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date: 26 November 2020

Abstract and Keywords

In this chapter, the author takes the gesture as a basic building element of Happenings, seen as a precursor of live performance of the final decades of the twentieth century, such as body art and postmodern dance. Building on a comparison with nineteenth-century Kopienkritik, Jakovljević argues that recent theories of reenactment are inseparable from the modernist idea of uniqueness. Arguing against the political economy of originality, the author suggests that gesture in Happenings does not “originate” from a privileged source but from a complex intersection of forces, the artist being just one of them. If a Happening repeats, it is often something that has never existed as an aesthetic object, idea, or act.

Keywords: Fluxus, Claes Oldenburg, Robert Filliou, Robert Whitman, negative theology, performance pedagogy, happenings

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