Maker Magazine
Nov 20, 2014 2:13PM
Last week, in a revival of the avant-garde artistry of 1950s Japan, New York based video collective LAST HOUR and Amsterdam-based performance collective, House of Makers, presented happyokay.  
Bathed in purple light, both performers and their audience gathered in the old Third Ward space in East Williamsburg. Guests stood shoulder to shoulder and sat indian-style on a concrete floor, separated from the "happening" by white tape on the ground outlining the performance space.Happyokay or "happyōkai" (meaning "recitals" in Japanese) was directly inspired by The Jikken Kobo (Experimental Workshop), a creative collective based in Japan, which bought together composers, choreographers, film-makers and other artists. The Workshop’s performances were organized like recitals and performances mixed international work with newer Japanese  compositions.  Set almost entirely outside of traditional museum environments, the ensemble distanced itself from the academic and formal art world. In 1951, their inaugural performance, a ballet titled The Joy of Life, combined works by popular international composers. 
In the spirit of The Workshop's first recital-like installation, happyokay, featured live performance by dancers from the NYC Ballet choreographed by Dutch National Ballet choreographer, Peter Leung. Throughout the 3-hour event, three ballet dancers floated through the industrial like space flanked by scenes of the same ensemble suspended in air on screens above head. This immense experience was the shared vision of two collectives, House of Maker and LAST HOUR.House of Makers, comprised of Matthew Sky, Peter Leung & Sterre van Rossem is a collective who's members include a dancer, a choreographer and a writer. The group's mission is to constantly blur the lines between their separate fields. LAST HOUR is a visual collective that produces and features experimental video content and installation work. Both collectives creatively directed the immersive installation, adding to their body of work which has appeared  in major museums, festivals and international publications.   

Text by Danielle Jenene Powell    Images courtesy of Last Hour
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