Mao-Hope March, 1966


technical details: 

Black and white and sound
Duration: 4.5 minutes


Director, Producer and Sound Editor: Öyvind Fahlström

Camerman and Film Editor: Alfons Schilling

Interviewer: Bob Fass


Mao-Hope March was filmed on September 1, 1966 in New York City. It was originally made to be incorporated into his theatrical work, Kisses Sweeter Than Wine, staged during 9 Evenings: Theatre and Engineering, October, 1966, at the 69th Regiment Armory on 26th Street in Manhattan, an event organized by Experiments in Art and Technology (E.A.T.).

By 1973, Fahlström had decided to present Mao-Hope March as an independent work of art. It was included in his 1973 solo exhibition at Sidney Janis Gallery, New York, and in his retrospective exhibition at the Moore College of Art Gallery, Philadelphia, that same year. Mao-Hope March, as well as his 1968 film, U-Barn, were available as rental films from the distributor, Filmcentrum, in Stockholm.

Notes on the collaborators:

Alfons Schilling, the cameraman and film editor, is a Viennese artist who llived and worked for many years in New York City. He was the principal film documentarian of the 9 Evenings performances and created many of the props Fahlström used in Kisses.

Bob Fass, the interviewer, is a well-known radio personality whose regular program on listener-sponsored WBAI in New York City was a favorite of Fahlström, who listened to radio, music or television while he worked.



Wait a second! Let me see. I don't know. That isn't Bob Hope but I don't know who he is. I like Bob Hope, that's for sure.
Are you happy generally?
Oh yes, I love the television.
What makes you happy?
Television, because I'm very lonesome without....
Are you happy?
Very tough question. Up and down.
How about you, sir? Are you happy?
Yes, I just came back from Mexico. Why not? I went all through the States to Mexico,
why shouldn't I be happy? I went on that $99 thing that Greyhound gave out. I took every day the world what it was. So why shouldn't I be happy? And with this Bob Hope thing, I think it's a publicity campaign because he was on TV the other day and probably his book that he did or something about Russia.
And what's the connection with Mao Tse Tung?
The connection? That I wouldn't know now. Let's say he's in town for some sort of publicity, that's all.
Is Mao in town?
Bob Hope.
Oh, I thought you meant that Mao Tse Tung was in town.
No. Well not that I know of.
Was it a strike against something? Are they protesting somebody? They're running Bob Hope for some kind of political office?
There's somebody else's picture there, too.
Yeah, I don't recognize the other fellow. Recognize Bob Hope, though.
Who's the other fellow?
What is that? The Chinese general marshal? Whatever the fella's name is. Is that a Japanese? Is he Korean? What do you call it? President, General, whatever he is....
Who is he?
I see Bob Hope!
Am I happy? Sure, I'm the happiest person in the world.
Why? I've got my good health, I work, have a nice family, so why shouldn't I be happy?
What do you make out of that? Do you know?
I don't say. They're all sick in the head, maybe.
Are you a happy man?
Certainly! Do I look happy, huh?
Because I live the type of life I do.
What type of life is that?
The type that you don't.
Why are you happy?
No troubles, nothing to bother me. Nothing to worry about, right? I work, enjoy life....
You know, it really stops you, you know. It makes you sort of stop and wonder what is he running for? Because if you notice that most of these actors are going into politics now, like Ronald Reagan, for instance.
Whose pictures are they?
Bob Hope and I'm not sure of the other person, but it's, I think it's Mao Tse Tung.
Is there some kind of connection?
I hope not.
The only thing I can think of is that they're inferring that Bob Hope is a communist, but....
I wish I knew! Maybe the cops could help. I don't know. I was just thinking, maybe we ought to call Bob Hope and tell him about it.
If you know his number....
I can get it.
Does it make you unhappy?
Very! It doesn't make you happy, does it? Doesn't make you very happy, does it?
You seem to be unhappy.
Wouldn't you be? Well, tell me. Let me ask....
Are you unhappy?
Yes, very!
Well, I think something political, political going on with a picket line.
Are you generally a happy man?
All the time.
What makes you happy?
The whole world.
Is there anything that makes you unhappy?
Are they all pictures of Bob Hope?
No, no, there's one different. I don't know. One looks like what's-his-name from China.
The premiere, right? Chu? Is it Chu? Was it Chu?
Was it the premiere from China? Is it? Huh?
My boy is Bob Hope. I like Bob Hope. I don't like the other guy.
Are you happy?
Very happy.
Because I love this country and I love the people here and I'm very happy.
Are we on television?
Bob Hope for president! Bing Crosby vice-president!
Is that Mao Tse Tung?
That's right!
Bing Crosby vice-president!
What's it all about?
I wouldn't know.
Can I ask you a question?
Yes, sir.
Are you happy?
Yes, sir.
What makes you happy?
What makes me happy? Seeing Bob Hope up there, for president. That's right! Make Bing Crosby vice-president. That's right! Bing Crosby vice-president! That's right!

Transcription: Sharon Avery-Fahlström


Sharon Avery-Fahlström Collection