would go from reading a letter to reading from the diary. The diary was read without glasses and revealed a woman on the verge of a mental breakdown. I chose a particular voice, a sad, depressed, breathy voice.
MR: And then there were the slides of the Old Town in Genoa, with you in them; slides of you and a man talking and walking together in La Jolla, and of you sitting isolated among animated people.
NJD: Yes. I use slides for instant scene changes. The sets are usually simple and don’t change during the performance. I use the slides to evoke different moods. »
- DE COINTET Guy, Guy de Cointet/Matrix 39, Hartford, Conn.: Wadsworth Atheneum, 1978.
Matrix leaflet for de Cointet’s exhibition at the Wadsworth Atheneum, April-June 1978.
- DE COINTET Guy & WILHITE Bob, Ramona, January 1978, California Institute of Technology, Pasadena.
— Jeffrey Keeffe, « Ramona: California Institute of Technology, Pasadena; Performance », Artforum, v.16, January 1978, p.77. Review of de Cointet and Bob Wilhite’s third performance, Ramona. About sensory perceptions, the eight actors “‘see’ sounds, ‘hear’ sights, and ‘taste’ noises“ in the work.
- DISBAND, Video Performances. 1978-1982.
DISBAND (USA, 1978-1982) was an all-girl punk and a capella band none of whose members were able to play an instrument. Their singing was accompanied by percussion sounds created with everyday objects and their own bodies, and the band’s concerts included performative interludes. Among others, DISBAND’s changing line-up at one time included Ilona Grant, Donna Henes, Ingrid Sischy, Diane Torr and Martha Wilson, who created stage personas for themselves like a Puerto Rican rioter or aggressive chicks. The band’s lyrics were very outspoken. Disband satirised the clichéd image of the male rock musician and performed 22 times in the USA, Canada and Europe.
These video recordings document several performances by DISBAND between 1978 and 1982.
- DUNCAN John, Every Woman, Pasadena, March 23-26, 1978.
— « Connecting Myths », High Performance, no.2, v.1, June 1978, pp.40-41. Description of a series of works coordinated by Cheri Gaulke and John Duncan, presented in Pasadena, March 23-26, 1978. Included in the series: Feminist Art Workers (This Ain’t No Heavy Breathing), Sandra McKee (Stories My Mother Told Me), Cheri Gaulke (She Is Risen Indeed), Kathy Convention Kauffman (Strip to Strip), Leslie Labowitz-Starus (Reenactments), John Duncan (Every Woman), Jim Moisan (Gender Violence and Utopia in Science Fiction), Nancy Angelo and Jeremy Shapiro (You Never Wanted to Be a Prick), Jerri Allen, Leslie Belt, Anne Gauldin, Patti Nicklaus, Jamie Wildman, Denis Yarfitz (Hands Off) and Laurel Klick (Cattin’ Around). Excerpt on John Duncan:
« EVERY WOMAN, JOHN DUNCAN, March 24
I wanted to feel, even for one night, the daily vulnerability to sexual attack experienced by most women. I exposed myself to sexual aggression by men – as a man one night, a woman the next, on a Hollywood street. Paul McCarthy withnessed the event both nights. Together on the 24th, we answered questions and described our perceptions to an audienc. »
- EVOLA Linda
— Linda Evola, « Configuration », High Performance, no.3, v.1, September 1978, p.12. Description of a performance that took place December 12-16, 1977 at the Union Gallery, San Jose State University.
- EXPORT Valie, I (beat/it/), 1978.
- FEMINIST ART WORKERS
— Nancy Angelo, « Draw Your Own Conclusions, Know on 13 », High Performance, no.3, v.1, September 1978, p.34. Description of a work by the Feminist Art Workers (Nancy Angelo, Laurel Klick, Cheri Gaulke), presented at the Los Angeles Music Center Plaza on May 31, 1978, in opposition to California’s property tax bill, Proposition 13, which was passed by the voters the following month, June 1978.
- FEMINIST ART WORKERS, Draw your own conclusions, 1978.
- FEMINIST ART WORKERS (Angelo Nancy et Gaulke Cheryl), Pieta Afloat, 1978.
— Nancy Angelo, « Pieta Afloat », High Performance, no.3, v.1, September 1978, p.27. Description of a performance by the Feminist Art Workers (Nancy Angelo, Laurel Klick, Cheri Gaulke) at Century City, Los Angeles, on April 26, 1978.
- FEMINIST ART WORKERS, This Ain’t No Heavy Breathing, Pasadena, March 23-26, 1978.
- FEMINIST ART WORKERS, To Love, Honor and Cherish, 1978, Woman’s Building, Los Angeles.
— Cheri Gaulke, ‘‘To Love, Honor and Cherish,’’ High Performance, no.5, v.2, March 1979, p.56. Text and documentation of a work presented at the Woman’s Building, Los Angeles, on December 16, 1978 by the Feminist Art Workers (Nancy Angelo, Cheri Gaulke, Laurel Klick, Vanalyne Green).
- FERRER Esther, Alla ricerca del silencio perduto. Le Train de John Cage, Bologne, Italie.
Performers : Ferrer/Hidalgo/Marchetti. (photo F. R. Masotti)
- FLOATING MUSEUM, Global Passport, San Francisco: San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, 1978.
Catalogue/program booklet for the Global Space Invasion (Phase II), a project of the Floating Museum, organised by Lynn Hershman.
— Janice Ross, « Global Space Performances », Artweek, v.9, August 26, 1978, p.4. Review of performances by Bay Area women artists, part of a series for the Global Space Invasion (Phase II). Excerpt:
« The motion section of Lynn Hershman’s Phase II Global Space Invasion, at the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art in August, featured two weeks of almost continuous daily performances…
Judith Barry’s Kaleidoscope juggles domestic situations and relationships with cinematic vividness. Within a series of six vignettes she probes the dynamics of a couple’s daily interactions…
Unlike [Nancy] Karp’s better known minimal dance works, SHE contains no physical movement other than Karp’s arm motions as she chops fruit and Lynette Taylor’s incidental gestures as she relays Karp’s spoken words in sign language…
[Margaret Fisher’s] actions… [in Splitting] appear to be gestural amplifications of a private body language. She scratches her ankle contemplatively with her foot, cranks her elbow and dips her head form side to side as if communicating in a full-body semaphore.
Like Barry’s Kaleidoscope, which was performed daily for almost the entire length of the motion series, Nina Wise’s Yellow Duck and Tonka Beans changed it form from day to day. But where the only variation in Barry’s work was the order in which it was presented, Wise’s work changed from solo to duet or trio, with the content wholly improvised… »
— Mary Stofflet-Santiago, « Global Space Invasion », Artweek, v.9, August 12, 1978, p.6. Review of Global Space Invasion, Phase II, presented by the Floating Museum at the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art.
- FORTE Paul, Something Without Time Reflecting the Motions of…, from Videozine Five, La Mamelle Inc., San Francisco, Ca., 1978.
- FOX Terry & DECRISTEL Georg, Flagellating Doppler, 1978, University Art Museum, Berkeley, California.
- FOX Terry & DECRISTEL Georg, Mystification of Moving Away, 1978, Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago, Illinois.
- FOX Terry & DECRISTEL Georg, Strolling Performances, 1978, Galleria Pellegrino, Bologna.
- FRIED Howard, Vito’s Reef (Part I), 1978. Videotape, 35 mins., color.
- FRIEDMAN Fern & HANLON Terry, E(L)(FF)usive, San Francisco: 2 by 4, 1978. Jell-O-Disc, 3:27 mins.
- FRIEDMAN Ken, « On Fluxus », Flash Art, nos. 84-85, October/November 1978, pp.30-31.
