I’ll say this for New York, dance is everywhere. The only problem is, you can’t always see it.
Two cases in point;
- 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.”
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.
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