Theatre Dan Graham

Published by Primary Information, New York, 2021, 52 pages (b/w ill.), 15 × 21 cm, English

Price: €15

Theatre is an artist book that documents seven early performances by Dan Graham taking place from 1969 to 1977 with notes, transcripts, or photographs for each work. Originally published in 1978, and produced here in facsimile form, the publication focuses on several key works that interrogate or undermine the psychological and social space created by, or between, individuals inside the performance venue.

Like most of Graham’s work, they also serve as a critique of cultural norms, with many of the performances utilizing quotidian, social acts that are amplified over time. For example, in Lax/Relax (1969), Graham’s subversion of West Coast new ageism, the artist chants “relax” in sync with a recording of a woman saying “lax” in a meditative manner, which implicates the audience into a group breathing exercise or hypnosis over the course of 30 minutes.

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