- GAGLIONE Bill & CLEVELAND Buster, A Literal Exchange, Toronto, Canada, 1978.
— La Mamelle Magazine: Art Contemporary, no.12, v.3, 1978. Special Transmittable Book Issue, produced during La Mamelle, Inc. residency at A-Space, A Literal Exchange, Toronto, 1978, and designed to the re-assembled into individual artist’s books. Contributors included: Anna Banana, Buster Cleveland, Paul Forte, Nancy Frank, Bill Gaglione, Kirk deGooyer, Carl Loeffler, G.P. Skratz, Mary Stoffet.
- GAULDIN Anne (THE WAITRESSES), Waitress goddess Ready to order in restaurant, LA. 1978.
— Jerri Allyn, « Ready to Order? », High Performance, no.3, v.1, September 1978, pp.24-25. Description of performances/works by The Waitresses (Jamie Wild, Denise Yarfitz, Anne Gauldin, Leslie Belt, Jerri Allyn, Patti Nicklaus) presented in various restaurants throughout Los Angeles, April-Mai 1, 1978.
- GAULKE Cheri
— Cheri Gaulke, « Talk Story », High Performance, no.2, v.1, June 1978, pp.24-25. Description of a performance presented at La Mamelle, San Francisco, October 16, 1977.
— Jim Moisan, « McKee’s Setting, Gaulke’s Performance », Artweek, v.9, March 25, 1978, p.7. Review of Cheri Gaulke’s birthday celebration; included was an installation by Sandra McKee, a performance by Cheri Gaulke, and a film of a performance by Polish artist, Tadensz (sic) Kantor. Excerpt:
« Gaulke appeared in a pair of crimson ballet slippers and announced that she would carve ‘guilty’ in the sole of each shoe and dance until the words wore off. Her allusion was, of course, to the Anderson fairy tale, and to the red shoes as symbol of vanity, hedonism and sexuality. Documentation was made by photographers Kathleen Kenyon and Ben Caswell. »
- GAULKE Cheri, She Is Risen Indeed, Pasadena, March 23-26, 1978.
- GAULKE Cheryl (Cheri) et GAULDIN Anne, The Malta Project, 1978.
- GERZ Jochen, The Mouth that paints, action-vidéo.
The audience witnesses a performance in which Jochen Gerz, equipped with brush – the painter’s insignia – physically interacts with the electronic monitor image of his performance until he finally erases his own image by painting over the camera lens.
- HALBERT Jacques, Art-Performance Minute, 1978, Musée du Louvre, Paris, organisée par Jean Dupuy.
Habillé en chef, il lit un menu ‘‘ceriste’’ devant Les Noces de Cana de Véronèse.
- HARRISON Helen & Newton
— « Helen & Newton Harrison », Arts Magazine, v.52, February 1978, pp.126-133. A series of 3 essays include: “Helen and Newton Harrison: New Grounds for Art“, by Kim Levin; “Helen and Newton Harrison: Art as Survival Instruction“, by Peter Selz; “Helen and Newton Harrison: Questions“, by Kristine Stiles.
- HARTNETT Elaine, Out of Necessity, 1978.
— Janice Ross, « Art by Context », Artweek, v.9, March 25, 1978, p.6. Review of performance works by two Los Angeles artists; Out of Necessity performed by Elaine Hartnett at the Los Angeles Institute of Contemporary Art and Marla by Sheila Orvis presented at 2815 Ocean Front Walk, Venice, California.
- HENTZ Mike, Demaskierung, Amsterdam, 1978.
- HERSHMAN Lynn
— David Frankenstein, « Roberta’s Artifacts’: Creating a Life-Image », San Francisco Chronicle, April 11, 1978, p.40.
— Mary Stofflet-Santiago, « Portrait of the Artist as Social Observation », Artweek, v.9, April 29, 1978, p.7. Review of Hershman’s Roberta Breitmore exhibition at De Young Museum, San Francisco. Excerpt:
« The artifacts and documentation of Roberta Breitmore – including mundane articles as purse, checkbook, coat and dress – which are scarcely the residue of performances since Roberta’s activities are usually carried out in semi (at least) – privacy, are displayed in typical museum fashion…
- HERSHMAN Lynn, Lynn Hershman Is Not Roberta Breitmore, Roberta Breitmore Is Not Lynn Hershman, San Francisco: M.H. De Young Memorial Museum, 1978.
— Catalogue for an exhibition, April 1-May 14, 1978. Excerpt:
« Roberta Breitmore is a portrait of a woman in San Francisco; a collage of a person experiencing her environment. She is a contemporary heroine fashioned from real life in real time. Her social identities – checkbook, licenses, handwriting and speech mannerisms are textures and testaments to her credibility.
Roberta’s construction is ambiguous. She is at once fictional and real; physical and ephemeral. As she gains experience and time dimension, the people that are incorporated into her history become fictionalized archetypal characters. The articles of her life are both token symbols as well as functioning, necessary items.
Roberta Breitmore is a living tableau. Somewhere between the reality and imagination she breathes in the real spaces of existence. She participates in the world, reflects the social preoccupations of her contemporaries, attends psychotherapy and weightwatchers and generally maps passages through which many people travel.
Roberta’s ‘mask’ is achieved by using cosmetics as paint and her skin as a canvas. Her conversations reveal that everyone she meets is also wearing an ‘invisible’ mask. »
- HERSHMAN Lynn, Roberta Breitmore (An Alchemical Portrait Started in 1975), San Francisco, Ca., 1978.
Roberta comics created in collaboration with Spain Rodriguez.
- HOOVER Nan, Movement in dark, 1978.
- HSIEH Tehching, One Year in a Cage, 1978-79.
— A Question of Time by Simone Menegoi, magazine/archive/Tehching Hsieh/Mousse Contemporary Art Magazine, http://moussemagazine.it/articolo.mm?id=62
‘‘Six performances. That’s it with the work of Tehching Hsieh, a New York-based artist born in Taiwan in 1950. But the six performances altogether have lasted twenty years (1978-1999) and drove Marina Abramovic to say that Hsieh is a ‘‘master’’. The documentation related to one of his actions (the third one, called Outdoor Piece) was shown at the recently-closed exhibition New York-States Of Mind held at the Haus der Kulturen der Welt in Berlin; and now one of his films concerning the second performance, Time Clock Piece, is included in the group show This Is The Time (And This Is The Record Of The Time) at e/Static˃blank in Turin. It is perhaps too early to talk about a ‘‘rediscovery of this extraordinary artist, but something is moving. And we love to arrive before anyone else.
« For twelve months, since April 11, 1980, Tehching Hsieh hasn’t been able to sleep for a whole night without interruptions. To be precise, he hasn’t even been able to sleep for two hours running. Every 60 minutes the sound signal produced by his watch connected to a loudspeaker woke him up, and reminded him of the task he had self-imposed – that of clocking in at every single hour, 24 times a day, throughout a whole year. Be it day or night, at every hour Hsieh, wearing worker’s uniform, went to a grey-walled room in his loft in Manhattan and stamped a time card in a sign-in-machne. A few second later, a 16 mm camera captured a picture of his tense face next to the machine. A witness signed all the 366 times cards at the first day of the performance, in order to assure that they couldn’t be replaced. Moreover, at the end of the twelve months the witness confirmed that the 16 mm film was not falsified. Projected as a motion picture, it condenses a whole year into about six minutes. The artist’s hair, which is shaved at the beginning of the film, reaches his shoulders at the end of it. In order to complete the film, Hsieh had to undergo extreme psychological stress and to reorganize his own life meticulously around the passing of the hours: for instance, he could not move from his loft for longer than 60 minutes.
