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Carte blanche
Closing night @ Festival Images Contre Nature,
Théâtre des Chartreux, Marseille, France
Saturday, July 17, 2010 – 10pm

Happening !

(Jean-Jacques Lebel / Ben & Fluxus)



“The happenings of Jean-Jacques Lebel are the exact point where the theatre explodes. ” (Jean Paul Sartre.)
Jean-Jacques Lebel, plastics technician, writer and large initiating in 1960 of the happening in Europe, conceived the happening like subversion of the mental structures and preparatory laboratory of the political and revolutionary transformations of his time.

Le Happening et la politique
by Jean-Jacques Lebel
(extract, 10’)

The invention of the happening (what occurs there, here and now), like forms artistic spontaneous and “transitory community of cultural and political agitation”, corresponded to a transformation of the relations between art and the life, placing the body in the center of the action as well as the absence of separation between artists and spectators.
“Temporary Situations, founded on the desire”, between erotic impulse and upheaval of social, unconscious and imaginary space, the happenings of Lebel were often regarded as préfigurations of the events of 68.
In 1967, in Exprmtl 4, experimental film Belgian festival of Knokke-le-Zoutte, which had refused its film, the normal State, like those of Yoko Ono or Pierre Clementi, Jean-Jacques Lebel organizes a against-festival with other scenario writers underground and intervenes with Yoko Ono for the election of Exprmtl Miss, happening and total intervention, which explodes the festival.
Icon of the movement of 68, qu ‘ it thought, among others, like “largest happening of all times”, it was one of the iron-of-lance, with the Movement of March 22, and at the time more particularly, of the catch of the theatre of Odéon. The happening cannot nor does not want to replace a strike, an sex act or a psychoanalysis; it is not spectacle but collective dream. To apprehend such an experiment, it is necessary to achieve an experiment which makes jump the doors of perception, wrote Jean Jacques Lebel, Carolee Schneemann, Jocelyn de Noblet, Daniel Pomereulle and Erro in 1964.

He ! Viva Dada
by Jean-Michel Humeau
(1965, 39min)

“Of the happening to the mime, all the forms of a total art were successively tested. (…) we thought that these documents remained a proof of our generation to finish some with the taboos, the pretences, the excrement of our company. The testimony of an Allen Ginsberg poet appeared necessary to us to clarify interior this step close to that of Artaud or Michaux and which, through this waste, this bursting of the structures morals aims at a total art for a revival of the man. ”
Magnificiently filmed by Jean-Michel Humeau, “He! Viva Dada” is a report of the second Festival of the free expression, “laboratory of the feelings”, organized by Jean-Jacques Lebel in the American Center of the Artists, Raspail boulevard, in May 1965.
Happenings and parts signed Fernando Arrabal, Roland Topor, Alejandro Jodorowsky, Charlotte Moorman, and famous Déchirex, of Jean-Jacques Lebel, “orgy of nudity, the spaghettis, and poetry”! (Distribution Le peuple qui manque)


Since the music can all be allowed because all is music, it is necessary all to change. One should not any more place the instruments at the same places. The same sounds should not any more be made. One should not any more make of sound of the whole. It is necessary to run after the pianist. It is necessary that the musicians hide in the trees. It is necessary to make play the spectators. It is necessary that the musicians play while walking. It is necessary to attach and muzzle the public. One should not anything make. (All) Ben, It takes that the music changes, 1966

Actions d’Intérieur
by Ben Vautier
(1959-1972, 20’)

The Ben plastics technician, celebrates today for his writings and his poetic slogans inspired of the daily newspaper, records with his camera, since 1959, his actions of interior, his spectacles of total Theatre and his concerts in Nice.
It there accomodates, in 1963, the round of Fluxus, groups mythical artists, born in New York in 1961, which essaime in Europe and in Japan. Ben and his friends such Serge III play the surrealist partitions anti-art and the “traditional concerts” of the Fluxus artists, Assembles It Young, Nam Jum Paik, George Brecht or Robert Maciunas, devoting themselves to musics/actions or happenings anti-music (nailing of keys of pianos, destruction of violins, burns of partitions, etc), while making take part the public. The Actions of interior give to see its actions as well as personal creations of Ben such Calmez you if not one stops, Regardez that is enough me, Publik variation 3, Ben will shake somebody whom he does not know in the room
Ben mixes with humour and poetry iconoclast, the gag, the details of the life, from the point of view of Fluxus, which consists, according to him, `’to exhaust all the limiting possibilities/“whole is art” and in the second time to exceed this “whole is art” by an attitude Not-art, Anti-art. ”. Robert Maciunas wrote thus in the Fluxus proclamation: “To purge the world of the middle-class life. To promote the reality of NON ART so that it is seized by everyone… To dissolve the structures of the Cultural revolutions, social and poli cy in a common front having united actions”


Texts and programmation : Kantuta Quiros & Aliocha Imhoff
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