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Wednesday, 27 July 2011

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Frozen in time: photographs of dance

Goethe-Institut Sri Lanka presents breathtaking insights into diverse modern dance scene in Germany through the medium of artistic photography. The exhibition at Harold Pieris Gallery includes 50 photographic works - partly in color, party in black and white - by German artists and dance photographers, as well as a video installation. The exhibition will be held at the Harold Pieris Gallery, Lionel Wendt Art Centre, from July 25 to August 3.

Motion and photography are total opposites, not just in art. Motion, the motor of any change, is the embodiment of the living and the present. Its highest aesthetic expression is artistic dance. Dance is motion guided by music, melody and rhythm. Dance symbolizes dynamism and constant change. It is impossible to photograph dance without loving it. Capturing the elements of movement in the photographic moment (assisted by the luck of the moment) and as such capturing life in its moving power of expression - this is the photographic and artistic achievement of dance photographers, this is their magic.

Since motion photography first became popular in the 20th century, collaborations between photographers and dancers or choreographers have led to the creation of images that link the creativity of contemporary dance with modern photographic techniques in exciting ways. The combined effect of individual, fascinating instants of artistic motion - seemingly weightless jumps, dancers suspended in mid-air, twirls that will never end - and varied photographic perspectives turns dance in photographs into a unique new medium: the dance image.

A complete exhibition of all photographic views of dance in Germany would fill a museum, one which would focus not on the assertion 'This is how it was!' but rather 'This is how I saw it!'. For that reason, it would be difficult to formulate an apt and generally-valid statement on dance in Germany from the totality of the photographic views collected there; however it might be possible to formulate one on how dance in Germany, its variety and willingness to experiment has provoked photographers to examine it, and how this has mixed up different photographic visual worlds.

The featured photographers are Andrea Esswein, Dominik Mentzos, Agnés Noltenius, Vanessa Ossa, Joerg Reichardt, Bettina Stöß, Bernd Uhlig, Gert Weigelt und Peter Welz.

 

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