In Taiwan, his native country, Tehching Hsieh had been a painter, but he soon got bored of the limited potential of this practice and decided to try new ways.
In 1973, he let someone document the process with a super8 film and photos while jumping from the second floor. He hadn’t heard of Yves Klein and his Saut dans le vide, and he didn’t know the English expression ‘‘performance art.’’ What he wanted – he declared 20 years later – was to be ‘‘a serious artist.’’ He knew he couldn’t reach his aim in Taiwan, so he signed on as a sailor on an oil tanker bound for the U.S. He was put ashore in Philadelphia in 1974, he took a cab to New York City, and then he left no more traces of himself and became an illegal alien.
New York began to notice him between 1978 and 1979, when he made the first of his five One Year Performance (which he conceived to be one-year-long because ‘‘one year is the basic unit of how we count time. It takes the earth a year to move around the sun. Three years, four years, is something else. It is about being human, how we explain time, how we measure our existence’’). On September 30 of 1978, Hsieh entered a room he had built in his loft, a wooden cage measuring about 3.5x2.7 m. He stayed in there until September 29 of 1979, in solitude, without reading or writing (apart from the signs he marked on the walls to count the days), without watching TV or listening to music, without talking at all. A friend was responsible for taking him some food and clean clothes and for picking up his waste; visitors were admitted only within rigid visiting hours, without communication with the artist. The moderate amount necessary to finance the project came from the sublet of the loft and his family in Taiwan. At the close of that voluntary imprisonment, the impact of the external world, of the crowd in the streets of Manhattan, was extremely violent. The artist says that it felt just like an aggression.
The New York art community was now intrigued by Tehching Hsieh. At the expiring of Time Clock Piece, his second One Year Performance (that of the clock-in machine), a little throng gathered in his loft in order to look at him stamping a card for the very last time.In the room nearby, the cage where he had lived the previous year was still visible. The sound of the machine stamping the last card was received with a burst of applause, to which he replied with a few bows. After the little ceremony, Jon Siskin from the magazine High Performance asked him whether any artist had influenced him in the conceiving and carrying out of Time Clock Piece. Hsieh answered ‘‘Sisyphus.’’
The third One Year Performance started at 2 p.m. of september 26, 1981. As the previous ones, the rules to follow had been commited to a lapidary statement: ‘‘I shall stay OUTDOORS for one year, never go inside./ I shall not go in t a building, subway, train, car, airplane, ship, cave, tent./ I shall have a sleeping bag.’’ Throughout a year a year Hsieh wandred about as a voluntary homeless man. He faced the winter of 1981-82, one of the coldest of the century in New York, by lighting fires to get warm and sleeping on cardboard sheets placed close to the wall or between two parked cars, where he could be sheltered from the wind without needing to enter a building. He wrote notes of the places where he slept and ate on the daily maps; he kept in touch occasionally with his friends through public phones; at times, he put posters up on the walls in order to inform the public about when and where it would have been possible to meet him. Despite all his efforts, a vilation of the regulations occurred when he was arrested in consequence of a fight and forced to spend fifteen hours at a police station. One could suppose that, after a whole year spent outdoors, having a roof overhead again is of great relief; or that, on the contrary, it induces an attack of claustrophobia and makes any room feel like a prison. In the case of Hsieh, it seems that none of these hypotheses is correct: ‘‘I felt depressing after I finished Outdoor Piece, and I felt the same after the other pieces, because of emptiness as well as having to come back to normal life and dealing with the reality.’’ Wasn’t the experience of being homeless throughout a year ‘‘real’’ enough? Can the daily routine be even harder than a whole, freezing winter spent with no shelter at all? These are some of the many questions left unanswered by this enigmatic artist.
His forth One Year Performance was the only one that involved another person, the performance artist Linda Montano. Throughout a year since July 4 of 1984, they remained tied by the waist to each other with a 2.5 meters long rope. Two witnesses (among them, the avant-garde composer Pauline Oliveros) sealed the knots with lead, and one year later they attested that the knots hasn’t been tampered with. Hsieh and Montano didn’t know each other before the performance, and yet from its start on they had to share every single activity, including the most basic and private ones – or at least to do everything while being few tens of centimeters apart from each other. But this closeness didn’t profide the physical contact: ‘‘We will never touch each other,’’ said the statement signed by both. Siamese twins and physically bound together for the space of one year, but not as friends or lovers. Proximity does not necessarily mean intimacy, neither physical nor psychological. The fifth and last One Year Performance (July 1985-July 1986), because of the nature of the rule on which it was based, is pratically not documented at alll. The statement merely provided that Hsieh couldn’t create or enjoy art for a whole year: ‘‘I shall not do art, not talk art, not see art, not read art, not go to art galleries and art museums./ I shall just go in life.’’Simple to say but difficult to execute (Maurizio Cattelan planned something similar, i.e. his Fondazione Oblomoz, but he coudn’t even dream of putting it in practice on his own) and impossible to document. An entirely personal performance based on the paradox of making art without making it, and even better through a systematic rejection of it and everything that has to do with it.
This is the most eccentric among the One Year Performances, and it is even disappointing at a superficial level. The physical and mental strain that endowed the previous ones with an ‘‘agonistic’’ quality is lacking here: no deprivation of sleep, no adventures as an urban wanderer, no robe binding. The rulle is invisible, as well as the outcome. And this is exactly why his fifth and last performance is important – because it puts the previous ones in the right perspective. Marina Abramovic declared that she considers Hsieh ‘‘a master,’’ but this admiration and the affinities between the two artists don’t have to throw a substantial difference into the shade.
The historic performances by the duo Abramovic/Ulay made the danger and psychophysical endurance, conceived as a privileged means of expression and self-expression, their very core. The fulcrum of the One Year Performances was different: it’s not the rules on which they are based, even if they provided a hard test. The endurance was just a means to reach another aim, i.e. the perception of time in itself, as pure quantity and essential dimension of life: ‘‘It doesn’t matter what I do, I pass time,’’ Hsieh declared with respect to those works.
Clearly, if the content of the performance is not decisive, it doesn’t mean that it is irrelevant. Each of the One Year Performances concerns a specific subject and raises specific matters and questions. The time distinctive of the Time Clock Piece is that of alienation; it is indifferent to the biological rhythms of our body as is the capitalist economy (of which it makes a sinister parody). In the performance with Linda Montano, on the contrary, time is based on the individual needs and on the requirement to negociate them with other people’s; it is not mechanical like that of Time Clock Piece, but rather – even if in a reduced form – it is social. Moreover, the Outdoor Piece is founded on a primordial concept of time, in which this last is mainly absorbed by the struggle for survival, and the breaks from it are devoted to idleness as contemplation; it is a time which is unknown to those who live an ordinary life in the contemporary Western society, but is still relevant for those who live on the fringe of it, like the homeless, or out of it. And these examples are restricted to the sole perspective on time. Many other issues are at stake – the meaning and the importance of intimacy, mobility, interpersonal communication, and so on. Despite this, Hsieh’s words (‘‘It doesn’t matter what I do, I pass time’’) suggest a deeper reading of his work, framed in a more general perspective. We might call this perspective ‘‘transcendental,’’ using the term which Kant applied not to the contents but to the universal forms of human experience, the first and most important of which, for the German philosopher, was exactly time. From this point of view, Hsieh is definitely different from the radical body art. If anything, we could compare him to such artists like Roman Opalka and On Kawara, who were obsessed by a perception of time as absolute and emptied of every content. Kawara particularly is very close to Hsieh, and it’s not chance that they’re both Asian. Perhaps he’s grown up in a culture which is traditionally less materialistic than the Western one, which considers void as a basic element and suggests a different way of plungin in the flood of time and giving in to it. (For once, we’re not going to use the word ‘‘zen.’’) But this is just a conjecture.
