Opera Sextronique

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Date: 1967

Region: North America

Subject: Nudity

Medium: Music


Artist: Nam June Paik

Confronting Bodies: New York City officials

Date of Action: 1967

Location: Filmmakers' Cinematheque, New York City, USA

Description of Artwork: An opera in four movements, performed by violoncellist Charlotte Moorman. The composer's instructions required Ms. Moorman to play in various states of partial and total nudity.

The Incident: The NY premiere performance was interrupted midway by the arrest of Ms. Moorman by NY police.

Results of Incident: The performance was canceled; a trial found Ms. Moorman guilty; she received a suspended sentence. The stormy press reaction to her subsequent conviction brought about the passing of a new, more liberal law relating to the freedom of artistic presentation. The trial was reenacted 10 years later at Carnegie Hall.

Source: Andrew Gurian; http://www.eai.org/title.htm?id=14359