On June 6, 1963, after living in Paris for several months, Argentine artist Marta Minujín performed her first happening, The Destruction, at the Impasse Ronsin, the now legendary abode of many modern and neo-avant-garde artists. This article examines how The Destruction responded to the mediatization of Nouveau Réalisme’s performances, especially Niki de Saint Phalle’s Tirs, by entering a Duchampian discourse through its destabilization of authorship, originality, and authenticity—concepts central to Modernism and the anchoring of art’s market value. In addition, The Destruction used Brechtian strategies and routinized actions to undercut the ritualism, immediacy, and collaboration fundamental to the emancipatory promise of both French and US happenings as developed by Jean-Jacques Lebel and Allan Kaprow, respectively. In its self-conscious consideration of the intertwinement between performative art forms and spectacle culture, Minujín’s first happening thus opened a path of inquiry that later Argentine avant-garde artists of the sixties would continue to explore.
Marta Minujín’s Destructive Intervention
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