Merce Cunningham

From 13 June 2000 to 10 September 2000

Curated by Germano Celant


A founding figure of contemporary dance, Merce Cunningham (Centralia, Washington, 1919-New York, 2009) is the original creator of an idea of pure dance, liberated from the constraints of representation. His research developed a new language, capable of overcoming the traditional distinctions between dance, music and art.

Presenting fundamental moments of visual culture from the past fifty years, the exhibition traces Cunningham’s artistic development.

The installation includes notes, drawings, filmstrips, music, costumes and set materials that describe a path that, from the ‘Fifties to the present, involves the collaboration with composers such as John Cage, Erik Satie, David Tudor and Morton Feldman, opening up the space for an equal encounter between the language of the body and that of music. A creative dialogue with artists is also fundamental, and artists such as Robert Rauschenberg, Jasper Johns and Andy Warhol created stage sets and costumes for Cunningham’s choreography.

The continuous development of his research leads him, in the ‘Nineties, to utilize the computer and virtual reality to investigate new dance sequences, free from the structural constrictions of the human body, giving birth to innovative choreographic sequences.

Marcella Beccaria

From 13 June 2000 to 10 September 2000