Happening

Location: National Gallery of Victoria   (May 17, 1997)

Event:  'I Had a Dream: Australian Art in the 1960s' exhibition - National Gallery of Victoria

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This event was held during the 'I Had a Dream: Australian Art in the 1960s' exhibition held at the National Gallery. The intention was to create a contemporary response to the idea of the 1960s Happening. It was held over three stages corresponding to different locations in the gallery: the front of the building, the courtyard and the Great Hall.   The project featured sound, performance and visual components and while it adhered to a structure there was always room for spontaneity and improvisation.

The sound component involved musical instruments, lawn mowers, squeaky wheelbarrows,  participants reading, breaking twigs, tapping objects, ringing bells and opening and closing wardrobes that were carried about the gallery.

Part of the performance component concentrated on the flow of participants moving from one area of the gallery to the next, sometimes in response to the movement of gallery visitors. This also involved people simultaneously reading different texts into microphones in the Great Hall. Some participants sat or stood in stationary positions holding placards. Two stood inside the moat. One sat on a chair on the plinth next to Rodin's Balzac (see images below).

 

 

 

 The courtyard plan for the Happening at the NGV. On three sides musicians are facing the walls and windows playing improvised sound at 2-minute, 1-minute and 30-second intervals while participants transport suitcases from corner to the next.

The courtyard plan for the Happening at the NGV. On three sides musicians are facing the walls and windows playing improvised sound at 2-minute, 1-minute and 30-second intervals while participants transport suitcases from corner to the next.

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