Jul 21 — Jul 24, 2022
Opera Charlotteronique sheds new light on the work of Charlotte Moorman, Nam June Paik’s avant-garde colleague and the organizer of the Annual Avant-Garde Festival of New York. A performer and organizer, Moorman’s work was a breakthrough and subversion that exposed the prejudices and hypocrisy about music, high culture, and sexuality of the 1960s. On the other hand, for Moorman, art meant love and solidarity as a means of reaching and connecting people. Opera Charlotteronique is based on these two opposing but intensely touching worlds, and takes as keywords what Moorman declared about her life: “extreme passion, extreme sex, extreme beauty.”
This performance is a monodrama featuring Hwang Sukjung, who shows off her strong presence on stage, across movies, performances, and dramas. Playing the cello herself, Hwang experiments on the avant-garde music of the 1960s with the audience, and followed in the footsteps of Moorman’s creativity and personality represented in Opera Sextronique, TV Bra, and TV Cello. This will allow the audience to explore the openness, inclusivity, and connectivity that Moorman wanted to realize, in the pleasurable form that resonates with the present age.
‘Chaotic’ and ‘liminal’ seem the most suitable words to describe Moorman’s work. Opera Charlotteronique focuses on the subject as being constantly changed and transformed, rather than neatly classified or defined, and aims to create a new creative experience that breaks a fixed order. The performance, consisting of four movements, takes place on a stage reminiscent of Moorman’s room and garden. Tablet PCs and smartphones filling this space remind us of Paik and Moorman’s use of TV, the latest technology at the time. As for the two artists, video technology is part of our daily lives, and serves as a bridge between Hwang and Moorman, between the performer and the audience, and between the audience and Moorman. The audience will perform the score together with the performer in their own ways, and, as a co-creator, they will become part of the performance.