About This Artwork

Peter Moore
American, 1932-1993

Joseph Schlichter Performing "Man Walking Down the Side of a Building" by Trisha Brown, 80 Wooster St., 1970

Gelatin silver print
41.3 x 27.9 cm (image); 50.8 x 40.6 cm (paper)

Through prior gifts of Hugh Edwards and Steven and Phyllis Gross, 2017.184

On April 18 and 19, 1970, approximately 40 people gathered in front of 80 Wooster Street in New York City to witness a performance piece. Conceived and choreographed by Trisha Brown, a founder of the postmodern dance movement, Man Walking Down the Side of a Building was performed by Joseph Schlichter, a dancer and Brown’s husband at the time. Schlichter slowly descended the seven-story building where they lived, suspended perpendicular to its facade by a harness and cables. Making a simple, ordinary movement such as walking strenuously technical (“a natural activity under the stress of an unnatural setting,” as she put it), Brown collapsed distinctions between dance and performance art. This ephemeral act was memorialized by Peter Moore, who would become known for his photographs of avant-garde performances in New York in the late 1960s through the 1980s.

— Permanent collection label

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