and choreographer Simone Forti (born 1935 in Florence, Italy) has been a leading figure in the development of contemporary performance over more than fifty years. Artist, choreographer, dancer, writer, Forti has dedicated herself to the research of a kinesthetic awareness, always engaging with experimentation and improvisation. Investigating the relationship between object and body, through animal studies, news animations and land portraits, she reconfigured the concept of performance and dance. Forti emigrated from Italy with her family via Switzerland to Los Angeles in 1938, where she subsequently studied for four years with choreographer Anna Halprin and has since spent most of her life. She joined the experimental downtown art scene in New York during the emergence of performance art, process-based work and Minimal Art
and spent a fruitful time in Rome in the late 1960s, where she used the spaces of L'Attico to study and perform. Her work is seen as a precursor of the famous Judson Dance Theater—a group of artists experimenting with dance, including Trisha Brown
, Steve Paxton, and Yvonne Rainer
—and Minimal Art, although she prefers to be referred simply as a "movement artist."
Forti has worked with artists like Dan Graham
, Robert Whitman, Allan Kaprow
and Claes Oldenburg
and composers like Charlemagne Palestine
, Peter Van Riper, and La Monte Young.