Critics’ Picks

Simone Forti, Huddle, 1975–78, 200º multiplex hologram, 57 x 20 x 20".

Simone Forti, Huddle, 1975–78, 200º multiplex hologram, 57 x 20 x 20".

Los Angeles

Simone Forti

The Box
805 Traction Avenue
January 27, 2017–March 24, 2018

In 1975 the choreographer Simone Forti began to collaborate with holographer Lloyd Cross—whose innovations democratized access to the technology—and the fruits of their efforts are displayed here, in the form of seven holograms. Although holograms now seem an outdated, even kitschy, medium, these works—several of which were exhibited at Sonnabend Gallery in 1978 and have not been seen since—still have the capacity to elicit unbounded wonder. All feature Forti performing solo, except for Huddle, 1975–78, which is based on one of the choreographer’s prior Dance Constructions from 1960–61. In Huddle, a group of dancers join arms and bodies, coming together to create a dense nucleus; one performer at a time scales the horde, landing on the other side and rejoining the group. This performance’s organic and iterative character is further compounded by the technology that presents it, where one’s viewing position relative to the image allows for a temporal accelerating, decelerating, or reversing of the action.

Although all the holograms here are lit from below with an even incandescent light, another version of one of them, Striding Crawling, 1975–78, is illuminated by candlelight when it’s displayed. One can imagine what a flickering, inconstant light would add to Forti’s movements, which track the transition from crawling to standing and can sometimes stretch and condense at the invisible edges of the holographic film. She was not the first nor the last artist to use holograms (Bruce Nauman’s “Making Faces” from 1968 comes to mind), but she was uniquely qualified to consider its capacity to register movement, creating a dynamic sculptural-photographic hybrid out of a live form.