Purchase, with funds from the Film and Video Committee
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© artist or artist’s estate
Striding Crawling is one of a number of holographic works that Simone Forti made in 1976 and 1977. An influential figure of the new dance movement of the 1960s and 70s, she appears standing, striding, and crawling in a shimmering ghostly sequence activated by the viewer's movement around a Plexiglas cylinder balanced on three bricks and lit from below by a candle.
Striding Crawling utilizes advanced and newly available visual technologies of the day—a hologram created from laser light and silvered mirrors, within which individual film frames are condensed into a sequence of vertical lines that our eyes see separately and fuse together stereoscopically. At the same time, the work evokes pre-cinematic elements; in particular, its structure recalls nineteenth-century optical devices such as the zoetrope and “magic lantern.” Forti’s movement here is a single fluid one. As she explained: "It is possible to stride along and then get down onto all fours into a crawl without breaking stride and get up again into a stride and down again into a crawl without breaking stride." Yet her body, animated by the viewer’s movement around the cylinder, appears to oscillate between the still and moving image, brought to three-dimensional life one moment and frozen the next.