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Simone Forti at MOCA


Simone Forti, a new eponymous exhibition that highlights the artist’s innovative six-decade career, is Forti’s first West Coast institutional retrospective — long overdue since the 88-year-old, who was born in Italy, has spent much of her life as an Angeleno. As an artist, dancer, and teacher, Forti made a career out of pushing the boundaries of movement. Classically trained as a dancer, her oft-quoted resistance to having to suck her stomach signifies the type of renegade artist that she is, always pushing against conventions. 

Among drawings and experimental holograms are her News Animations, performances in which Forti interprets a news story with bodily and verbal exploration. The highlight of the show is the restaging of three of Forti’s Dance Constructions Slant Board, Hangers, and Huddle — which will be performed by a troupe of dancers on Thursdays, Saturdays, and Sundays throughout the run of the show. 

Particularly moving is Huddle, a performance in which a group of dancers huddles together, legs braced, heads turned inward, with each performer breaking out to acrobatically climb over the group before rejoining the circle. The performance is physical, repetitive, and mesmerizing while highlighting trust, cooperation, surrender, and play — cornerstones of Forti’s practice.

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Dance Constructions Performance Schedule:

Thursdays, 3:30pm, 4:45pm, 6pm, and 7:15pm

Saturdays and Sundays, 12:30pm, 1:45pm, 3pm, and 4:15pm

On view: January 15 – April 2, 2023

Photo: Simone Forti, Planet (performance view) (1976). Image courtesy of The Box, Los Angeles. Photo by Peter Moore.