Dance on Display; What Actually Constitutes ‘Exhibit’

I’ll say this for New York, dance is everywhere. The only problem is, you can’t always see it.

IMG_4213

Two cases in point;

  1. Ottendorfer Library in the East Village; DANCERS

“This series of prints on dancers was photographed and printed before digital, a long, long time ago. It was in a Greenpoint studio, since lost to gentrification, where we could explore painting and photography. Most of the shots were actually taken in the old community center called CHARAS/El Bohio on 9th street, whose mission was to cultivate “Culture, Education & Hope.” Art that somehow got lost in time, whose geography no longer exists, but lives on, in these photographs. I hope they bring you joy.”

artist, dancer, location unknown

artist, dancer, location unknown

And I’m sure they would, if I could see them properly. These six or so photos were placed high on top of the library shelves and leaned slightly backwards to rest on the wall; the result being a distorted image, a concealing glare on the glass, and an impossible opportunity to actually see what looked like very interesting, dark, grainy old photos. I don’t expect a cavernous white room with velvet ropes and softly playing classical but really, do a few photos in badly-positioned display an exhibit make? I suppose I could have climbed on the library tables to see this 10 foot high display but that would have been an exhibit of more the verb rather than noun sense on my part.

2. Jacobs Pillow– Blake’s Barn: Lois Greenfield’s Moving Still

“Accompanying the publication of Greenfield’s newest book, this exhibit celebrates the recent work of a singular artist who has defined dance photography for decades. In addition to her signature gravity-defying images, this exclusive exhibit debuts her latest collection of enigmatic moments, caught beneath the threshold of perception.”

*all photos from Lois’ website– there are more! Take a peek. Or buy me this book..pleeeease.

Lois Greenfield: Moving Still, Thames & Hudson, Chronicle Books, 2015. Paul Zivkovich and Craig Bary (T&H Cover), Eileen Jaworowicz, Andrew Claus and Aileen Roehl (Chronicle Cover) 1716_DG_Amy_Marshall_Dancers_101_FN and 1698_DG_Zivkovich_Bary_328_FN

Lois Greenfield: Moving Still, Thames & Hudson, Chronicle Books, 2015. Paul Zivkovich and Craig Bary (T&H Cover), Eileen Jaworowicz, Andrew Claus and Aileen Roehl (Chronicle Cover)
1716_DG_Amy_Marshall_Dancers_101_FN and 1698_DG_Zivkovich_Bary_328_FN

Lois Greenfield: Moving Still, Thames & Hudson, Chronicle Books, 2015. Dudley Flores, Jenni Bregman, Sharon Gallagher /Printz Dance Project and Daniel Gwirtzman, Cary McWilliam and Jason Garcia Ignacio / Daniel Gwirtzman Dance Company "Scenarios," 2005

Lois Greenfield: Moving Still, Thames & Hudson, Chronicle Books, 2015. Dudley Flores, Jenni Bregman, Sharon Gallagher /Printz Dance Project and Daniel Gwirtzman, Cary McWilliam and Jason Garcia Ignacio / Daniel Gwirtzman Dance Company “Scenarios,” 2005

Lois Greenfield: Moving Still, Thames & Hudson, Chronicle Books, 2015. Jennifer Minzy Lee and Fang-Yi Sheu 1728_DG_Fang_Yi_Sheu_108_FN_BR and 1710_DG_Jennifer_Lee_078_FN_BR

Lois Greenfield: Moving Still, Thames & Hudson, Chronicle Books, 2015. Jennifer Minzy Lee and Fang-Yi Sheu
1728_DG_Fang_Yi_Sheu_108_FN_BR and 1710_DG_Jennifer_Lee_078_FN_BR

Lois Greenfield: Moving Still, Thames & Hudson, Chronicle Books, 2015. Natalie Deryn Johnson and Jye-Hwei Lin 1817_DG_Jye_Hwei_Lin_test_216_FN and 1813_Natalie_Johnson_090_074_FN_BR

Lois Greenfield: Moving Still, Thames & Hudson, Chronicle Books, 2015. Natalie Deryn Johnson and Jye-Hwei Lin
1817_DG_Jye_Hwei_Lin_test_216_FN and 1813_Natalie_Johnson_090_074_FN_BR

Lois Greenfield: Moving Still, Thames & Hudson, Chronicle Books, 2015. Sara Joel and Anna Venizelos, Alexandra Karigan Fowler and Shannon MacDowell

Lois Greenfield: Moving Still, Thames & Hudson, Chronicle Books, 2015. Sara Joel and Anna Venizelos, Alexandra Karigan Fowler and Shannon MacDowell

Lois Greenfield: Moving Still, Thames & Hudson, Chronicle Books, 2015. Ha-Chi Yu and PeiJu Chien-Pott 1821_DG_Peiju_Chien_Pott_172_FN_BCR and 1818_DG_HaChi_Yu_057_FN_BCR

Lois Greenfield: Moving Still, Thames & Hudson, Chronicle Books, 2015. Ha-Chi Yu and PeiJu Chien-Pott
1821_DG_Peiju_Chien_Pott_172_FN_BCR and 1818_DG_HaChi_Yu_057_FN_BCR

Lois Greenfield: Moving Still, Thames & Hudson, Chronicle Books, 2015. Ha-Chi Yu. 1806_DG_Ha_Chi_Yu_217_FN_BR

Lois Greenfield: Moving Still, Thames & Hudson, Chronicle Books, 2015. Ha-Chi Yu. 1806_DG_Ha_Chi_Yu_217_FN_BR

She may have defined dance photography, but can she define how to show it off? I bet it’s still worth a glimpse even if it is tilted, a little shadowed, or hung where you can only see it on tip-toes.

Maybe that’s the point- the dance of discovery. I would make the effort (also this week, Wendy Whelan and Brian Brooks in their new collaboration, “Some of a Thousand Words”, I REALLY want to see this one!) but Jacob’s Pillow is so far away. Who has an extra-strength telescope they aren’t using?

Art is definitely everywhere here and you don’t have to look hard to find it, even if it isn’t displayed very well. Take for instance, this lovely bit of piano in the park. I had to stop myself from getting up and dancing circles around the baby grand, because my goodness, what an exhibit that would have been. Some things should stay hidden

 

One thought on “Dance on Display; What Actually Constitutes ‘Exhibit’

  1. Hello niece! I just went through your whole site. Loved it! Also I got your new address from your mother and I would love to take you out to dinner and/or a show when I am next in NYC. I’ll get in touch before my next trip. Good luck starting at NYC and enjoy that wonderful city. I’m envious! Love, Aunt Wendy

    Date: Tue, 26 Jul 2016 00:34:09 +0000 To: wendyrstart@hotmail.com

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