Claes Oldenburg's "Ray Gun Theater — 1962"
A film by Raymond Saroff
DVD, b/w, silent. All regions. Approx. 2 hours. Released 2006
"Early in 1962 Claes Oldenburg offered a remarkable series of ten 'Happenings' in a store on East Second Street in New York City. The audiences were kept small to heighten the intimacy of the experience. What is a 'Happening'? It would seem impossible to describe after [watching it]. Yet Raymond Saroff compressed the rich and sprawling imagery of each evening-length work to the essential matter in hand, reassembling a visual realization of what was seemingly consigned to the memories of its audience. All the characterizations, the unprepared transitions, the very personal rhythms with something of Saroff's own: the 'Happenings' impact on a sensitive eye, its reduction to a single and coherent point of view." — Howard Rose (1962)
Featuring Claes Oldenburg, Pat Oldenburg, Lucas Samaras, Carolee Schneemann, Jackie Ferrara, Billy Kluver, Lette Eisenhauer, Johanna Lawrenson, Jean-Jacques Lebel, Oyvind Fahlstrom, Irene Fornes, John Weber, etc. in ten different performances: "Store Days I & II", "Nekropolis I & II", "Injun I & II", "Voyages I & II", and "World's Fair I & II."