21/12/2015 22' 22''

Founded in 1947 by abstract expressionist painter Julian Beck and actress Judith Malina, The Living Theater was a group of artists, political activists and militant theater-makers devoted to blurring the lines between art, life, representation, poetry and political compromise. In New York city, the collective became a sort of hub for various scenes, attracting a host of intellectuals, artists and key figures of the New York context, from John Cage and Merce Cunningham to Andy Warhol, Jonas and Adolfas Mekas, or Allen Ginsberg to name but a few. For several decades, Beck, Malina and their associates constantly pushed the limits of their own formal language in an attempt to break the fourth wall and promote ideas of anarcho-pacifism and liberalism around the world.

Son[i]a talks to art gallerist, critic and curator Gigiotto Del Vecchio about some of the key aspects of Beck and Malina’s practise over the years. In 2014, Del Vecchio co-curated a retrospective show at Supportico Lopez in Berlin, which told the story of The Living Theater from a different angle, namely Beck’s past as a painter and his radical shift of medium.

Timeline
01:56 The origins of The Living Theater
04:10 Moving realities: actions and reactions
06:15 Preaching to the choir. Audiences and political art
07:08 Playing with reality
12:26 Scream for justice
13:42 The legacy of The Living Theater
15:43 The centre and the margins
17:25 A space of intersection

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SON[I]AGigiotto Del VecchioThe Living Theaterperformance