New York

Stuart Sherman

Open Space Theater

Stuart Sherman’s “Spectacles” exemplify a kind of performance art whose roots are not only in visual art and traditional theater, but also in music, popular entertainment, and games both of skill and of make-believe. This genre depends heavily on the performer’s almost continuous use of various readymade and unelaborate, but provocative, props. They are usually manipulated by a single performer. The artistic sources for this “device theater” include the highly structured and introspective drama of Richard Foreman, the formalized “structurist” theater related to Foreman which Michael Kirby has been championing, Fluxus events and Happenings—both historical and recent—and the musical and extra-musical philosophies and practices associated with John Cage.

Ralston Farina was an early formulator of device-theater performances, influenced by Cage to present “time/time” events as early as the late

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