Now Tehching Hsieh doesn’t work as an artist any longer, neither in the sublimated and intangible form of the fifth One Year Performance. He gives some lectures, and he even takes part in a few shows, but he always and only exhibits documents of his old work. Among them is also the minimal documentation of his sixth performance, the one after which he retired from his artistic practice, convinced that his journey had come to an end. It is not part of the series of the One Year Performances, since it went on for no less that thirteen years. Hsieh officially started it on December 31 of 1986, and he told that he’d have made public its content only the day after its conclusion, whose date he fixed on December 31 of 1999. A few years after the end of the performance, during an interview he tried to explain how difficult it had been to take a step beyond the previous five works, and to create a new one; every performance, in his view, had been a leg of the logically necessary development of his thinking – from the exhausting routine of the Time Clock Piece until the invisible discipline of the fifth action. And after this one, what else could have been done? On January 1 of 2000, in the presence of some witnesses, Hsieh read a document saying just ‘‘I, Tehching Hsieh, survived.’’ A Russian poet wrote: ‘‘Who has the courage to say, ‘‘See you soon!’’ across an abyss of two or three days?’’ Well, Hsieh’wager with fate was infinitely morereckless: he had the courage to say ‘‘See you soon!’’ across the abyss of thirteen years. To keep alive until of the new century and millennium – here was the rule, both easy and hard to follow, on which the last performance was based. In the light of it, we see Hsieh’s work is as much about the discipline and the power of the will over the body and the senses as it is about the limits of this discipline and will; it is about the power of chance and the ability to accept it; and finally and above all, it is about time and life considered in an abstract, purified way. In comparison with the lapidariness of the sentence like ‘‘I survived,’’ every partial content, every fortunate or unfortunate occurrence, gets put into proportion, becomes smaller, and then disappears. Only the essence is left, rarefied like air at high altitude. An air that is hardly breathable and makes you giddy. »
- HORN Rebecca, The Dancing Cavalier, 1978.
- HUBAUT Joël, Action dans la rue, 1978, Caen.
- JONAS Joan, The Juniper Tree, New York. 1978.
- JONES Kim
— Kim Jones, « Telephone Pole », High Performance, no.2, v.1, June 1978, pp.36-37. Description of a work in which Kim Jones climbed several telephone poles in Los Angeles on February 6, 1978.
- JOSSEL Karen
— « Artist Tattoo », High Performance, no.3, v.1, September 1978, p.19. Description of a work that took place March 16, 1978 at the Trade Winds Tattoo Studio and May 7 at the Sunset Strip Tattoo Studio, Hollywood.
- JOURNIAC Michel, Exorcisme d’un jouet, 1978.
- JOURNIAC Michel, Messe pour un corps, 1978, Galerie Templon, Paris.
- KAPROW Allan
— Allan Kaprow, « Natural Distances », New Wilderness, nos.3/4, v.1, 1978. Activity program, notes & photos.
— Janice Ross, « Excursions into Behavior », Artweek, v.9, January 14, 1978, pp.7-8. Review of Kaprow’s lecture/film presentation at the San Francisco Art Institute where three of his works were shown: Comfort Zones, Seven Kinds of Sympathy, and Common Senses. Includes discussion of Kaprow’s recent works.
— Moira Roth, « Allan Kaprow Interviewed by Moira Roth », Sun & Moon: A Journal of Litterature and Art, no.5, Fall 1978, pp.69-77. An interview, conducted Fall 1977. Excerpt: « AK: Performance is simply the latest word for real-time activity. Whether or not we use one generic term or another, I think we’ve got to a point where so many people are doing Performance, and there’s a sufficient twenty year history now within our immediate ken, that we can actually make distinctions between kinds. My “kind“ was and still is eccentric compared to what other people are doing in Performance. I feel very little kinship with most of what’s going on, though I’m interested in it.
I always had a kind of social science bias. It was “parlor“ anthropology in the beginning, from reading Sir James Frazer and other people like that.
MR: Erving Goffman?
AK: Yes, surely. I was also interested in Birdwhistle, who made very careful analyses of film and video recordings of, for instance, facial expressions accompanying conversations, which were done with analysers. Reading them led into a very different idea of human behavior as it applied to Performance from that of my colleagues.
MR: Like Oldenburg and Dine ?
AK: Yes. Or, Vostell. As much as I admired their work, and still so, it seemed to have no particular application to my concerns. Perhaps the one Performance artist whose interests in behavior overlap mine is Acconci. »
- KAUFFMAN Cathy Convention, Strip to Strip, Pasadena, March 23-26, 1978.
- KIPPER KIDS
— Ruth Askey, « The Kipper Kids – Foods is the medium », Artweek, v.9, January 7, 1978, p.4. Excerpt:
« Hanging over the stage on ropes were pots, jars, tea kettles, a large colander and a balloon. The kids poured the contents, one by one, over each other – tomato soup, rice, onion gravy, pillow flocking, chocolate milk, syrup with dayglo poster paint, and finally they sprinkled each other with glitter – a special California touch. By now they were tarred and feathered in alternating layers of indescribable color and texture. Taking off their clothes (no, they didn’t throw them at the audience), they carefully hung them up on hangers with childish precision – all the while humming in high, little-kid voices. Naked again, with their faces still covered with food, the kids put on one boxing glove each and hit their own bodies as they cried “Ei-Oh, Ei-Oh“. »
- KIPPER KIDS, Performance, Whiskey A-Go-Go, Hollywood, May 17, 1978.
— Jim Moisan, « Very Nice/Kipper Kids », High Performance, no.3, v.1, September 1978, pp.2-6. An interview with the two Kipper Kids, Harry and Harry Kipper. Includes photos of their performance at the Whiskey A-Go-Go, Hollywood, May 17, 1978. Excerpts:
« HK1: …as part of the show we used to drink a bottle of whiskey, or some spirits, a whole quart. The show would start very precisely and world end up very violent, not towards the audience, but with that threat. The boxing would be very hard, and people used to walk out on that.
JM: So you’d hit yourself very hard…
HK1: Yeah, until we’d bleed, definitely have black eyes, etcetera.
JM: You wouldn’t hit each other ?
HK1: No, no, only one person, exactly as you saw it, but for the climax we’d be streaming with blood… and that looks very dramatic.
JM: It is.
HK1: He used to do really well because his nose bleeds… he just has to blow his nose and its bleeds, but I have to really hit mine hard.
JM: That’s why he’s the boxer.
HK2: When we first dit it, in fact, I used to do it every single night. I dit it for a month, and he refused to do it. I’d say, “Come on, do it just once more“. One night we didn’t do it and did another ceremony in its place, but it just didn’t have the same power. I just flatly refused to do the boxing, so he started doing it, and really liked it for awhile. We don’t like doing it now, but at one point we used to fight over who wanted to have the glory…
JM: What kind of places do you like to play?
HK1: Places that don’t have any connotation at all – of being an art gallery, a night club, a theatre or anything – an alternative space, more or less. What I’d like to find is a place where we can have a permanent stage set – like a big studio where we could do a couple of shows a month. That way the set could progressively change and build up. When we did the three-month run in Munich, the show started very simply – with a totally uncomplicated stage set. And after three months it took place a whole day to clear the set. It was like foot deep papier mache, because every night we’d put down fresh unprinted newsprint that we made look like a lunar landscape. We’d piss on it and pour things on it in performance. It would get really soggy. After three months it was like a foot of solid wood. And we had all this rubbish that we’d collected from the rubbish dump and had it all wired with contact microphones. To an onlooker, without being on stage, it just looked like a big pile of shit – but for us, every single thing had a function. So we brought it to life, we played the whole set. The whole set was a huge piece of percussion, attached to a bundle of microphones taped to bottles, cans, to the backs of frying pans, everything. The stuff was hanging, on the floor, on shelves. For example, we used to always use pickles. So every time we’d get through a jar of pickles we’d put the half-empty jars on the shelf. They had different amounts of pickle juice, and if you hit them with a stick they would make different types of sound.
