HappeningsThe Dadaists cultivated interesting performance techniques which were used in provoking the audiences into challenging their current ideals at the times of performance. Which, consequently usually meant attacking the circumstances of culture which had precipitated the coflict surrounding the Dadaists. Shock and unconventionality were two tricks at the desposal at the hands of the Dadaists and in the hands of the dynamic personalities of the likes of Tzara, Schwitters & co they were bound to make many ripples in the world of art. The power of belief which was inherent inside the movement, meant that although it was always going to have a short life span the reverberations and influences, the questions and the provocations which those at the heart of the movement always refused to answer meant that the legacy of Dada is still prominant in the world around us today.
Happenings were theatrical performances, made popular in the 1960's by people like Alan Kaprow and the composer John Cage. They can be seen as a direct descendent of Dada, a particular inspiration being the Max Ernst exhibition in May 1921 where the Dadaists wandered about the gallery wearing white gloves performing alogical actions. Peret and Charchoune shook hands repeatedly, Aragon 'miaowed', Breton Chewed matches, Soupault and Tzara played hide and seek, a voice in a cupboard yelled out insults, Ribemont-Dessaignes shouted "It's raining on a skull" and Rigaut stood in the doorway and counted the arriving cars and the pearls of the ladies who entered the exhibition. The happenings were similar to this sort of Dada exhibition, they often took place in art galleries or loft spaces and consisted of many bizzare actions being performed simultainiously (sometimes in dirrerent rooms, ajoining each other). Or to put it in language that makes little or no sense to anyone - they were a purposefully composed form of theatre in which diverse alogical elements, including nonmatrixed performing, are organized in a compartmented structure. One famous 'happening' involved the performers spreading jam on cars, great fun.
Borrowed from the Drama department at Exeter Uni
Would encourage all to do their own research and reading into such things, which are clearly superior to most of the drivel we waste our lives on.
Oh, and perhaps even better stuff here
http://www.comm.unt.edu/histofperf/Beck ... istory.htm
Previous Forest attempts (particularly the earlier ones) have been along the right lines but I think we need a stonger commitment from individuals to break from their normal mode of behaviour, probably in a planned fashion. Also consider that in this day and age one may have to push things a little further to truly enter the realms of the surreal.