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Paik and Charlotte Moorman performing Paik’s Variation on a Theme by Saint Saens(1964) as part of Paik’s Action Music, 3rd Annual New York Avant Garde Festival
Date/ 1965
Artist(Credit Line)/ Peter Moore
Classification/ Photography
Dimensions / 59.4×43.2cm

This picture captures a performance of Variations on a Theme by Saint-Saens by Nam June Paik and Charlotte Moorman at the 3rd Annual Avant-Garde Festival of New York in 1965. Wearing a transparent cellophane gown, Moorman begins to play the first few bars of The Swan by Camille Saint-Saëns; abruptly, she puts down her cello and walks across the stage to a large oil drum filled with water. She climbs a stepladder to the rim of the drum where she perches briefly before lowering herself into the water until she gets completely submerged. With the dress and hair dripping wet, she returns to her seat to finish The Swan. In the photograph you can see Paik assisting Moorman in climbing up and down the drum. He once wrote that there were so many works of music that he wanted to listen to in the last day of his life, including John Cage’s Winter Music played by David Tudor, the second movement of Beethoven’s Spring Sonata, or Saint-Saëns’ The Swan played by Moorman.
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Korea Open Government License
Korea Open Government License
Attribution (BY), Non-commercial (NC), No Derivative Works (ND)