JM: Did you have a piece involving pickles?
HK1: We used to sing ‘Diamonds Are a Girl’s Best Friend’. We’d have a pickle suspended from our necks on a piece of string, and our cocks sticking out; we’d hold the pickle up and sing – (to Harry) let’s sing it – Chair chink, chai chai chink, chai chai… cheeeee chai chee chai Diamonds Are a Girl’s Best Friend…’oom!’ (bites end off pickle). And so we’d finish eating it. And that’s what we did with ‘diamonds’, the Marylin Monroe song. VERY NICE!! »
- KLICK Laurel, Cattin’ Around, Pasadena, March 23-26, 1978.
— « Connecting Myths », High Performance, no.2, v.1, June 1978, pp.40-41. Description of a series of works coordinated by Cheri Gaulke and John Duncan, presented in Pasadena, March 23-26, 1978. Included in the series: Feminist Art Workers (This Ain’t No Heavy Breathing), Sandra McKee (Stories My Mother Told Me), Cheri Gaulke (She Is Risen Indeed), Kathy Convention Kauffman (Strip to Strip), Leslie Labowitz-Starus (Reenactments), John Duncan (Every Woman), Jim Moisan (Gender Violence and Utopia in Science Fiction), Nancy Angelo and Jeremy Shapiro (You Never Wanted to Be a Prick), Jerri Allen, Leslie Belt, Anne Gauldin, Patti Nicklaus, Jamie Wildman, Denis Yarfitz (Hands Off) and Laurel Klick (Cattin’ Around). Excerpt on Laurel Klick:
« CATTIN’ AROUND, LAUREL KLICK, MARCH 26
In this performance I explored the relationship between feline and female. The histories of cats and women are curiously parallel. During times when women have been most brutalized, cats have also been brutalized and seen as evil animals. Conversely, in culture where women were honored, cats have been seen as goddesses. In the performance, costumed as a cat, I gave a slide lecture about the history of cats. »
- LA MAMELLE INC.
— Grin of Vampire, San Francisco: La Mamelle, Inc., 1978. Videotape, approx. 30 mins, b/w. A collaborative performance in a live cablecast situation. Carl Loeffler and G.P. Skratz are featured in this “cowboy vampire legend“ with Nanos and Katrina Valeritios.
— « La Mamelle Inc. », High Performance, no.2, v.1, June 1978, pp.3, 42-43, 48. Article discusses past and present activities of La Mamelle Inc., San Francisco. Includes a list of performances sponsored by La Mamelle from 1976-77. Excerpts:
« “What we’ve been about“. Loeffler recently told High Performance, “is a very rapid high-level apprenticeship. We’re wanted to be involved in as many different parameters and styles as possible. Things are changing now and we are feeling much more confident in our perception. We can typify our future style as one of corporate business. What you will see happening is a very strong emphasis on business and products. Mass marketing, that is going to be our style…
“In the month of August (1978) we’ll be involved in a project called ‘A Literal Exchange’ funded by the Canada Council. The entire staff and guests of La Mamelle will be transported to A Space in Toronto and they will be brought down here and we’ll trade roles. We’ll just play in each other’s houses for a while…“
High Performance wanted to know whether Loeffler sees regional styles in performance art and whether there is a San Francisco style. He remarked: “Five years ago there was very much a San Francisco style in performance art. It was generated mainly by those people involved with Tom Marioni and the Museum of Conceptual Art. We place a great deal of historical importance on the role that MOCA played in the West Coast style of performance art.
“But we’re into fifth and sixth generation performance artists now and things get so intertwined that it becomes very difficult to see a sense of San Francisco style. The question could be broken down into major individual artists, the sense of style they’ve generated and what has happened to that sensibility as it’s filtered down through the generations. One basic style we see functioning here in San Francisco is a kind of ascetism sensibility generated by MOCA.
“Another style we see operating here relates to the media. Some people who have really captured that are the Ant Farm and T.R. Uthco. They have learned how to manipulate the media and their sensibility is very much geared in that direction – though not the total content of their work, of course.
“Lynn Hershman has a very definite style about her, a grand corporate style. She has had gallery and museum experience as well as being assistant project director for Christo’s Running Fence and developing her own Floating Museum and Artists on Loan.That sense of scale and media involvement has been infused in all her works as well as a sense of social involvement and social purpose.“
When asked about the influence of MOCA on his own style, Loeffler said: “When I started this I was very much influenced by MOCA. Tom was one of the first people who initially presented information to me and made ideas available.“ »
- LABOWITZ-STARUS Leslie, Reenactements, Pasadena, March 23-26, 1978.
- LACY Suzanne
— D.E. Steward, « A Collaborative Interview with Suzanne Lacy », Bachy, no.12, 1978, pp.106-112. Extensive interview; includes photographies.
- LACY Suzanne, Three Love Stories, Self-published, 1978. Artist book.
The three love stories include: « A Gothic Love Story », « A True Romance Story, or, She’s Got Quite a set of Lungs », and « Under My Skin: A Pornographic Novel ». First edition, 500 copies, 48 pages.
- LAUB Stephen, Public Relations, Museum of Modern Art, New York, 1978.
— Sally Banes, « Ain’t Superstitious », The Soho Weekly News, October 26, 1978. Review of Laub’s performance, Public Relations, at the New York Museum of Modern Art, October 1978.
- LLOYD Gary, They: An Answer Driving the Problem, 1978.
— ‘‘A Time Sharing Event (ADP),’’ Dumb Ox, no.8, Winter 1979, pp.50-51. Announcement for They: An Answer Driving the Problem, a time sharing event par Gary Lloyd, sponsored by Some Serious Business, October 28 and 29, 1978.
- LOEFFLER Cart & SKRATZ G.P., Farrow-Hamilton Report, San Francisco: La Mamelle, Inc, 1978. Videotape, approx. 30 mins., b/w.
A collaborative performance in a live cablecast situation; featuring Darrell Gray, Phil Loarie, Nancy Frank, Victoria Rathbun, and others.
- LORD Chip & GARNER Phil, Chevrolet Training Film: the Re-make, La Mamelle Arts Center, San Francisco, 1978. Videotape, b/w.
- LOREN Gaile, Death Masks, 1978. Videotape
- LOS ANGELES INSTITUTE OF CONTEMPORARY ART
— « L.A.I.C.A.: Los Angeles Institute of Contemporary Art », High Performance, no.1, v.1, February 1978, pp.2-3, 47, Article discusses past and present activities of LAICA: LAICA performances from 1974-77.
- MACIUNAS George & HUTCHING Billie, Black & White, 25 février 1978, Flux Cabaret, 537 Broadway, NYC. Photos : Babette Mangolte.
- MACIUNAS George & HUTCHING Billie, Flux Wedding, 25 février 1978.
Grommet Art Theater, 537 Broadway, NYC. Larry Miller as bridesmaid, Alison Knowles as best man and Geoffrey Hendricks as Flux Minister. Photo : Babette Mangolte.
- MANSOUR Jean, Balances, 1978. Videotape
- MANSOUR Jean, Through the Madness/Through the Sanity, 1978. Videotape
- MAOR Haim, Blind in Blue, 1978.
