a li.st about Charlotte Moorman, the topless cellist
thanks for the request @angela3950 ! Charlotte Moorman is the coolest. I studied her last spring, but I don't remember everything. please correct me anything I've reported wrongly!
- •Charlotte Moorman was born November 8, 1933 in Little Rock, Arkansas
- •She studied the cello starting at age 10 and went to Centenary College on a music scholarshipI also have a vague memory of reading somewhere that she played with the Little Rock symphony as a teenager so like...she's really good
- •So in the 1960s ya girl gets into PERFORMANCE ART through her friend and roommate Yoko Ono!
- •Moorman becomes really interested in avant-garde performance and the FLUXUS movementwhich is basically subverting everything you believe about music or performance
- •there's also a story I vaguely remember about how she met her husband in a hotel and they were really in love and he basically devoted his life to supporting her and her careerit's been a minute since I studied her, and there's not a whole lot written online about her, wish I had more details!
- •so she does most of her work with a Korean artist named Nam June Paikone of these was the topless piece, but she also played a cello made of ice, one made of televisions, one made of another human... he wrote most of these and she performed
- •Moorman was also hugely influential in founding and organizing the Annual Avant Garde Festival of New Yorkshe gathered dozens of avant garde artists in one place so they could collaborate and make their art more easily accessible
- •she also frequently appeared on TV to promote avant garde artin one of her interviews, the interviewer is giving her a hard time for her avant garde art and subversion of classical music and she's just like "I am a classically trained cellist, don't forget"
- •basically her goal was to make avant garde art more accessible for the average person and to normalize it into mainstream culture
- •in the late '70s our girl Charlotte was diagnosed with breast cancer - such terrible irony for a woman known for being "the topless cellist"
- •she battled cancer for years before passing away in 1991, 10 days before her 58th birthdayshe kept "pain diaries" of her treatments and hey are absolutely haunting - just non sequitur scribbles of "it hurts" in variation
- •her apartment was basically a hoarder's best because she kept EVERYTHINGfrom her performances and the festival
- •she understood that theater and performance are ephemeral and that her work and that of her colleagues needed to be preservedNorthwestern had an exhibit on it in the spring, not sure if it's still up
- •basically she's incredible
- •thanks @angela3950 !!