Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Early Work

The artist and his assistants constructing The Fort, a site-specific
work exhibited at The Sand Pile in Jupiter, Florida around 1960. A
little known contemporary of the Happenings that Oldenberg, Kaprow
and others were creating in New York, Lawrence Swan was perhaps
influenced as much by Schwitter's Merzbau as by Civil Defense fallout
shelters and the set of John Wayne's Cold War fable The Alamo. The
Fort was the site of a series of performances of Rock Fight, a
sardonic parody of nuclear war in which the audience was encouraged to
participate by picking up gravel from the driveway to launch strikes.
At Cape Canaveral, 125 miles north of The Sand Pile, Thor ballistic 
missiles were tested and, beginning in 1961, the first manned 
space flights. The vapor trails of Cape Canaveral rockets could
be seen from The Sand Pile.
A true Living Theater.


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