An Evening of News Animations
Developed in the mid-1980s, Simone Forti’s News Animations encompasses the translation of the imagery and language of newspaper reports and newscasts into improvised movement compositions. Forti’s News Animations addresses what is going on in the world and how it can animate art, civic space, and lived experience. In News Animations the news becomes the choreographer, determining Forti’s movements and speech. In the artist’s words: “This seemingly infinite series of performances started as an attempt to fully comprehend the news through improvisations. Moving and speaking became a method of inquiry and social commentary, implementing all words that come to mind. These words arise from questions, feelings and speculations about the world brought to us by the news.” Also incorporated in Forti’s drawings, the artist has found a way to practice improvisation in two-dimensions as well. Thought becomes movement becomes line becomes word.
Simone Forti (born 1935 in Italy) is a dancer, choreographer and writer. After her studies and apprenticeship with Anna Halprin, she studied composition at Merce Cunningham Studios, where she encountered choreographers such as Trisha Brown, Yvonne Rainer, and Steve Paxton. Forti went on to be a pivotal figure in the Judson Dance Theater community. Over the years her work has evolved from her early Dance Constructions, through her animal movement studies and News Animations, an improvisational dance narrative form wherein movement and language spontaneously weave together. Throughout the years, writing has been part of Forti’s process. Among her writings are: Handbook in Motion (1974) published by The Press of the Nova Scotia College of Art and Design; Oh, Tongue (2003) and Unbuttoned Sleeves (2006) both published by Beyond Baroque Books. Forti has performed and taught throughout the US, Canada, Europe, and in Japan, Korea, Australia and Venezuela. Her work has been shown in venues ranging from Danspace Project in New York, Seibu Theater in Tokyo, Galleria L’Attico in Rome, and REDCAT and the Hammer Museum in Los Angeles. She has received various grants and awards including a 2005 Guggenheim Fellowship in dance and a 2011 Yoko Ono Lennon Award for Courage in the Arts. She has works in the permanent collections of the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) in New York, the Stedelijk Museum in Amsterdam, the Generali Foundation in Vienna, the Whitney Museum of American Art in New York, and the Moderna Museet in Stockholm.
A series of performances, screenings, and conversations
In conjunction with the exhibition, DHC/ART and guest curator Barbara Clausen will present Affinities: a series of performances, screenings, and conversations, a program of events in two parts, from May 24 to 27 and from June 20 to August 26. This series will present a performance lecture by Joan Jonas with Jason Moran, performances by taisha paggett, Tanya Lukin Linklater and Simone Forti, two evenings of film and video screenings, and one afternoon of conversation. While distinct in their own practice and aesthetics, the participating artists from the fields of dance, visual arts and music, share an affinity with Jonas’s engagement and ‘insistence’ on reading the world(s) against and with the flow of the times. These interdisciplinary art practices, from the fields of art, dance, poetry, and music, in a similar vanguard spirit to that of Jonas, explore modes of movement, sound and non-linear storytelling. This is reflective of a constantly evolving collective imaginary that reflects and shapes the various socio-political contexts we live in.
News Animation: Bennington College, 2003
Still from Video, colour, sound, 11:33
Courtesy of the artist