The Ochanomizu Drop,
1964/Cut Piece, Yoko Ono, 1965
This was a Japanese group of performance artists briefly active in the mid 1960’s. They worked both individually and as a group. Affiliated artists were Jiro Takamatsu, Genpei Akasegawa, Natsuyuki Nakanishi, and to a lesser degree, Yoko Ono.
Clothespins Assert Churning Action
5th Mixer Project (performance/happening)
The artists also did several performances that directly challenged the consumerist nature of modern society. For example, they did several “drops” where they would take various consumer goods such as machines and clothing and drop them from a height. They would then gather them up, put them in a random locker somewhere in the city and give someone the key. This emphasized a total disregard for modern consumerist behavior, both in the demonstrated apathy to the items and in the act of giving them away.
The Ochanomizu Drop
A similar performance took place during
Movement to Promote the Cleanup of the Metropolitan Area (Be Clean!)
In a performance with a similar agenda, in 1964 Yoko Ono staged Cut Piece, a performance where she sat still on the stage and invited the (paying) audience to cut away her clothing with scissors. This piece revealed issues such as the objectification of humans (and women) through financial contract and the sometimes crude desires enabled by permission, thus allowing this piece to be easily read as a critique of capitalism.
1955 Laceration of Paper/1956 Second Gutai Installation
Shozo Shimamoto and JiroYoshihara founded Gutai together in 1954, and it was Shimamoto who suggested the name Gutai, which means (again, according to this source) “concrete”. This group had a considerable influence on fluxus, but worked primarily in installations rather than happenings.
A common assertion is that Gutai was primarily fascinated with the destruction of material and its properties thereby revealed. Although this was an element of their work, Gutai was primarily interested in the interactions between different materials in a composition, the interaction between artist and material, and the specific actions of an artist that generated creative content.
Thus, Gutai did several pieces with considerable control over the art and a minor or nonexistent emphasis on destruction. For example, the 1955 work Challenge to the Mud featured a man wrestling with clay in a pit filled with mud and gravel, with images being taken of the event. On hands and knees, the artist sat in the mud and lifted, squeezed and punched it, while the gravel in the mud cut into his body. Other works involved artists swinging over a canvas and painting with their shoes, exploring the properties of paint and the dynamism resulting from the influence of the artist. Another repeatedly exhibited work was by Atsuko Tanaka, where she dressed in a suit of lights and would move about, demonstrating the visual effects of light and electricity when combined with the actions of a human artist. This work was also a commentary about the increasingly electronic life of human in a world full of commercial household goods, pushing the performance from the realm of art into the everyday.
Many of their works, however, did focus on the material’s destruction. Many pieces demonstrate the interactions between the artists and the material, often with a lack of complete control on the part of the human. For example 1955 Laceration of Paper, pictures were taken as an artist smashed through a row of sheets of paper. In 1956 throws of color, the artists fire jars of paint at a canvassed wall. Both these works demonstrate the interest in the material’s properties as it is destroyed- how the paper interacts with the artist, how the glass embeds in the canvas. In the respective cases, the artist then selected the most evocative images or cut the canvas, demonstrating a final act of control and artistic influence.
Antfarm was an architecture and design group that was founded in 1968 by the architects Chip Lord and Doug Michels, who were later joined by Curtis Schreier, Hudson Marquez and Douglas Hurr.
They wanted to challenge the the stiff conventions of the dominating style in modern architecture and particulary the Brutalist movement of the 1960s and 70s. Accordingly, they developed a a lot of giant inflatable structures.
They were also critical of massmedia and the constricted world view it offered. In satirical documentaries like “the Eternal Frame” they questioned the nature of collective memory and construction of truth in the media by reenacting the Kennedy assassination.
Another famous video and performance they did was “Media burn”, where they drove a customized Cadillac through a pyramid of burning televisions. (See below)
One of the large installations they created is called “Cadillac Ranch”, and consists of ten cadillacs buried halfway into the ground, standing with tail up in a row in Amarillo, Texas.
image 1: www.materialsystems.org/ wp-content/myimages/2..
image2: www.stretcher.org/…/ Cadillac-Ranch-horizon.jpg
image: www.actuallynotes.com/ images/russolo_Carra_Ma…
AES+F is a group of four Russian artists–Tatiana Arzamasova, Lev Evzovich, Evgeny Svyatsky, and Vladimir Fridkes. They create mixed media works as well as photography, video, and sculpture pieces.
