Alex Da Corte: Chicken

Edited by Alex Da Corte, Karen Kelly, Barbara Schroeder
Text by Erica Battle and Amanda Sroka, David Breslin, Rosalyn Drexler, Kim Nyugen, William Pym, Sid Sachs, et al.
Design by Leftloft
140 pages, 100 images, hardcover, 7 ¾ x 9 ¾ inches
Distributed by D.A.P.
ISBN: 978-17336889-9-4


Documentation and testimony from Da Corte’s 2020 reinvention of a classic 1960s happening

In early March 2020, on the cusp of the COVID-19 shutdown, an audience gathered to witness a reinvention of Allan Kaprow’s happening, Chicken, by Philadelphia-based artist Alex Da Corte (born 1980). Performed at the site of Kaprow’s original—the Gershman Y at the University of the Arts in Philadelphia—Da Corte’s first live performance reimagined Kaprow’s chaotic event, which had been orchestrated in 1962 under the auspices of the first Pop art exhibition on the East Coast. While the focus of activity for the performers of Kaprow’s Chicken involved the hawking of live and boiled chickens and their eggs, Da Corte’s performers frantically peddled exquisite yellow orbs made from a variety of materials that represented the moon.
Including sketches and reproductions of the objects and costumes constructed for Da Corte’s revision, as well as performance images, scripts, essays, and personal accounts reflecting on the event’s impact and significance over the ensuing year, this publication becomes a living document of a moment in time.

Praise and Press

In February 2020, as the pandemic was howling in across the globe, the Philadelphia artist Alex Da Corte took to the stage in the same building to reimagine Kaprow’s Happening for a new generation, dialing down the original’s violence against chickens (in fact, chickens were now absent entirely), dialing up a more vividly colored, club like queer vibe and substituting the ovoid metaphor of the moon for the domesticated layer of eggs. This beautiful new book, made in close collaboration with Da Corte, feels less like a documentation of that night than a surrogate for it, a sparkly moon rock for all those not lucky enough to have joined him for the lunar excursion.

—Randy Kennedy, Ursula Magazine

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