Nam June Paik, 'Robot K-456' and Charlotte Moorman (1964). Photo by Peter Moore @ Estate of Peter Moore/VAGA.NYNew York in the 1970s, without cellphones, the internet, globalization, etc., was a very different place and arguably more vibrant (though I'm glad Central Park isn't like it used to be.) Photographer extraordinaire Peter Moore tirelessly went about the City capturing just about everyone and everything, and became particularly known for his thorough photojournalism of the avant-garde scene, which included such influential groups as Fluxus and the Judson Dance Theater. Tuesday will feature one facet of this multi-talented man's enormous body of work—The Avant Garde Festivals of Charlotte Moorman.
Ms. Moorman, born to a middle class family in 1933 in Little Rock, began with the classical cello, but in the early '60s had become bored with "sawing away at the same old thing". She sought out John Cage, who was certainly not doing that, and a career was born. She toured internationally, playing many of the avant-garde composers, including Earle Brown, David Tudor and La Monte Young, but her closest collaborator was the young Nam June Paik, pioneering video artist. However, opportunities were few, so she organized these festivals herself. Always open to any artist that wanted to participate and free to the public, they came to be an "essential part of the exuberant landscape of the hybrid performance art that flowered during the 1960s and '70s." (from "Charlotte Moorman's Life was One of Daring and Dedication", Joan Rothfuss, Strad, Nov 2006, Vol. 117 Issue 1399, p75-76).
I hope you can come on Tuesday to experience, or re-live some of these exciting times.
Btw, last Tuesday was another stellar audience Q&A during Aseel Sawalha's presentation of the anthropological aspects of the 1970s feminist scene in NYC. Quite some few of the original groups were in the audience. Discussion ranged from whether or not feminism had failed, and if so why, and if not, how had it changed. No bras were burned, however.