The essence of the group is best illustrated through its artwork:
AES+F is known for its video “Last Riot” where “all are fighting against all and against themselves, where no difference exists any more between victim and aggressor, male and female. This world celebrates the end of ideology, history, and ethic.” (http://www.aes-group.org/last_riot.asp)
Their first Photoshop experiment can be seen above. It is titled “Islamic Project” and includes a set of pictures where minarets or other images are superimposed on national landmarks. Here, the Statue of Liberty is shown in a burka with a Koran in her hand instead of the Declaration of Independence. The photos were not meant to be anti-Islamic or anti-US. Rather, they were intended to highlight paranoia within the media. Their art has been used by many anti-war protesters and has taken on a life of its own. (http://entertainment.timesonline.co.uk/tol/arts_and_entertainment/visual_arts/article4149546.ece)
The group has also taken on another controversial topic: the death of Princess Diana of Wales. In the video “Who Wants to Live Forever” they depict a woman (acting as Princess Diana) on a car seat covered in blood. Again, the piece is not meant to be insulting: ” ‘We were in London when Princess Diana died and we were impressed by the medieval hysteria, like with a new saint,’ Arzamasova says.” (http://entertainment.timesonline.co.uk/tol/arts_and_entertainment/visual_arts/article4149546.ece)
AES+F sees itself as a microscope, looking closely into things that we experience every day and then portraying them at an extremely exaggerated level.
THE WOOSTER GROUP is a group of artists that create theatrical, dance, and media pieces based in Soho, New York City.
Their theatrical pieces include “radical staging of both modern and classic texts, found materials, films and videos, dance and movement, multi-track scoring, and an architectonic approach to theatre design.” (taken from http://topics.nytimes.com/top/reference/timestopics/organizations/w/wooster_group/index.html?inline=nyt-org)
Due to its multi-medium characteristics, The Wooster Group’s art appeals to individuals from a multitude of artistic backgrounds.
The Wooster Group has, in the past, performed art by Gertrude Stein and Eugene O’Neill, who both spoke to the increase in industrialization and its affects on human interaction and perception. As stated in an article published by the New York Times (referring to Gertrude Stein’s theories): “Life had ceased to flow in a continuous stream; it could be frozen, replicated and taken apart in ways previously unknown. The human eye had been shattered.” (taken from http://www.nytimes.com/2005/02/28/theater/28note.html?pagewanted=2)
You can view performances and photos of The Wooster Group here:
PRESENTATION: 090210/LIST-ART COLLECTIVES & NETWORKS
ANTFARM, FLUXUS (VF/LH)
RT MARK, CRITICAL ART ENSEMBLE [CAE] (AT/SK)
GUTAI, WOOSTER GROUP (MB/SK)
GUERILLA GIRLS, WOMAN HOUSE (BA/CA)
Self-selected (update 0902xx):
AT – ASCII Art Ensemble
LH – Futurists
MB – High Red Center
RS – AES + F
VF – Body Art
More suggestions from PL:
Bootlab (Berlin) & Diana McCarthy
American Indian Movement & Jimmie Durham
Bread & Puppet Theater
Robert Wilson (the plays)
Sourveillance Camera Players
Institute for Applied Autonomy
Reverend Billy & Church of Stop Shopping
The Yes Men
Judy Chicago & the LA Mural Project
The Coalition of Black Revolutionary Artists (COBRA) & AFRICOBRA (African Commune of Bad Relevant Artists)
etoy.com (see also http://www.villagevoice.com/1999-11-30/news/e-toy-story/1 )
Art & Language
Collective Action Group (Russia)
Komar & Melamid
Independent Robotic Community:
Project by Ricardo Iglesias and Gerald Kogler
Art made on, with, or consisting of, the human body. The most common forms of body art are tatoos and body piercings, but other types include scarification, branding, scalpelling, shaping (for example tight-lacing of crosents), full body tattoo and body painting. More extreme body art can involve things such as mutilation or pushing the body to its physical limits.
Marina Abramovic’s: works involved dancing until she collapsed from exhaustion.
Dennis Oppenheim’s: works saw him lying in the sunlight with a book on his chest, until his skin, excluding that covered by the book, was badly sunburned.
Vito Acconci: documented, through photos and text, his daily exercise routine of stepping on and off a chair for as long as possible over several month.