Performance Series
June 21 – July 1, 1971

June 21–July 1, 1971 112 Greene Street/Workshop
Performance view of Juan Downey's "Fire" from "Performance Series: June 21 - July 1, 1971"

Juan Downey’s “Fire”, performance view, 1971

Performance view of Hildegarde Lutze and Dieter Froese: "High Contrast Destruction Piece," 1971, recto

Hildegarde Lutze and Dieter Froese: “High Contrast Destruction Piece,” performance view, 1971

Hildegarde Lutze and Dieter Froese: “High Contrast Destruction Piece,” performance view, 1971

Fernando Torm, sequences from Don Giovanni, performance views, 1971. Photo: Marcelo Montelegre.

Participating Artists

Carmen Beuchat
Juan Downey
Kitty Duane
Bob Fiore
Lutze and Dieter Froese
Ted Glass
Caroline Goodden
Maria Elena Guinez
Walter Gutman
Alex Hay
John Kalina
David Malon (Dakota Jackson)
Mabou Mines
Robert Morris
Penelope Newcomb
Richard Nonas
Carlos Santos
Keither Sonnier
Bruce Spiegal
Wendy Teitelbaum
Liz Thompson
Fernando Torm
Susan Weil
Jackie Winsor

The exhibition was organized by Caroline Goodden and Gordon Matta-Clark.

Exhibition Description

The idea behind the series was to look at artists’ films versus filmmakers’ films, dancers’ dances versus artists’ dances. Gordon was interested in dance then, both because he had worked briefly with (theater director) Robert Wilson and because he was a sculptor. There has always been a strong interest on the part of sculptors toward dance. As soon as dance got off the stage and onto the floor, it became more interesting to artists. I was dancing and I was also involved with photography at the time. Gordon was beginning to learn about film then—it was the start of all those film and photo-documentary pieces he went on to do. He was also fascinated by the idea of comparison—the idea of what a photographer’s mind puts out and what an artist’s mind puts out when you ask them both to present something photographic; or, what a dancer’s mind produces and what a sculptor’s mind produces when you ask them to put out something to do with dance.” [from a conversation with Caroline Goodden]

JUNE 21, 1971 / WALTER GUTMAN presented a film about circus women.

JUNE 22, 1971 / BOB FIORE may have screened his “Unknown Soldier’ a documentary film about the Vietnam War.

JUNE 23, 1971 / BRUCE SPIEGEL, film; no information available.

JUNE 24, 1971 / KEITH SONNIER, film; no information available.

JUNE 25, 1971 / LUTZE and DIETER FROESE collaborated on a “football” dance in which performers moved through a field of long paper strips mounted on bricks in a diagonal grid close to the floor. At the end of the piece, the strips lay torn and scattered on the floor.

JUNE 25. 1971 / LIZ THOMPSON, dance. “Slow walk around the perimeter was created for the space and audience at 112 Greene Street. The audience was instructed to walk as slowly as possible. There was a free swinging ladder which led to the basement. The audience had the choice of descending the ladder (slowly) to the basement, walking the perimeter of that space and up the stairs to the first floor or walking the perimeter of the first floor space in extreme slow motion.” [artist’s statement]

JUNE 26, 1971 / WALTER GUTMAN and BOB FIORE, films; no information available.

JUNE 27, 1971 / ROBERT MORRIS and KEITH SONNIER, films; no information available.

JUNE 28, 1971 / MABOU MINES, theater; CARMEN BEUCHAT, dance; no information available.

JUNE 29, 1971 / CAROLINE GOODDEN, dance; with KITTY DUANE, ALEX HAY, PENELOPE NEWCOMB, and BRUCE SPIEGAL. The performers were intended to hang from a black pipe which was suspended 13′ from the floor; when they could no longer hang on, they were to drop like rain and lie in a crumpled heap. In performance, the pipe fell down at the beginning of the piece.

JUNE 29, 1971 / PENELOPE NEWCOMB performed a dance involving mimicking imagery and a walk around the block.

JUNE 29, 1971 / RICHARD NONAS performed “Horizon of Dogs“. Twelve dogs were tied up around the circumference of a circle. Each dog had a bowl of water. Richard Nonas stood in the center of the circle and tossed bones to the dogs. The piece lasted forty-five minutes. The artist said “there were a few altercations.”

JUNE 29, 1971 / SUSAN WEIL and friends did “Greening“, a happening in which the participants wore clothes “grown” by Susan Weil, who planted seeds in articles such as a hat, glove, shirt, and pocketbook. The performers mingled with the audience in the space and sprayed water on one another to encourage the sprouts.

JUNE 30, 1971 / JACKIE WINSOR made “Up and/or Downstairs Rope Piece” with PENIE McCAIN and BARRY LE DOUX. A quarter ton of 4″ hemp rope was dragged across the floor of the basement by Penie McCain and fed up through a small hole in the ceiling to Barry LeDoux who made a pile of rope on the main floor. LeDoux then lowered it through the hole onto McCain, who was reclining on the floor, so that she was completely covered by the rope.
“What I wanted the piece to bring out was the kinesthetic relationship between the muscularity of the performers and the muscularity of the rope, and the changing quality of the rope as it was being moved… at first it was heavy and cumbersome, then thin, but resistant… though there were was an element of humor in it—if you watched from below as the rope was being pulled up through the ceiling it seemed to levitate. Of course, it didn’t levitate—in fact it doubled its weight, being pulled that way.” [“Interview with Jackie Winsor,” Avalanche #4, Spring, 1971, pg. 10]

JUNE 30, 1971 / JUAN DOWNEY made “Fire” in the basement space. The artist hung bundles of plastic over a square, water-filled trough and set fire to the bundles which dripped flames into the water.

JUNE 30, 1971 / JOHN KALINA’s “Special Appearance” was presented in the main floor space; no other information available.

JUNE 30, 1971 / TED GLASS did “Wrestling Match” downstairs with STUART MATH and PAT BERTOZZI; no other information available.

JUNE 30, 1971 / FERNANDO TORM presented “Don Giovanni” (fragments from Act I) in the main floor space with MARIA ELENA GUINEZ, DAVID MALON (also known as DAKOTA JACKSON), CARLOS SANTOS (music), WENDY TEITELBAUM, and FERNANDO TORM. The artist’s half-hour performance piece was based on his memories of his childhood. Some of the activities were autobiographical, such as, taping family snapshots to the wall. Other activities were ritualistic and symbolic, such as carefully and slowly crushing a raw, blood-filled egg; the mouth-to-mouth exchange of a razor blade; a young woman dragging a heavy chain from a pan of water down the length of the space; and Guinez, an opera singer, singing “My Heart at Thy Sweet Voice” from Samson et Dalila by C. Saint-Saens. The audience was free to follow the performers as they moved through the space.

Excerpted from Brentano, R., & Savitt, M. (1981). 112 Workshop, 112 Greene Street: History, artists & artworks. New York: New York University Press.

Related Press

Related Material

Schedule for "Films & Performances," 1971

“Films & Performances,” exhibition invitation, 1971

Performance view of Juan Downey's "Fire" from "Performance Series: June 21 - July 1, 1971"
Performance view of Hildegarde Lutze and Dieter Froese: "High Contrast Destruction Piece," 1971, recto

Juan Downey’s “Fire”, performance view, 1971

Hildegarde Lutze and Dieter Froese: “High Contrast Destruction Piece,” performance view, 1971

Hildegarde Lutze and Dieter Froese: “High Contrast Destruction Piece,” performance view, 1971

Fernando Torm, sequences from Don Giovanni, performance views, 1971. Photo: Marcelo Montelegre.