PRINT Summer 2006

Jeff Kelley

IN THE SPRING of 1999, Allan Kaprow, then seventy-one years old, conducted a workshop for about twenty graduate students at Mills College in Oakland, California. By that time, workshops—in which Kaprow and his students undertook roughly a dozen or so activities designed for partners and then talked about their experiences—had become his preferred mode of staging what had once been known as happenings.

Typically, these sessions began with proposals to do something: Keep a smile (or a frown) on your face for a long time; give your partner some money (or a kiss) on demand (and then demand it back); draw a chalk line on a sidewalk while your partner erases it. Plucked at will from Kaprow’s grab bag of forty-plus years of art-as-doing, these proposals, like so many riddles, jokes, or philosophical conundrums, embodied questions (about putting on your face, for example, or making your mark on

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