Wednesday, April 23, 2008

the poetry of a three ring circus (or, one more kaprow post)...

"my next public happening was at the rueben gallery, which was called 18 happenings in six parts. i simply had there the basic image or structure of a three-ring circus. i remember cage was also enthralled with this, because he mentioned some of our traditions of overlapping and signal confusing as traditions like three-ring circuses. three-ring circuses are set up in such a way that people who are at one end of the tent can't see what's going on at the other end. they give you a whole show at both ends, and one in the middle as well - all of them discordant except in terms of the relative starts and stops. you can't really put them together in any kind of meaningful way. they aren't organized that way. so, i set up a three-ring circus space, which there were three rooms... where, of course, you could hear what was going on in all rooms, no matter where you were, but you could only blurrily see what was going on in the room adjacent to you. events would pass from one room to another, as well as overlap in some kind of random way. sounds in the three spaces overlapped to.

cage went to this. a week or so later we discussed it. i saw him on the street, and as my teacher, he said something like "maybe you'd be interested to hear what i thought." i said, "yes." he said, "well, i thought it was a little romantic."

allan kaprow, interview, 1995

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