Charlotte Moorman

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As a performer of new music and an organizer of exhibitions, Charlotte Moorman was a central figure of the New York avant garde of the 1960s and '70s. In 1963 Moorman founded the annual New York Avant Garde Festival, which she ran until 1982. In 1964, she met and first collaborated with Nam June Paik. Paik created some of his best-known pieces for her, including TV Bra for Living Sculpture (1969) and TV-Cello (1971), with engineering assistance provided by Ralph Hocking of the Experimental TV Center. While working with Experimental TV Center, Paik made two of his well known sculptures, TV Bed and TV Cello. In February 1972 in a collaborative exhibition with Nam June Paik and Charlotte Moorman at the Everson Museum, TV Bed and TV Cello were exhibited. TV Bed was also exhibited at the 9th Annual Avant Garde Festival in 1972. She performed in many of his classic videotapes, including Global Groove (1973). In 1967 Moorman she was convicted on a charge of indecent exposure during a performance of Paik's Opera Sextronique, which led to publicity which established her public identity as the "Topless Cellist." She clearly was appreciative of Paik's love of the absurd and the playful, she was very serious about her music. Charlotte Moorman was born in 1933 in Arkansas. She studied classical cello at Julliard and was for several years a member of American Symphony Orchestra under Leopold Stokowski. In addition to her work with Paik, during her career Moorman collaborated with or performed works for Joseph Beuys, Jim McWilliams, Otto Piene, John Cage, and Yoko Ono. Charlotte Moorman died in 1991.