The motif of blindness is central to the performance Blind in Blue (1978), which took place in a kibbutz dining room. Maor appears next to a lit television set with his entire body painting blue, playing a guitar and wearing sunglasses like a blind beggar. The image of his body, which is reminiscent of the images of the blind beggars from Picasso’s Blue period, is fused with the teme of blindness, which is related to the artist’s biography.
- MAOR Haim, The Blindness, 1978.
At the center of The Blindness Film (1978) is the story of Maor’s grandfather, who lost his eyelight during the Holocaust. Maor, who as a child led his blind grandfather, performs various activities involving the use of the hands, such as reading Brail, moving a hand through water, and touchin the face of a girl. The act of blind touch involves an act of seeing on the part of the viewer, and is related to a powerful collective theme.
- MARIONI Tom
— Robin White, « Tom Marioni », View, no.5, v.1, October 1978. 16 pp. An extensive interview with Tom Marioni by Robin White at Crown Point Press, Oakland. Also includes: photographs; a brief biographical chronology with mention of performances and exhibition; and a list of published writings. Excerpts:
« [TM]: Right now my main activity is social, and what I’m trying to do is make art that’s as close to real life as I can without its being real life…
I think that Cezanne said that art is an imitation of nature. I’ve lately tried to mitate it as closely as possible. Picasso said that art is a lie that reveals the truth. I believe that.
[RW]: Well, you’ve called your Wednesday meetings “Cafe Society“, and that is a term that connotes a kind of chicness and people who have a lot of time on their hands to socialize.
[TM]: Plato said that leisure is necessary to wisdom… I suppose I could be criticized for calling it “Cafe Society“ because it’s so high-falutin’. But my concept of “Cafe Society“ is drunken parties where ideas are born…
When I started MOCA in early 1970, it was underground, because it dealt with something that no one else was doing… I mean, there weren’t other places that were providing a situation for this kind of art. So, because of where it was, and the style of it, and the esoteric and ephemeral quality of it, it was underground museum. But now, later, when there are lot of other museums and galleries that are providing space for the same kind of art, it started to become aboveground, it became real academic, and I have found myself in the position of being a kind of grandfather in this scene! So, the only way I can stay underground is to do things disguised as non-art. So that’s what I’m trying to do now. Like Lowell Darling’s Dinner while he was running for governor – it was seen by the people in the neighborhood as not having anything to do with art. And the same with “Cafe Society“, which is just meeting in a bar. And the “Chinese Youth Alternative“ and “Restoration’’ shows. I don’t want to do any more things that are… overtly art. So by disguising them I can go back underground. »
- McCARTHY Paul, « Halloween », High Performance, no.4, v.1, December 1978, pp.41-43.
- McCARTHY Paul, Sauce Box, New York. 1978.
- McKEE Sandra, Stories My Mother Told Me, Pasadena, March 23-26, 1978.
- MOISAN Jim, Gender Violence and Utopia in Science Fiction, Pasadena, March 23-26, 1978.
- MONTANO Linda, Mitchell’s Death, 1978.
Originally trained as a sculptor, Linda Montani (1942, USA) began using video in the 1970s. Attempting to obliterate the disctinction between art and life, Montano’s artwork is starkly autobiographical and often generates performances that last for years. In Learning to Talk (1975-1980) she embodies various roles and explores how language structures identity. In 1983, Montano and artist Tehching Hsieh were literally tied together for one year in a living performance. Montano’s work from the 1970s and early 1980s was critical in the development of video by, for, and about women.
Using performance as a means of personal transformation and catharsis, Mitchell’s Death mourns the death of Linda Montano’s ex-husband. Every detail of her story, from the telephone call announcing the tragedy, to visiting the body, is chanted by Montano as her face, pierced by acupuncture needles, slowly comes into focus then goes out again. The chanting is reminiscent of Buddhist text, while the needles signify the pain that is necessary for healing and understanding.
— Linda Montano, « Mitchell’s Death », High Performance, no.4, v.1, December 1978, pp.4-5, 46-47. Documentation of Montano’s experience related to the death of her ex-husband, Mitchell Payne.
— Moira Roth, « Matters of Life and Death: Linda Montano interviewed by Moira Roth », High Performance, no.4, v.1, December 1978, pp.2-3, 6-7. Major interview. Excerpt:
« MR: It seems that Catholic themes enter very strongly into the three live performances (and the video tape) which you did in response to your exhusband’s death – the pieces that have taken up much of your energy for the last nine months.
LM: I felt it was very important to mourn Mitchell in my work, and I wanted everyone to know him. This first piece was done shortly after his death in August of 1977, and it was a very private event where I was more in communication with Mitchell than the audience.
MR: That was where you played a chord organ for thirty-three minutes to mark the years that Mitchell’s has lived. In the next piece at LAICA there was more information about Mitchell with Minetter Lehmann showing slides and talking of his work as a photographer followed by you again playing the organ. Then the third version of Mitchell’s Death was done at the UCSD Center for Music Experiment. Would you describe the piece?
LM: My Catholic background and interest in Eastern religions came together here. The piece was planned around a cross sign (Catholicism) so that things were happenings both horizontally and vertically. I stood in the center of the horizontal line with acupuncture needles in my face and chanted on one note the story of Mitchell’s death which I had written just after I had come back from his funeral in Kansas. The sound was amplified three times so there was a feeling of echo and expanded space (vertical axis). Al Rossi sat on my left playing an Indian sruti box which created a drone and represented my interest in Hinduism. Pauline Oliveros sat on my right and played a Japanese bowl gong (Buddhism). Next to Pauline was a video monitor with images of myself slowly applying acupuncture needles to my face. Everything worked together perfectly. It was mourning, not art. »
— Moira Roth, « Mitchell’s Death », New Performance, no.3, v.1, 1978, pp.35-40. Article and interview discusses a series of performance works by Linda Montano related to the death of her former husband, Mitchell Payne.
- MOTHER ART
— « Mother Art Cleans Up… The Banks… City Hall », High Performance, no.4, v.1, December 1978, p.32.
- NENGUDI Senga, Ceremony for Freeway Fets, 1978.
Born in Chicago, Senga Nengudi (1943, USA) grew up in California, where she studied art and dance. In 1971, she moved to Harlem and became involved with just Above Midtown, the first Afro-American gallery in NYC, exhibiting with Houston Conwill, David Hammons and Lorraine O’Grady. From the mid-1970s onwards, she became known for performance based sculptures made from nylon mesh – tights, a woman’s underwear. At the same time she met Maren Hassinger with whom she started to frequently collaborate. ‘‘Hardly supported by our white contemporaries, including the women’s movement, we set out on our own’’ (Nengudi). In addition to her sculptural performance practice, she has invented a variety of personne such as the photographer Propecia Leigh, painter Harriet Chin, and the writer Lily Bea Moor to explore, ‘what’s in a name’, to subvert stereotypical expectations raised by an ‘ethnic’ artist name and generally to reflect the great significance of naming in black culture.
These photographs are the only documents of an event that Senga Nengudi instigated and conceived in March 1978: Ceremony for Freeway Fets, an improvised collaborative performance held at a Los Angeles freeway underpass to mark the installation of her public art work Freeway Fets. For Ceremony, Nengudi collaborated with members of an Los Angeles-based artist colelctive called Studio Z that she was also a member of at that time – as were the participating artists Maren Hassinger, David Hammons and the late Franklin Parker (1945-2001). Nengudi designed costumes and head dresses, Hammons and Hassinger acted as male and female spirits, the members of Studio Z played improvised music. Freeway Fets comprised of objets made from Nengudi’s signature material, nylon mesh – non of which have survived.
