<< UbuWeb  
  Aspen no. 6A, item 12 prev next  
  aspen no. 1 no. 2 no. 3 no. 4 no. 5+6  no. 6A no. 7 no. 8 no. 9 no. 10 index  
  Destruction Theater Manifesto  




Our culture and its rituals must evolve to absorb urges which not only interfere with ours and civilizations ongoing evolution but nakedly threaten survival.

Destruction theater is specifically involved in the problems of dehumanization and survival, our purpose is to finally give to art the essential humanizing role so necessary today in a civilization more and more dominated by the machine aesthetic. As we actively realize our most destructive and aggressive urges through displaced-symbolic, destructive, aggressive theater action, we educate ourselves to these awesome forces and their awesome possibilities and personalize an aspect of ourselves long depersonalized.

Destruction theater is intent on pushing the Fine Art beyond its now passive if not irresponsible role in civilization. Art today is a cultural appendage in service of repression and a no-nothing market system.

Destruction art is a response to the crucial issues of mankinds emotional and physical survival. The humanist intent of art is not the political posterer but the possible humanizing resolutions inherent in the art process itself . Today more than ever before these inherent possibilities must serve to integrate our aggressive destructive urges which threaten mankinds survival.

Destruction theater is the symbolic realization or those subtle and extreme destructions which play such a dominant role in our everyday lives from our headaches and ulcers to our murders and suicides, to realize our destructions within the framework of our art is to finally rescue ourselves and civilization from the havoc reaped by our depersonalized war psychologies.

PART I -- Title of Realization: DESTRUCTION ROOM -- All contents in the room are to be destroyed at the audience's leisure. The audience is simply invited to destroy. ** A room full of: overstuffed furniture, chinaware, bric-a-brac and clothing (hats,, suits, dresses and underwear), pictures of loved and hated ones framed or otherwise, ind magazines such as Readers' Digest, Life, Time and Playboy. PART II -- BRAINWASH -- Slide projections: brain, heart, lung. Sounds: breathing, heartbeat, Zen morning prayer. -- A washing machine overflowing with soapsuds (strobe or spot light over washing machine). Sheet and underwear are pressed until they are completely scorched and burned (Strobe or spot light over ironing boards.) -- The audience by joining , , In the burning and scorching of sheets and underwear on other ironing boards with irons. ** Slides are projected onto the first of three layers of paper screen. The slide projections are cut out -of two screen. layers by being, operated on with a ra zor, animal blood being spilled onto the paper screen where the projected image Is cut, as it is cut. The audience participates by splashing cups of blood on the wails and on those people cut ting out the images. FOOD BURNING -- Bananas and apples are sliced into a large frying pan and cooked on an electric heater. The food Is continually stirred while It scorches and burns. The audience participates by slicing up food and putting it in a second pan to burn. (Strobe or spot light over frying pans.) ALL ASPECTS OF THIS DESTRUCTION REALIZATION ENTITLED BRAINWASH OCCUR SIMULTANEOUSLY

My concern is with a multi-dimensional, multi-sensual destruction art experience; one through which we can realize our aggressive destructive urges by aggressive destructive action. -- My event, DESTRUCTION ROOM at Judson Gallery brought the spectator into destruction. The traditional spectator of the happening became participant, destroying at his leisure whatever object in the room he so chose. Within the hour twenty-five to thirty participants had completely demolished the room. Furniture and crockery were bashed against the brick wails. Clothes were torn. Paper bags were exploded. I dimmed the lights and began the washing machine. Soapsuds flooded onto the ruin. The sound of high- ly amplified breathing and heartbeats filled the room. Lil Picard began scorching and burning sheets and underwear on the iron- ing board. I began the color slide projections. A large human heart and a massive brain filled the paper screens, Steve Rose with a pile of fruit by his side began the food burning. Jean Toche turned on the Zen incantation. I handed him a gallon of blood and we proceeded to slash out the heart and brain. Cup after cup of blood drained onto the floor as the images of the heart and brain fell away. The room smelled of blood, scorched sheets and burning food.


The washing machine gurgled foam red with blood spilled into the machine by spectator participants whose flailing arms flung cups of blood onto Toche, me, the heart, the brain and the walls. The participants became more and more a part of the breathing,, the heartbeat and the pounding Incantation. I felt myself inside the huge brain as each layer of screen gave under my knife. It was as if I had penetrated the logical top layer to the more primitive inner brain where our predatory and destructive urges are best at home. The smoke of the burning food and sheets burned my eyes. Exploding paper bags joined with the stomping and crushing of small objects found in the room. Lil had burned through an entire sheet, one bra and two pair of shorts. Steve spread a charred mass of bananas and apples from his frying pan onto a smashed chair. Toche and 1, our backs dripping blood, had slashed our way through two layers of screen. The heartbeat, breathing and incantation stopped. The lights came up. Participants once more became spectators and tiptoed out careful not to step in blood. Destruction Realizations are an attempt to communicate the Atavistic, to realize the mystique of the Voodoo and the Sacrifice:. to make of our aggressive, destructive and predatory urges a sublime transcendental super-reality serving the most fundamental humanist traditions.


Original format: Legal sized shet printed on both sides, folded to make four pages.



Adapted for the web by Andrew Stafford.
All copyrights are the property of their respective owners.