Published by Walther König, Köln. Edited by Axel Heil. Text by Robert Fleck, Félix Guattari, Alyce Mahon, Jacques Rivette. Interview by Jean de Loisy, Jean-Jacques Lebel.
Without the work of French artist, poet, publisher, activist and translator Jean-Jacques Lebel (born 1936), the emergence of happenings in 1960s Europe would be hard to imagine. From the very outset of the decade, Lebel was instigating happenings—often politically themed— in Venice, Milan, London, Paris and New York, as the leading exponent for this new form of performance and a close associate of the Living Theater. In 1979 he founded the Polyphonix Festival, devoted to sound poetry and performance art. This hefty volume provides the most comprehensive overview of the life and oeuvre of this diversely talented figure. At its core are his happenings of the 1960s, all of which are documented with numerous illustrations and analyzed in detail by Alyce Mahon. Lebel's longstanding friend, the philosopher and psychiatrist Félix Guattari, supplies an essay on the artist's methods, and in an extensive interview Lebel discusses the importance of Deleuze and Guattari's concept of the "rhizome" for his work.