I made another discovery flipping through a magazine at work today. Chinese artist Jiang Jie is going to have an exhibition called “March Forward! March Forward!” at PIN Gallery in 798 Art District Beijing. Their website seems to be a little out of date, but the ad features a photograph of older and middle-aged Chinese women at a barre. Except for the fact that they are wearing pointe shoes, they kind of remind me of my adult beginner classes.
Here is a photo.
And the images on the website (number 2 and 3) on the home-page of the website show a cone-shaped sculpture made totally out of old pointe shoes.
The title “March Forward! March Forward!” reminds me of the “Long March” that took place in 1934-35 and that helped Mao Zedong ascending to power, while at the same time bringing huge trouble and hard times to the Chinese people. Judging from other works of the artist, she seems to be interested in Chinese history, architecture, and issues such as family planning and the status of women in society.
Here is an older sculpture by her, a ballerina entitled “Ballet”.
Jiang Jie Ballet
I have written to the gallery for more information and will keep this post updated. UPDATE: The gallery unfortunately only sent me a short bio on the artist and an image of one of the pieces. But they will be at Art HK and I will visit their booth there to talk to them.
If you read German, this might be an article you want to read.
And if you live in Switzerland, of course you might want to see the dance.
I found it fascinating to see Pina Bausch’s dance company in Wim Wenders’ movie “Pina“. Some of these dancers were old according to standards for dancers, but their experience of life certainly made them more expressive.
My little project is showing me how little I know about both dance and photography, so I will have to invest a lot of time and effort to improve on both fields (and I am not talking about the thought of writing a PhD on dance photography or dance imagery in general that has been in my head for a while now; how great it would be to research all on these topics, and to use some postmodern theories to contextualize, interpret and analyze these imageries).
Today I found this photo:
How beautiful their smiles are…
I love this image, but I am somehow unable to find more information on it right now other than that it is supposed to be taken by Robert Mapplethorpe. I will do some more reasearching…
I found it here.
I just read an interesting article on the ban of a contemporary ballet in Malaysia and what this means for contemporary art, and on censorship in general in Malaysia.
A newspaper report says that a Singaporean dance company was denied visa due to indecent costumes therefore not able to perform in Malaysia. Indecent costumes apparently refers to the classical tights and short tutus worn in ballet.
I am trying to write something in this topic, but am still collecting my thoughts.
I don’t want to add to any speculation, as I am not aware of the whole story and don’t have enough background knowledge, I just want to mention some of my thoughts.
I will publish some of my favorite dance photographs in the next 24 days, not in any specific order. They are not organized by priority or by “most favorite” to “least favorite”, as all of them are special and unique, and it would be impossible for me to give them an exact ranking.
Arnold Genthe, Fe Alf, no date
This beautiful photograph of dance Fe Alf is in the Library of Congress (http://www.loc.gov/pictures/item/2002715285/). I couldn’t find a lot of information on the dancer, but isn’t she just beautiful? I love this image because the dancer is taking a very exceptional pose, with her arms behind her back, and her hands flexed away from the arms. She looks as if leaning on something invisible, while at the same time conveying her strength that she would never have to lean on a table or any other object with her well-trained body. Her feet, her dress, the rhythm between black and white, I like everything. And what interests me most is the fact that you can see the vertical boundaries of the panel she is standing in font of. There is ample space above her head, so Genthe could have gone a little closer in order to avoid seeing those lines. Why didn’t he do it? Did he want to leave room for the lighter part above her head? Did he want to show a larger stage?
I will show you more works by Arnold Genthe, and I will surely research more about his life and work, but in the meantime, you can read more about him here.