Construction-Deconstruction-Construction, 1967 and 1968

Performance

Construction-Destruction-Construction, 1967

Performers: Al Hansen, Jon Hendricks, Taylor Mead, Ralph Ortiz, Lil Picard, Jean Touche, and Viva

C-D-C took place at Judson Church on October 20, 1967, and at The Factory in November 1967.

Andy Warhol’s 30 minute film of C-D-C was shown in 1968 at Art Intermedia in Cologne, at the Finch College Museum during the exhibition Destruction in Art, and in the 1968 Kassel Documenta in the Pavilion of Guenther Ueker. A longer version of C-D-C was included in Warhol’s 1968 film **** (Four stars).

A hand-painted sign:

Red=War

Green=Peace

White=Purity

Plastic=Flowers

Flame=Destruction and Purification

 

A group recitation:

White stands for purity and peace

And the flame for regeneration

And ashes remain in the end

To tell you of life and decay

In this simple morality play

Plastics are like flowers and gay

Constant in all this Decay

They stand for peace and remain

In this simple morality play.

 

“I worked like a sorceress.” Lil Picard Papers

 

Associated Press photographs of the Vietnam War and news clippings are burned, grilled, and ironed into black ashes. The ashes are put into plastic bags and sealed with green De-Glo paint. The bags are secured under plastic domes for “the future.” Picard describes the rest of the action: “At the climax of the destruction, when Ortiz smashed the dummies and enclosed the audience in the chicken wire, I blew a whistle. The music stopped and changed to an abstract electronic sound…and the peace transformation started…At the end of the event I threw sheets of pink cotton over some people in the audience, and also Ortiz, Hansen, and Touche and sprayed tints all over them. I slashed a bag that was hanging from the ceiling and the colored pieces of the shiny material fell all over the floor. The Happeners perform a peace ritual with bells and flowers while I wash the flag quilt with clear water.” Lil Picard Papers

(Unless otherwise noted all relics are part of the Lil Picard Collection, University of Iowa Museum of Art)