This July, spontaneous art Happenings will take place in over 30 locations around the globe.
In the spirit of the golden age of happenings, these spontaneous works will erupt and be led entirely by you, the participants.
At this time the Happenings themselves are a secret that will be revealed on the day.
It is totally free and you can expect the happening to last about an hour.
These new ‘Joy Sandwich’ Happenings will wrestle once again with recurring themes in Semple’s work - ideas of technological isolation, physical community, connection and the impact of art on societal mental health.
With several communities around the world still failing to reconnect after covid the artist hopes that these Happenings might be a small way to bridge the gap between our connected digital lives and the real world.
Stuart Semple is a multi-disciplinary British artist, who over the last 25 years has presented several performances and Happenings including his HappyCloud work where artificially generated eco clouds in the shape of smileys are released into the sky. First released from outside Tate Modern in London, the work has been presented by Hong Kong Arts Center, Denver Art Museum and The Whitworth. Cities including Dublin, Toronto and Moscow have hosted the work.
Pre-Pandemic Semple’s ‘Hug Huddle’, took place at London’s tower bridge where strangers embraced one another. His ‘Emotional Baggage Drop’, took residence at Denver’s Union Station - where passersby could confide an emotional burden in a stranger, in a structure akin to a catholic confessional. Semple’s ‘Jump’ for Federation Square in Melbourne gave the simple instruction to the public to play on a giant inflatable white platform. Whilst ‘Something Else’ took in the entirety of London’s Dulwich Picture Gallery last summer, with a series of participatory happenings woven through a complex set of installations and performances.
He is perhaps best known for his online performance project around the Blackest Black and Pinkest Pink paints, where he famously banned fellow artist Anish Kapoor from using them, before disseminating multiples of them to hundreds of thousands of artists on the condition that they confirmed they “were not Anish Kapoor, or associated with him”.
Speaking of ‘Joy Sandwich’, Stuart Semple explains: “We are at a time of hyper-communication, where we are in touch globally like never before. At the same time, I feel our digital bonds have atomized us. I’ve always been into happenings, and the way the seemingly spontaneous can transform everyday life and people into art.Art has become so loaded, so complicated. Bizarre in its cannibalism by commerce. I hope, more than anything that these works create memories for those that participate, and maybe an idea that people coming together is art in its own right”.