Week 1 – Artist – Allan Kaprow

Allan Kaprow

Allan Kaprow is a widely known artist and can be, if he isn’t already considered the leading pioneer in performance art. He challenged people’s meaning of what art is by his Happenings.

With his Happenings, he was able to involve his viewers. Rather than people walking around an art exhibit, he had people actively participate in the creation of the art pieces. Through the Happenings, he was able to blur the lines between what art and real life was.

To me, this idea of art is really interesting. I have only went to an art exhibit once with a friend of mine because we wanted to experience it. I have to admit, I was so detached from the art because I am the type of person who has to actively engage in something rather than just stare in order to maintain interest. During the Happenings, it must have been an interesting experience for the people who attended as it can help you “connect” to the art piece in some way.

I really like the idea of performance art, even though I have not personally experienced or witnessed it. I vaguely remember an episode from a television show that I used to watch that involved performance art. (It most likely was Bones or White Collar, but it could be a different show that involved police officers responding to an crime scene that involved a performance art piece gone wrong).

Other than that, I have not really even heard of performance art until listening to the artist of the week video and it has definitely expanded my perspective on what art can be. Before this, I knew art to be something that is a drawing, a painting, a photo, a dance, music etc., but now I have gained new knowledge on what art can be by learning about performance art.

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Week 1 – Activity – Plaster Casting

To me, this activity was a little bit intimidating because when I was reading through the directions, I saw the word “beach” in the direction and I’m not much of a beach person. Strangely enough, I ended up going to the beach instead of purchasing sand and doing it at home just because I was trying to save a little bit of money. After buying the plaster and a bucket to mix the plaster in at Home Depot, I went to Granada Beach (close to Belmont Shore) to begin my project. For the cast, I decided to use my foot instead of hand because it was easier for me to do everything while standing. I did bring my sister with me so I had help with mixing the plaster and pouring it into the mold.

This activity was interesting and was definitely a new experience for me. I did have a lot of fun doing the activity with my sister because we shared a lot of laughs (mainly due to all the fails I experienced during the activity). I have to admit,┬áthe activity was harder than I expected.. I’m assuming it’s because I’m not an artistic person? haha

Below are the steps I followed to complete the Plaster Casting activity:

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Just arrived at Granada Beach.
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I chose a spot in the sand once I got to the beach. I chose somewhere where the sand was not too wet and not too dry (as mentioned in the directions). I decided on a place where I found sand that I could build a sand castle on.
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After choosing a spot in the sand, I dug a hole where I can put my foot in.
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I then put my foot in the hole and packed sand around it. I left my foot in the sand for a good 5-10 minutes to make sure the sand wouldn’t cave in once I took my foot out of the sand.
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While my foot was in the sand, I took the plaster and poured it into the bucket I bought.
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After I poured the plaster powder into the bucket, I had my sister slowly pour water into the bucket.
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Then I mixed.
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And continued mixing so I can get to the buttermilk consistency that was mentioned in the directions.
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We accidentally put a little too much water because at one point the plaster started to get hard. After adding more water to the plaster mixture, it got really clumpy… (I blame how windy and cold it was that day).
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We attempted to pour the plaster into my foot mold.
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My plaster mold didn’t turn into the foot that I was expecting… According to my sister, it looked like a dinosaur egg because the mold only too the shape of my heel and ankle.