January 23, 2016 - Vleeshal - Simone Forti: Here It Comes
January 23, 2016


 Simone Forti, Sleepwalkers, 1968/2010. Photo: Jason Underhill.

Simone Forti
Here It Comes
January 30–April 3, 2016

Simone Forti & Charlemagne Palestine, "Illuminations": April 2–3
Vleeshal Markt

Markt 1
4331 LL Middelburg
The Netherlands
Hours: Wednesday–Friday 1–5pm,
Saturday–Sunday 11am–5pm

T +31 118 652 200

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Curated by Roos Gortzak

From January 31 until April 3, Vleeshal presents a comprehensive solo exhibition by artist, choreographer, dancer and writer Simone Forti (1935, Italy) at both of its locations. Although Simone Forti has performed in the Netherlands in the 1980s, this is the first solo show of her seminal oeuvre here. 

Simone Forti came to prominence in the 1960s, in a historical moment of rich dialogue between visual artists, musicians, poets and dancers. Despite being a key figure in the Minimal Art movement, she remains relatively unknown in the visual arts world. As Sabine Weingartner writes in a 2014 frieze review of Forti’s large retrospective in Museum der Moderne, Salzburg: "Her exclusion from Minimalism’s generally male canon was reinforced by dance’s longstanding reputation as an uncritical, 'feminized' art form rooted more in physical gesture than intellectual rigour." Over the last years, Simone Forti’s work has received the attention and recognition that it deserves, culminating in the recent acquisition of the "Dance Constructions" (1960–61) by the Museum of Modern Art in New York. 

Forti’s work has made a major contribution to the intersection of sculpture and performance and helped to create a sensibility for "what we know about things through our bodies." As early as 1960, at Reuben Gallery in New York, she created the object-centred happenings See Saw and Rollers. A year later, she presented Five Dance Constructions and Some Other Things as part of a series organised by composer La Monte Young at Yoko Ono’s studio in New York; radically new dances made up of everyday movements, performed in interaction with sculptures and objects.

From January 30 until March 28, this legendary series of "Dance Constructions" will be performed at Vleeshal Markt by a group of "movers." Choreographer Sarah Swenson, authorised representative of Simone Forti, will teach the "Dance Constructions" to them, except for See Saw which follows a different scheme: artists Mie Frederikke Christensen (Denmark, 1989) and  Margaux Parillaud (France, 1989) have been invited to develop a new version of this work, which Forti once described as a "domestic drama." Nominated for the Gerrit Rietveld Award 2015 with their performance Well Now, it Looks as if You are Armed for Battle, the artist duo is free to direct See Saw in whatever way they feel is fitting. 

From March 28 until April 2, Simone Forti and long-time collaborator Charlemagne Palestine will use Vleeshal Markt as a rehearsal space to work on a new version of their "Illuminations" series, to be performed there on April 2 and 3. Asked in an interview by Astrid Kaminski whether she is continuing to do new work, Forti replied: "You could just as well ask: what about breakfast—will you still have breakfast in the morning?"

Both Simone Forti and Charlemagne Palestine, who have collaborated since 1971, have been to Middelburg before: Forti in 1980, when she performed during the interdisciplinary arts festival Forum, and Palestine on several occasions, including a solo show at Vleeshal in 1979 and various concerts for Stichting Nieuwe Muziek (Foundation for New Music).

At Vleeshal Zusterstraat a selection of Forti’s works from different periods will be exhibited—with drawings, photographs, videos, and documentation of performances. 

An earlier version of Simone Forti’s exhibition Here It Comes (curated by Axel Wieder) was on view at Index – The Swedish Contemporary Art Foundation in Stockholm, from September 4 until November 15, 2015. 

Funded by Mondriaan Fund and City of Middelburg.


For press requests, please send us an email to office [​at​] vleeshal.nl or call us on T +31 (0)118 652200.

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Here It Comes
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