Simone Forti’s News Animations
              Ben Eastham
              Simone Forti has been dancing the news for four decades. Prior to the death of her father in the early 1980s, the Fluxus artist was more likely to be found reinventing the possibilities of dance in New York or exploring the limits of consciousness in Woodstock than engaging in the quintessentially bourgeois leisure activity of reading the newspaper. Yet Forti took up the practice in homage to her father, whose careful attention to the newspapers prompted him to flee Mussolini’s Italy in 1938 with his wife and the three-year-old Simone (her uncle, a partisan, later died on the way to Auschwitz). From her reading Forti developed a series of improvisational performances that she calls “News Animations,” in which she brings a pile of newspapers onstage and, having arranged their pages into “maps” on the floor, responds with spoken word and bodily movement to what she can see. A headline might, for example, compel the artist to strike a pose which embodies contradiction or despair; she might see two unrelated stories and riff on what connects them. This book, published to accompany an exhibition at the Centro per l’arte contemporanea Luigi Pecci in Tuscany, gathers together preparatory drawings, transcripts, and photographs …

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