Photo And Caption Of The Day
“She played a block of ice like a cello. She was naked, and there were heaters to melt the ice. I was quite bored.”
— Steve Beresford on Charlotte Moorman
I had heretofore never heard of Charlotte Moorman, but I thought the quote (from The Wire magazine) was quite brilliant.
Turns out she died in 1991 and was pretty famous for unattractively playing nude cello:
Charlotte Moorman, the cellist, avant-gardist and performance artist who won notoriety for her arrest by the New York City police in 1967 for playing the cello nude from the waist up, died yesterday in Roosevelt Hospital in Manhattan.
She was called “The Jeanne d’Arc of New Music” by the composer Edgard Varese. Ms. Moorman was arrested on Feb. 9, 1967, by two policemen who interrupted her performance at the Cinematheque in Manhattan of “Opera Sextronique” by Nam June Paik, a composer, video artist and performance artist. She was performing nude, as the score had dictated, before an audience of 200 invited guests. Although Mr. Paik was released from custody and not charged, Ms. Moorman was tried and convicted for partial nudity. Later, the sentence was suspended.
Some of Ms. Moorman’s best-known pieces, many of them deemed to be scandalous at the time they were performed, are “Cello Sonata No. 1 for Adults Only” in 1965; “TV Bra for Living Sculpture,” in 1969, in which she wore a bra made of two small television sets; “Global Groove,” a video performance in 1973, and a 1971 Nam June Paik piece, popularly known as “The TV Cello,” in which Ms. Moorman played a cello made out of three television sets, to which strings had been attached.
When it comes to semi-clothed musicians, I have to say that I’m more of a Wendy O. Williams kind of guy, but I respect the effort.