The extra-terrestrial man ( The Black Giant of Antwerp)


I.C.C., Antwerp

14 May 1976

The extra-terrestrial man (The Black Giant of Antwerp) is a performance by James Lee byars, where a figure, made out of black tule, measuring more than 250 meters was unfolded. Byars was partly inspired by the local legend of Lange Wapper, hence the reference Black Giant of Antwerp. The action took place on the opening night of the Extra Terrestrial exhibition at the I.C.C., in one of the busiest streets of the city. With the help of the attending people The extra-terrestrial man was taken outside and reeled out towards the central station. Afterwards the giant was refolded and put on display at the exhibition.

A remarkable artefact of this action is a letter with instructions for the I.C.C. made by Byars. In order for the I.C.C. to fabricate the enormous tule version, he provided them with a "Letter of instructions" in his typical hand writing, realised on gold foil shaped like a giant. This remarkable object, that goes by the name The Giant is still in the collection of the M HKA.

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