Three men with a pole on their head

February 1976: a performance art group calling itself Ddart walked around the Norfolk countryside for a week carrying on their heads a ten foot pole supported by hats resembling ice cream cones. They called this performance 'Circular Walk.' The UK Arts Council paid them £395 for this.

The trio never really explained what the intended meaning of this was, except for the following brief statement later provided by Ray Richards, a member of the group:

The pole was worn for many reasons, one of which was to attract attention... we walked around a huge, 150-mile circumference circle as precisely as possible using existing roads, tracks and pathways - thus creating a gigantic but transient piece of sculpture. The pole was worn at all times whilst walking and each evening we did a short performance about the circular walk in a pub en route.

More controversial was why the Arts Council had paid for it. John Walker, author of Art & Outrage, provides some details:

Adrian Henri, the Liverpool poet, painter and author of Environments and Happenings (19 74), was a member of the Arts Council panel which awarded the grant. He thought it was a small price to pay for three men working twenty-four hours a day to provide a week's entertainment. Henri was one of the few who praised the 'real movement sculpture' on the grounds that it was 'pure and beautiful'. David Archer, publican of the Ferry Inn, Reedham, disagreed: he described Ddart's ten minute act as 'an up and down thing without music' which left him and his 15 customers cold.

Image source: Art & Outrage

     Posted By: Alex - Sat Dec 29, 2018
     Category: Art | 1970s

Weird and pretentious - and they got paid for it? Amazing!
Posted by Dave on 12/30/18 at 03:57 AM
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