The Museum der Moderne Salzburg presents the first major international retrospective dedicated to the work of the influential artist, dancer, and choreographer Simone Forti. As part of the show, daily live performances will be held at the museum and in the city of Salzburg.
“I am interested in what we know about things through our bodies,” says Simone Forti, who was born in Florence, Italy, in 1935 but has mostly lived in Los Angeles, USA, since 1938, with extended stays in New York and other places. The exhibition presents the first comprehensive retrospective of the seminal work of this influential artist, choreographer, dancer, and writer. In addition to numerous performances, many of them presented daily in live enactments at the Museum and in the city, Forti’s sculptures, drawings, works with holograms and sound, and videos demonstrate her strikingly broad creative range. She is regarded as a key figure in postmodern dance and pioneer of Minimal art—she personally likes to describe herself as a “movement artist.”
In a sustained engagement with kinesthetic awareness and composition, gleaned from her mentors dancers Anna Halprin and John Cage scholar Robert Dunn, Simone Forti dedicated herself to experimentation and improvisation. Collaboration with other artists, including musicians such as Charlemagne Palestine and Peter Van Riper, has been another mainstay of her artistic practice. In the early 1960s, together with dancers including Steve Paxton and Yvonne Rainer, she revolutionized the idea of dance and performance art by introducing movements from everyday life. In Huddle, one of her most popular works, a group of performers form a sculpture that focuses and expresses their aggregate forces. Among Simone Forti’s best-known works are minimalist objects made of simple materials, the famous Dance Constructions (1960-1961), which she first presented in New York. In the late 1960s—Forti, who lived near the zoo in Rome at the time—began to develop performance pieces out of the movements of animals. In her most recent works, the News Animations, she includes spoken words in her dance, to reflect current events.
The Dance Constructions and other performance pieces by Simone Forti will be enacted in the galleries and in public spaces by students at the SEAD (Salzburg Experimental Academy of Dance). During the first week of the exhibition, the artist will be training the performers of her pieces, in sessions which the public is welcome to observe.
For detailed information on these events, please see our performance calendar: Simone Forti Performance Schedule