- NEWTON Richard
— Linda Burnham, « Capacity Crowd », High Performance, no.3, v.1, September 1978, p.37. Description of a work that took place June 12, 1978 at Dodger Stadium, Los Angeles. Excerpt:
« Soon it was time. “One, two, three strikes and you’re out…“ and a rain of cards fluttered into the air. The people below us in the reserved seats shouted with delight, looking up, stretching out their hands and calling for more. The throwing went on and on, while people scrambled for the cards below. »
— « Here Come the Holidays », High Performance, no.4, v.1, December 1978, p.40. Photo documentation for a work performed October 25, 1978 at Washington Project for the Arts, Washington D.C.
- NEWTON Richard, A Cure for the Common Cold, Close Radio, Los Angeles, Ca., 1978.
— Richard Newton, « A Cure for the Common Cold », High Performance, no.3, v.1, September 1978, pp.20-21. Description of a work sponsored by Close Radio that took place March 16, 1978 on KPFK 90.7 FM, Los Angeles.
- ODENBACH Marcel, I think I have lost myself, 1978.
- ODENBACH Marcel, Keep Your Chin Up!, 1978 (action-vidéo)
- ODENBACH Marcel, The Great Misunderstanding, 1978 (action)
- OLIVEROS Pauline
— Pauline Oliveros, « Rose Mountain Slow Runner », LAICA Journal, no.20, October/November 1978, p.47. Excerpt:
« My work over the last eight to ten years has been involved with a transitional process, moving from forms of improvisation to forms of meditation… My own way of meditation is personal and secular. It has evolved out of my relationship to sound. I started and continued as a musician, but I am no longer interested in the same ways of making music that I learned. As my work changed, I found myself listening to long sounds. I became more interested in what the sounds did than in what I might do to the sounds. As this work progressed, I noticed what this kind of listening did to me and my internal processes. »
- ONO Yoko, Lecture, 1978, University of California, San Diego, on November 28, 1978.
— Paul Best, ‘‘Yoko Ono Gives a Lecture,’’ High Performance, no.6, v.2, June 1979, p.45. Description of Yoko Ono’s performance at the University of California, San Diego, on November 28, 1978. Excerpt:
‘‘I always felt somewhat cheated because of this lack of ‘real’ experience of the 60’s, which is why I wanted to present a ‘recreation of the 60’s’ in a performance. All the material given, spoken and performed for the audience was taken directly from Yoko’s writings. All performances were done according to her own instructions.
- ORVIS Sheila, Marla, 1978.
— Janice Ross, « Art by Context », Artweek, v.9, March 25, 1978, p.6. Review of performance works by two Los Angeles artists; Out of Necessity performed by Elaine Hartnett at the Los Angeles Institute of Contemporary Art and Marla by Sheila Orvis presented at 2815 Ocean Front Walk, Venice, California.
- Panoramica, San Francisco: La Mamelle, Inc., 1978. Videotape, approx. 45 mins., b/w.
A collaborative performance for a pre-recorded cablecast situation conceived by Raul Marroquin, Editor of Fandangoes Magazine, Amsterdam. Produced while artist-in-residence at La Mamelle, Inc.; the videotape featured A.A. Bronson, Jorge Zontal, Flavio Belli, Felix Partz, Tom Dooly, Scott Jablins, Janis Collins, Titus Muizelaar, Nancy Frank, Bonnie Sherk, and Koos De Vos.
- PICARD Lil, Bed Tease, 1978 & 1980.
Bed Tease was performed ar Never Berliner Kunstverein, Berlin, September 1978 and at Galerie Ursula Schurr, Stuttgart on June 20, 1980.
- RED AND THE MECHANIC
— « Kidnap Attempt », High Performance, no.1, v.1, September 1978, p.34. Description of an attempt to kidnap Lowell Darling (first artist to run for Governor of California) outside the door of La Mamelle, San Francisco, as he arrived for a campaign party.
- RINKE Klaus, Performance, 1978.
- ROLFE Nigel, Red Tower & The Treatment of Individual Parts, 1978, Cardiff.
- ROSENTHAL Rachel, The Death Show, 1978.
— Ruth Askey, « Rachel Rosenthal Exorcises Death », Artweek, v.9, November 18, 1978, p.6. Review of Rosenthal’s performance work, The Death Show, presented October 21, 1978, at Space Gallery, Los Angeles. Excerpt:
« In Death Show Rosenthal explored her feelings about death, her denial of intermediate losses which caused her transfiguration into what she calls the “Fat Vampire“ and finally her exorcism of that vampire. »
— Rachel Rosenthal, ‘‘The Death Show,’’ High Performance, no.5, v.2, March 1979, pp.44-45. Description with photo of performance at Space Gallery, Los Angeles, on October 21, 1978.
- ROSENTHAL Rachel, The Head of Olga K., 1978.
— Rachel Rosenthal, « The Head of Olga K. », High Performance, no.2, v.1, June 1978, pp.14-15. Text and photo documentation of a work presented at the University of California, San Diego, May 1, 1977. Excerpt:
« The material read during this piece was taken verbatim from a 1975-76 correspondence the artist carried on with her half-sister Olga, living in Africa. The sisters no longer correspond…
The performance weaves in and out of the following elements:
* The letter narrative.
* Rachel talking to the audience as herself or as Olga.
* The sound of improvised cello, taped African drums, a 1940s record of a ‘beguine’.
* Segments, announced by each young woman in turn as ‘cantos’ as in Dante’s ‘Inferno’.
* Thirteen different slides of photographs of Olga at different times of her life that spans six decades, showing her gradual change from beautiful child to ugly, obese middle-age.
* Various nonverbal events wherein Rachel, in different costumes depicting Olga in different phases, goes through symbolic actions, such as:
- becoming a bull in a labyrinth
- dunking a doll’s head in the water bucket
- being subjected to an orgy of spray cans spraying all parts of her body
- interacting with the young women and the ‘Africans’
- and others. »
- ROSLER Martha
— Martha Rosler, « Traveling Garage Sale », High Performance, no.2, v.1, June 1978, pp.22-23. Text and photo documentation of a work held in the garage of La Mamelle, San Francisco, the weekend of October 1977.
- SAPIEN Darryl
— Moira Roth, « Moira Roth Interviews Darryl Sapien », High Performance, no.2, v.1, June 1978, pp.4-7. A major interview that includes discussion of Sapien’s works: Tricycle: Contemporary Recreation, performed at the Museum of Conceptual Art as part of the Second Generation show, 1975; Splitting the Axis, performed at the University Art Museum, Berkeley, August 1975; Within the Nucleus, at the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, March 1976; and The Principles of the Arch, at PS1, New York, March 1977. Excerpt:
« …at MOCA… I did Tricycle: Contempary Recreation, a piece where I invented a video camera headmount with a built-in intercom which supported a camera at the eye level of the performer so that the performer could look through the camera but not have to hold it. It was like a big eye, it made it possible for the audience to see simultaneously with the two of us, Mike and I. The performance involved three people: Michael Hinton, and I in a sort of wedge-shaped enclosure on the first floor of MOCA, and a woman, Cyd Gibson, on the floor above. We were all able to communicate through the intercom verbally and she would guide us using a code based on the clock and compass while looking through our eyes, the cameras…
The audience could hear the instructions as they were being broadcast through a public address system and they could see the markings on the grid as the performers were seeing them through the two monitors which were showing what our video cameras helmets were recording. Also they could see us in our enclosure with the unaided eye. It had this whole buit-in sense of irony because the process was so complicated but the result was so childish. The results weren’t even as good as a child’s drawing because the lines wouldn’t meet from one grid square to the next. I was trying to emphasize this irony of a future disembodied humanity trying to recreate those basic processes like life and sexuality with this overly complicated process and being unsuccessful at it…
… we did Within the Nucleus in March of 1976 at the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art which [an]… axis-type performance but instead of destroying an axis in this case we built one. It was in the shape of a double helix, which is based on the structure of DNA molecule…
In the performance, we used this structure and made it into an architecture feature, a real stairway, using taut ropes and two by fours, red and green two by fours. They were sent down to us by assistants who lowered them through a hole in the roof of the museum’s auditorium. Again, we wore these video camera helmets – so the audience could perceive the performance directly. The whole structure was enshrouded by a polyethylene curtain. What happened was that we started on the ground with nothing, it was a clean cynlindral space with just the ropes and the fasteners in place waiting for the two by fours. So we slowly progressed building this stairway which spiraled around and when everything was put together, the 36 feet of steps, it formed a green and red double spiral stairway. It took about an hour to build, and then we went through the hole at the top of the ceiling. We switched off the incandescent lights and turned on ultraviolet lights that we had placed on the top and the bottom, they shone on the fluorescent paint of the stpes. We turned these on and the curtain kind of disappeared – because it didn’t hold the ultraviolet light – and what you saw were the stairs, the steps glowing. After we had lit the ultraviolet lights, we took off our head mounts and came down very quickly so we really demonstrated the double helix shape of our structure. »
- SAPIEN Darryl, Crime in the Streets, 1978. Adler Alley, San Francisco. Ca., with Michael Hinton and others.
