On the occasion of Berlin Art Week, the Neue Nationalgalerie is showing “Huddle”, a performance by the US artist and choreographer Simone Forti dating from 1961, in the upper hall from 14 to 18 September. The 15-minute performance, which is as sculptural as it is conceptual, will take place from 10 am to 6 pm on the hour. “Huddle” is part of the groundbreaking series “Dance Constructions” that Forti began in the early 1960s and which premiered in Yoko Ono’s Manhattan loft. “Huddle” is considered a crucial work in the development of conceptual art and performance and comes to the Neue Nationalgalerie on loan from the collection of the New York Museum of Modern Art.
Image above: Simone Forti. Huddle. 1961. Performance. 10 min. The Museum of Modern Art, New York. Committee on Media and Performance Art Funds. © 2019 The Museum of Modern Art, New York (Performance at Fondazione ICA Milano)
Simone Forti’s performances are based on the need to use one’s own physical discomfort. Her dance constructions are initially concise textual instructions. The unchanging pieces are not meant to develop, but to be placed independently in space and to be experienced like sculptures. In the dance construction “Huddle”, the participants climb to a structure that is formed from their own bodies. In a constant, but not hurried movement, one or, at random, two people detach themselves from a group of about 10 participants standing close together, climb up the bodies of the others and back into the crowd, from where another figure immediately detaches itself and climbs upwards. Like a sphere of bodies, “Huddle” gradually opens up the Mies Hall.
Simone Forti (born 1935 in Florence) is an American modern dance artist and choreographer, as well as an expressionist painter. The child of a Jewish family, Forti fled Italy in 1938 via Switzerland to Los Angeles, where she later studied for four years with choreographer Anna Halprin and has spent most of her life since. During the emergence of performance art, process-based work and minimal art, she joined the experimental downtown art scene in New York and spent a fruitful period in Rome in the late 1960s, using the spaces of L’Attico to learn and perform. Her work is considered a precursor to the Judson Dance Theatre of the early 1960s – a group of artists* experimenting with dance, including Trisha Brown, Robert Morris, Steve Paxton and Yvonne Rainer – and Minimal Art. Forti describes herself as a “movement artist”. Forti’s recent solo exhibitions include Centro Pecci, Prato (2021); Kunsthaus Baselland, Basel (2019); Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) New York (most recently 2018); Kunsthaus Zürich (2017); Centre Pompidou, Paris (2015); Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofía, Madrid (2013).
Curator: Klaus Biesenbach, Assistant Curator: Lisa Botti.
Exhibition dates: Wednesday, 14 September – Sunday, 18 September 2022.
Tue – Wed + Sun 10am – 6pm
Thu 10am – 8pm
Fri + Sat 10 am – 6 pm
Kulturforum, Neue Nationalgalerie
Potsdamer Straße 50, 10785 Berlin-Tiergarten