Kunstverein is proud to present this artist’s book by Simone Forti in Italian, the language to which many of the stories recounted belong. The book was first published in English under the title The Bear in the Mirror by Vleeshal Middelburg and Koenig Books London (2018). The artist’s book gathers childhood memories, some lived experiences and personal reflections on the family histories and relations, and the ways in which they interweave with geographical locations.
“I’ve gathered so many books (….), all about the family. This is all washing over me like a waterfall. I can’t figure out the genealogy, the chronology flows like currents that wind around each other at different rates. (…). And now I’m recognizing that I’m part of this tribe, this family of writers writing about our tribe.”
These sentences can be found in Simone Forti’s new publication ‘The Bear in the Mirror’, a wonderful collection of stories, prose-poems, drawings, photos, letters, notes and memories, and includes the artist’s notes on Silvia Sorri’s thesis on the Forti family: 'Una famiglia di imprenditori ebrei e le loro fabbriche tessili: i Forti di Prato (1861-1926)'.
The renowned experimental dancer, choreographer, artist and writer Simone Forti (1935, Italy) dives into the (his)stories of her family and of the wool mills they once owned, trying to put all the myths and fragments of information into some kind of perspective. A subtext in the book is Simone Forti's interest in bears. She takes us on a mind-provoking, mesmerizing journey through time and place, from December 1938 till the present moment, from Italy to Los Angeles. Along the journey we find ourselves in different cities and in the woods, where we meet her family, bears, dogs and spiders.
L'orso allo specchio is published by Kunstverein Publishing upon invitation of Roos Gortzak, director of Vleeshal Middelburg who also co-published the Italian book. The production of the Italian edition was generously supported by Galleria Raffaella Cortese and Fondazione ICA Milano.
In collaboration with Vleeshal, translator Andrea di Serego Alighieri and graphic designer Nerijus Rimkus, Kunstverein Milano has had great pleasure in curating this artist’s book: a personal poetic manifest as well as a telling historical document.
Simone Forti emigrated with her family in 1939 to the United States and is based in Los Angeles. Her early ‘Dance Constructions’ were influential in the reinvention of dance and performance in the 1960s and ’70s. Over the years, she has worked with artists and composers such as Robert Morris, La Monte Young, Yoko Ono, Robert Whitman, Charlemagne Palestine and Peter van Riper. Forti's work and performances include exhibitions and performances at Index, Stockholm; Museum of Modern, Salzburg; Stedelijk Museum Amsterdam; The Box LA Gallery, Los Angeles; Hammer Museum, Los Angeles; Museum of Modern Art, New York; Henry Moore Institute, Leeds; Guggenheim Museum, New York; Sao Paulo Biennale; Louvre, Paris.