Friday, February 4, 2011

Life Is Art

Allan Kaprow is an interesting character that I learned about this past week. Last week, I briefly discussed the fluxus movement and what it meant to be a fluxus artist. I have not come across many fluxus artists in my studies here at Lawrence, but I can say I enjoy it. It is something different, and outside of “the box”. Some people may wonder how could I possibly enjoy Kaprow’s work and not like Bueys from last week. Honestly, there is something about Kaprow’s work that is intriguing in a way, involving his audience in his pieces. Bueys was just simply disgusting. I understand that his work was relating to his emotional pain from being imprisoned and involved in WWII, which possibly is why I cannot relate to it. One piece I didn’t like of Kaprow’s was the housewives licking the jam off of the car. I personally think it’s entertaining and captivating, but I am a firm believer in things being sanitary as well. Art can be beautiful and magnificent without being gross.
Kaprow is a performance artist in a different way. When you think of performance art, one would think of some sort of action being done by the artist, like in my piece. In my final project, Jingle and I are piecing together a poetry performance piece with a music video. In both of those pieces, we have artists performing for the audience. In Kaprow’s pieces, the audience is the art itself. I find that to be intriguing, but I think it can only be done once. If another artist was to try to duplicate Kaprow, I wouldn’t consider it art.  

Here is an example of some spoken word poetry, and the type of performance art we will deliver through video.


  1. I do agree that Kaprow's work seems a bit more appealing than Beuys (I mean I just don't care about fat and felt that much). I think it's interesting that you say Kaprow's work wouldn't be art if it we're repeated. While I do credit Kaprow with originality, I think the idea of performance art, is owed in many respects to the Dada movement in the early 19th century. To me, Dada and Fluxus, while certainly different, share many similar ideas, just as contemporary artist have only varied slightly from Kaprow to claim originality in their own art. Sometimes being a great artist means copying great ones before without everyone realizing it.

  2. The audience making sounds that complete the poet's piece adds power, brings the text life. Can you incorporate in your piece? Back in the day, being disgusting seemed part of performance art. There were so much raw meat and other food items involved as if provoking the gag reflex, fear, surprise or any other deep emotion was imperative to the success of a piece.