Untitled Essay and Other Works

Allan Kaprow

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This pamphlet presents scenarios for three narratively elaborate Happenings—“Mushroom” (1962), “Paper” (1964), and “Interruption” (1967)—and a key early statement, which originally accompanied the first published Happening in 1958. The essay forcefully propounds Kaprow’s ideas on the practice of art as a radical form of life that perpetually reinvents itself.

Originally published by Something Else Press between 1965 and 1967, the Great Bear Pamphlet series was envisioned by founding editor Dick Higgins as a “poor man’s keys to the new art,” or a means of exposing the most vital work of the time to a mass-market audience, and vice versa. The series made uncompromisingly radical work maximally accessible, with slim, chapbook-like publications of a mostly uniform, pared down design. Taken together, the pamphlets constitute a firsthand survey of the sixties avant-garde (Higgins, Barbara Moore, and Emmett Williams all had a hand in the editorial process) that is both sweeping and utterly unique, transmitting a still-vibrant signal of expanded possibility in art, music, and poetry. Presented here in a facsimile edition, the Great Bears epitomize the utopian vision of Higgins and Something Else.

5 x 8 inches
16 pages
Paperback
B&W
Open edition
December 2007