This was a street performance depicting a series of violent crimes against innocent and powerless victims. Among the crimes were rape, murder, suicide, and lynching. The city itself was identified as a voracious predator cosuming its weakest citizens to fuel its growth. In the end the victims were restored to life, then climbed the fire escapes, and joined together to form a human bridge over the scène of the crimes. Thus a higher purpose was achieved surmounting the mayhem of street below.
— Robert McDonald, « Urban Drama in an Art Context », Artweek, v.9, September 9, 1978, p.15. Review of Sapien’s work, Crime in the Streets: A Performance About Survival in the City, that took place August 19, 1978, in Adler Alley between Columbus and Grant Avenues, San Francisco. The work was part of the Floating Museum’s Global Space Invasion (Phase II). Excerpt:
« Most significantly, the piece has a defined narrative content, with the violence of urban life as its core. Episode followed relentlessly upon episode: the murder of a John Doe, the lynching of a scapegoat, the rape of a woman, the destruction of the rapist (‘Mechanomorph’, representing mechanized existence) through incineration of his genitals, the rape victim’s abduction by the Minotaur (‘the animal within us’) and the suicide of a mad woman (or ‘bag lady’).
A narrator (Sapien), speaking from an elevated platform, commented as a chorus to both players and audience. He exhorted the players and informed the audience about what was happening. »
— Darryl Sapien, Crime in the Streets, San Francisco, 1978. Videotape, b/w. Documentation of Sapien’s work enacted in Adler Alley, San Francisco.
— Darryl Sapien, ‘‘Crime in the Streets,’’ High Performance, no.6, v.2, June 1979, pp.38-40. Description and photographs of ‘‘a performance about survival in the city.’’ The work took place in Adler Alley, San Francisco, August 19, 1978.
- SCHOBER Helmut, The Devotion Piece, 1978.
- SEEMAYER Stephen
— Stephen Seemayer, « Wound/Facade », High Performance, no.3, v.1, September 1978, p.22. Description of a performance that took place March 29, 1978, in an industrial section of Los Angeles.
- SEGALOVE Ilene, The Mom Tapes, 1978.
— ‘‘The Mom Tapes,’’ Dumb Ox, no.8, Winter 1979, pp.24-25. ‘‘Ilene and Elaine Segalove announce the birth of the Mom Tapes, August 25, 1978.’’
- SIMONELLI Benedetto, La parabola de cieco e della volpe, Pistoia, 10-05-1980.
- SMITH Barbara, Incorporate, July 8, 1978, Lace Gallery, Los Angeles.
- SMITH Barbara & LACY Suzanne, The Vigil, March 14-15, 1978, University of California, Irvine.
— Barbara Smith, « The Vigil/Incorporate », High Performance, no.3, v.1, September 1978, pp.16-17. Description of performances by Barbara Smith and Suzanne Lacy; The Vigil was presented March 14-15, 1978 at University of California, Irvine, and Incorporate was presented July 8, 1978, at LACE Gallery, Los Angeles.
- SOME SERIOUS BUSINESS
— « Some Serious Business », High Performance, no.3, v.1, September 1978, pp.42-43, 51. Article discusses past and present activities of Some Serious Business, Venice, Ca.; includes a chronology of SSB performances from 1976-77.
- THEEVEN Gerhard, Juke Box, 1978.
- UNTEL, Art-Performance-Minute, 1978, Musée du Louvre.
« /En avant première/UNTEL présente aujourd’hui/dans la grande galerie du musée du Louvre/sa collection très colorée/« TOURISTE »/
/JEAN-PAUL/N°1/veste blanche/pantalon ajusté blanc/au motif répétitif/au graphisme étudié/maillot de corps cerise/encolure ras du cou/harmonisé au costume/
/N°2/PHILIPPE/porte un ensemble neige, très confortable/imprimé de couleurs vives et dynamiques/veste décontractée/boutonnée sur le devant/pantalon droit/tee-shirt, coloris abricot/
/Le 3/WILFRID/a revêtu un complet white tout simple/veste aux poches surpiquées/pantalon sport/polo 100% coton/manches courtes/impression polychrome/le tout reste très original et jeune/
/A la ville comme en week-end/ces tenues très légères/à porter en toutes circonstance/restent néanmoins très classique/
/Les badges et accessoires/sont aussi une création UNTEL/ »
- UNTEL, Trois actions (10 mn chacune), 1978. centre-ville. Châlons-sur Saône.
- VISUAL COMMUNICATIONS, Something’s Rotten in Li’l Tokyo, 1978. Videotape
- WHITE John, Westchester Course, 1978.
— Suzanne Muchnic, « John White: Golf Strategies, Art Strategies », Artweek, v.9, March 25, 1978, p.7. Discusses how White incorporates the game of golf into his art. Review of White’s painting show, Weschester Course, at the Jan Baum-Iris Silverman Gallery, March-April 1978.
- WILHITE Bob, Ido Ceremonial Music, 1978.
— Bob Wilhite, « Ido », LAICA Journal, no.20, October/November 1978, p.47. Text, music, photo documentation of Ido Ceremonial Music, a Wilhite concert at the Newport Harbor Art Museum, July 14, 1978.
- WILHITE Bob, Sound from Shapes, Los Angeles, 1978. Record.
Documentation of a musical instrument class given at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art.
- WILKE Hannah, Exchange Values (Marx), 1978-84 (photo).
- WILKE Hannah, His Farced Epistol (Joyce), 1978-84 (photo).
- WILKE Hannah, Opportunity Makes Relations as it Makes Thieves (Goethe), 1978-84 (photo).
- WILKE Hannah, So Help Me Hannah: Snatch-Shots with Ray Guns, 1978.
14 x 11 inches/performalist self-portrait with Donald Goddard.
- WILKE Hannah, What Does Represent? What Do You Represent? (Reinhardt), 1978-84 (photo).
- WISE Nina
— Bernard Weiner, « ‘Glacier’ Has Its Impressive Moments », San Francisco Chronicle, December 5, 1978.
- WISE Nina & FOX Terry, Yellow Duck and Tonka Beans, San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, San Francisco, Ca., 1978.
Performance sponsored by Motion and the Floating Museum for the Global Space Invasion (Phase II)
- YARFITZ Denise, Hands Off, Pasadena, 23-26 March, 1978.
- YENI & NAN, El agua La salina La tierra, action corporelle, 1978-1986.