Simone Forti. <i>Illuminations Drawings</i>. 1972. Charcoal on paper and ink on newsprint, 19 x 24"

Simone Forti and Charlemagne Palestine: illlummminnnatttionnnsssss!!!!!!!

Guests enter through the film entrance at 11 W 53 Street

Monday, April 14, 2014, 7:00 p.m.

The Werner and Elaine Dannheisser Lobby Gallery, fourth floor

The Performance Program is part of MoMA’s increased focus on the historical as well as the contemporary practice of performance-based art. The ongoing series brings documentation and reenactments of historic performances, thematic group exhibitions, solo presentations, and original performance works to various locations throughout the Museum.

Simone Forti and Charlemagne Palestine met at the California Institute of the Arts in 1970, when they were asked to arrange a concert for the Indian musician Pandin Pran Nath. They started improvisation sessions together in a large music hall that they called The Temple. Forti described their collaboration in her 1974 book Handbook in Motion: “The aspect of Charlemagne’s music that most inspired my imagination was his melodies. Sometimes their texture of repetitions and evolving variations are so close that the term melody doesn’t seem to apply…. What most determined our format was Charlemagne’s way of letting the elements in the music develop only very gradually.”

These sessions led to the first performance of Illuminations in 1971, which consisted of Palestine playing a composition for piano while Forti performed improvised movement. The sound was recorded on three LPs. Performing in a shared space, Forti and Palestine create a dynamic interplay of sound and movement. The work engages with questions concerning balance, geometry, refined pitch, and the nature of collaboration.

The Museum of Modern Art is thrilled to restage this important work, which has not been performed in New York since 1975. Working under the altered title illlummminnnatttionnnsssss!!!!!!!, Forti and Palestine have provided a unique opportunity to witness a collaboration between two legendary figures. The performance is presented while both artists have works on view in MoMA's Ileana Sonnabend: Ambassador of the New exhibition.

Simone Forti is a Los Angeles–based dancer, choreographer, artist, and writer; a pioneer in the history of movement improvisation; and a key figure in postmodern dance and Minimal art. She has created a great number of remarkable works, including Scramble (1960), See Saw (1960), Slant Board (1961), Hangers (1961), Huddle (1961), Platforms (1961), From Instructions (1961), Face Tunes (1968), Bottom (1967), Zoo Mantras (1967), Fallers (1968), and Striding Crawling (1977). Forti’s work has been exhibited at the São Paulo Biennial, São Paulo; Hammer Museum, Los Angeles; Haus der Kunst, Munich; Institute of Contemporary Arts, London; Hebbel am Ufer, Berlin; The Museum of Modern Art, New York; and Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles; among others.

Charlemagne Palestine is a Belgium-based Minimalist composer, performer, and visual artist. He has created a significant body of work, including over 20 solo albums and performances. Palestine’s work has been exhibited at the Venice Biennale; The Museum of Modern Art, New York; Moderna Museet, Stockholm; Kunsthalle, Basel; Long Beach Museum of Art; Museum of Contemporary Art, Houston; Palais des Beaux-Arts, Bruxelles; Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam; Documenta 8, Kassel; Walker Art Center, Minneapolis; The Art Institute of Chicago; Centre d’Art Contemporain, Geneva; and Musée d’Art Contemporain, Montreal; among others. Palestine is a participating artist in the 2014 Whitney Biennial.

In conjunction with the exhibitions Simone Forti and Charlemagne Palestine: illlummminnnatttionnnsssss!!!!!!! and Performance Program