Thursday, 8 March 2018 //
10 AM - 3 PM
Muir College, near Sun God, beneath Robert Irwin's Two Running Violet V Forms

Jeff Kelley (art critic, author, and curator) will lead participants in a recreation of Allan Kaprow's happening "SWEET WALL."

The original was constructed, and toppled, in Berlin in 1970. Kaprow said of the piece, “It enclosed nothing, separated no one. It was built in a desolated area close to the real Berlin Wall. The real Wall divided a city against itself… As parody, Sweet Wall was about an idea of a wall. The Berlin Wall was an idea, too.”

This recreation comes days before Trump's visit to San Diego to see prototypes for a potential border wall.

Sweet Wall will be constructed of cinder blocks held together with bread and jam as mortar, at Muir College, near Sun God and beneath Robert Irwin's "Two Running Violet V Forms."

Jeff Kelley is the author of "Childsplay: the Art of Allan Kaprow" (2004, UC Press) and editor of "Essays on the Blurring of Art and Life," a collection of significant writings by Allan Kaprow (1993, UC Press). Kelley is a UC San Diego, MFA alumnus, and curator of the exhibition "Happenings in Three Parts," on view through March 15th, at the Visual Arts Gallery, SME Building.

As the inventor of Happenings in the late 1950s, Allan Kaprow has been variously described as an avant-garde revolutionary, a radical sociologist, a Zen(ish) monk, a progressive educator, and an anti-art theorist. But he must also be understood as an artist. While he will forever be associated with the improvisations of the early 1960s, Kaprows works have gradually moved from the public, spectacular features of the early Happenings toward a more genuinely participatory art in which the once privileged content of the artist gives way to the personal experience of the participant.

As Kaprow, a long-time faculty member at UC San Diego, who died in 2006, once put it, the question underlying his experimental art has been, “How does one eliminate the audience without cancelling the performance?” The answer, he discovered, was to convert the audience into participants through enactment.