Anyone can find or make one or more rooms of any shape, size, proportion, and color — then furnish them perhaps, maybe paint some things or everything. Everyone else can come in and, if the room(s) are furnished, they also can arrange them, accommodating themselves as they see fit. Each day things will change.

Kaprow! We are live!

Posted: May 29th, 2009 | Author: | Filed under: Day 1 | 1 Comment »

push and pull outside

The following is an extract from a voice recording I made of Lizzie. She reflects on her experience of being at the launch of Push and Pull, 28 May 2009. – Lucas

I got there about half an hour late… I came down the road with the van, and I noticed there were people spilling out onto the pavement … I thought it was fortuitous that there was a bench right outside Locksmith people can sit on. It extends the space, right out onto the street … you can sit on the bench and look right in …
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Pushing it…(some thoughts before we start)

Posted: May 27th, 2009 | Author: | Filed under: Day 0 | No Comments »

Tonight we’ll be cutting the ribbon, or at least, answering the doorbell, for the first Aussie manifestation of Allan Kaprow’s Push and Pull: A Furniture Comedy for Hans Hofmann.

Before it gets a-rolling, I thought I might just spend a moment thinking about the piece, and how we’re planning to do it…

As you might have guessed if you’ve been nosing around this website, Push and Pull is one of what Kaprow called his “environments” – kind of like early versions of what we’d call installations these days, but with the explicit intention that the work would evolve and change constantly, rather than being set up and left static like an abandoned stage set.
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Push and Pull Redfern: What, When, How?

Posted: May 6th, 2009 | Author: | Filed under: info, publicity | No Comments »

Here’s some basic info about the upcoming enactment of Allan Kaprow’s Push and Pull in Sydney. More details soon. If you’d like to be involved, please email nick[at]

– – –

What is Push and Pull?
“Push and Pull: A Furniture Comedy for Hans Hofmann ” (1963) is a participatory installation in which visitors arrange and re-arrange domestic objects and junk. The work was originally conceived as a parody of Allan Kaprow’s painting teacher, Hans Hoffman, who often used the phrase “push and pull” to describe the dynamics involved in two dimensional composition. Kaprow expanded Hoffman’s concept of compositional strategy, moving it beyond the canvas and into social space.

Participants in “Push and Pull” plan and implement alterations to the gallery space, co-operating or competing with each other in an ever-evolving furniture dance. “Push and Pull” is a microcosm of the tensions involved in all spatial negotiations in urban environments.

We are excited to present this piece, for the first time ever in Australia, thanks to Allan Kaprow’s Estate.

Who are we?
We are a bunch of Allan Kaprow fans and enthusiasts in Sydney. Keg De Souza and Zanny Begg, directors of There Goes the Neighbourhood, decided to place Push and Pull in this context, including getting permission from the the Kaprow estate. They then invited Lucas Ihlein to co-ordinate the show, and having accepted despite the overlap between a the show and the deadline for his PhD, Lucas then called in Nick Keys and Astrid L’Orange to help. The effort and energy surrounding this project, from Zanny and Keg firstly, and then the rest of the people involved, is very exciting.

If you would like to take an active part in making it happen, or have any ideas or suggestions about how we should do it, please contact Nick Keys – nick[at] or Lucas Ihlein – lucas[at]

Push and Pull is presented as part of There Goes the Neighbourhood, an exhibition and publication project based at The Performance Space.

Details of our enactment of Push and Pull:

Locksmith Project Space
6 Botany Road
Sydney, Australia

Project Dates:
May 28-June 13, Thurs-Sat 1-6pm

Information Session: Thurs May 28, 6pm at Locksmith Project Space

Push and Pull will be open the following hours:

Thursday May 28, 1-6pm [at 6pm, there will be an info session on the project]
Friday May 29, 1-6pm
Sat May 30, 1-6pm

Thursday June 4, 1-6pm
Friday June 5, 1-6pm
Sat June 6, 1-6pm

Thursday June 11, 1-6pm. [at 6pm, Locksmith publication launches in the space]
Friday June 12, 1-6pm
Sat June 13, 1-6pm

[other times by appointment – contact Nick to arrange access…]

Inhabiting Allan Kaprow’s Push and Pull

Posted: May 2nd, 2009 | Author: | Filed under: other Push and Pulls | No Comments »

[the following was originally posted on Lucas Ihlein’s Bilateral blog, after his visit to the New York version of Allan Kaprow’s Push and Pull in late 2007.]

kaprow push pull instructions
[Excerpt from instructions page at Kaprow’s Push and Pull. The full text of the instructions is available online here, or for the typewriter/paper feel, read them here.]

Creative Time organised a presentation of Allan Kaprow’s Push and Pull: A Furniture Comedy for Hans Hofmann, during the Performa Festival. It ran for three days at a space called Passerby.

Push and Pull is a dynamic installation in which anyone can come and rearrange furniture which is spread around in a room. Well, we might call it an installation now, but in Kaprow’s day (the piece was first presented in 1963) it was a “Happening” (or an “Environment”). It’s clear that Kaprow, in the four years since 18 Happenings in 6 Parts was presented, had substantially reworked his idea of what a Happening should be. If 18 Happenings in 6 Parts was a sort of experimental theatre involving specially prepared “actors”, then by the time he devised Push and Pull, Kaprow had moved on to creating situations where the “audience” was now the primary activator of the work.
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