HIGH LINE ART PERFORMANCE: Channa Horwitz, Poem/Opera, The Divided Person
Thursday, May 17, 2012, from 6:30 - 7:30 PM
On the High Line under The Standard, New York, at Little West 12th Street
High Line Art, presented by Friends of the High Line, is pleased to announce that Channa Horwitz will re-stage Poem/Opera, The Divided Person as part of HIGH LINE ART PERFORMANCES, a new series that transforms the park into an open-air theater with performances on and around the High Line. Poem/Opera, The Divided Person will take place on the High Line under The Standard, New York on Thursday, May 17, 2012 between 6:30 and 7:30 PM.
For nearly 50 years, Horwitz has worked primarily with drawings, creating a large body of works on paper called Sonakinatography (1968 – 2004). The works reinterpret the traditional minimalist grid with a sensual twist, featuring meticulous hand drawings of complex geometric patterns with alternating colors and symbols on graph-ruled Mylar. Her drawings combine an apparent rigidity and structural logic with an element of chance suggested by imperfections, mistakes, and corrections that the artist leaves visible on the paper. Although visually close to Op Art, Horwitz’s work is much closer to Conceptual Art and works by colleagues Sol Lewitt or Mel Bochner. “I experience freedom through the limitations and structure I place on my work,” she once said.
Throughout the years, Horwitz has used her drawings to create her own unique language, employing rules and variables based on the numeric chain from 0 to 8 and alternating colorful lines and spaces in an attempt to depict rhythm and motion. Reading like elegant music scores, the drawings function as open scripts for possible music or dance interpretations. Horwitz often invites other artists to interpret her scores in their own performances, underlining once more how the logic of her composition sets one free.
For HIGH LINE ART PERFORMANCES, Horwitz will restage Poem/Opera, The Divided Person, a work that was originally performed in Bologna, Italy in 1978. Based on Sonakinatography Composition III, the performance features eight actors, each holding a 25-foot-long script that contains words describing the oppositional qualities of a person: inner/outer, young/old, happy/sad, dreamer/realist. Following the reckless beat of a metronome, all of the actors read his or her script at the same time, creating an ordered cacophony that highlights the infinite combinations between order and chance and between the written word and movement in time.
“Channa Horwitz brings together the elegance of dance and the rhythm of music,” said Cecilia Alemani, the Donald R. Mullen, Jr. Curator and Director of High Line Art. “I look forward to witnessing the rare opportunity to see her work performed live in New York. It is an honor to be able to work with such an inspiring artist who has often been overlooked by the art world.”
Channa Horwitz’s Poem/Opera, The Divided Person will follow Alison Knowles’ iconic event Make a Salad (April 22) as part of HIGH LINE ART PERFORMANCES, a series of open-air performances on and around the High Line. Upcoming HIGH LINE ART PERFORMANCES include Huddle, a dance by legendary artist Simone Forti (May 24).
About the Artist
Channa Horwitz was born in 1932 and raised in Los Angeles. She received degrees from Cal State Northridge (1963) and Cal Arts (1972). Recent exhibitions include a solo exhibit at Francois Ghebaly Gallery, Los Angeles; Aanant & Zoo, Berlin; and FRIEZE Frame in London. She will be having an upcoming retrospective exhibition at the Kunsthalle Dresden in the fall of 2012. Her performances were featured as part of Pacific Standard Time in Los Angeles (2012).
This High Line Art Performance is presented by Friends of the High Line and the New York City Department of Parks & Recreation. High Line Art is made possible by Donald R. Mullen, Jr., additional support from Vital Projects Fund, Inc. This program is supported, in part, with public funds from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council and from the New York State Council on the Arts, celebrating 50 years of building strong, creative communities in New York State's 62 counties.