Once upon a time … we live happily ever after

1979 Amsterdam, Netherlands
Coauthors: Jeffrey Shaw, Robert Hahn, John Munsey, Carlyle Reedy

    In 1977 Marga Adama, John Munsey and Jeffrey Shaw established Javaphile Productions. Other artists then joined the core members in the group’s various works. Its main activity was the creation of ritual performances that had a strong affinity with the ‘poetic cinema’ strategies of Sergei Parajanov, while at the same time clearly developing out of the performative strategies of ’60s ‘happenings’ and experimental theatre.

    These performances were richly staged and costumed tableaux, whose material actions unfolded as a series of symbolic acts that hybridized the sublime and the prosaic, the fundamental and the momentary, in a stylized and visually demonstrative manner that allowed their underlying esoteric narratives to be newly expressed in the contemporary language of art practice.

    Each Javaphile performance was a collective, interdisciplinary creation, driven by the specific artistic practices (painting, poetry, theatre, music, mime, media art, etc.) of those persons who were participants in the production.

    The underlying narrative of Once Upon a Time . . . We Live Happily Ever After was a ritual performance about the signification of the colours red, white and black as these have been interpreted in various alchemical and psychoanalytic texts.

    Exhibition Record


    One World Poetry Festival, Melkweg, Amsterdam, Netherlands

    1979/09/07 - 09/07

    Gallery Bedaux, Amsterdam, Netherlands