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Robert Breer

Robert Breer, Pat’s Birthday, 1962, stills from a black-and-white film in 16 mm, 13 minutes.

CLAES OLDENBURG

ROBERT BREER AND I MET IN 1961. I think Billy Klüver introduced us. Bob had been working in Paris, and he had recently come back to America. He lived in Palisades, New York, along the Hudson, with his daughters and his wife, Frannie. We had some very nice parties up there. It was pretty casual, like a little vacation.

At that time, in ’61, I was doing performances, or what were called Happenings; in ’62, I did a series of these in The Store in downtown New York, and right after that I did a film with Bob during the summer. We decided that it should take place in the Palisades area.

I put together a kind of script. It was called Pat’s Birthday [1962] and focused on a party for my wife, Patty Muschinski. All the action took place outdoors. I set up a series of situations with volunteers: Lucas Samaras, John Weber and his daughter Kristin, Nancy Ellison, Joe Hyde, and

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