“Lois Greenfield: Moving Still” is a groundbreaking show that marks a radical departure from her previous body of work, gravity-defying images of dancers in flight. In this very contemporary collection, perplexing scenarios slowly unfold, and yet the mystery intensifies with what is revealed.
Working outside the constraints of choreography, Greenfield allows the dancers to project a fluid identity for the camera and showcase a different persona in each photo, producing images that represent dreams of our constantly shifting selves. By turns playful, elegant and profound, these images capture the dancer’s grace and power to bend the body, and with it, time and space, giving us a glimpse of a movement continuum of the dancer’s own design. The laws of logic are replaced by the paradox of inversion – the moving elements solidify, and what appears immobile is in flux.
This exhibit is a companion to her latest monograph, Lois Greenfield: Moving Still, (Chronicle Books, USA 2015) showcasing more than 150 new images and charting Greenfield’s shift to color photography.
“The strength of [Greenfield’s] work comes from the brilliant balance of opposing forces: gravity and weightlessness, attraction and repulsion, balance and imbalance, freedom and constraint, order and chaos. The results are dynamic, witty, wholly original, and full of an energy so forceful it seems barely contained in the frame.” — William A. Ewing, director of The Musée de l’Elyseé, Lausanne, Switzerland
“Lois Greenfield: Moving Still,” her first shift to color photography, allows the dancers to project a fluid identity for the camera and showcase a different persona in each photo, producing images that represent dreams of our constantly shifting selves.
Greenfield employs no digital manipulation of any kind and manages to capture miraculous moments from real life. The “Lois Greenfield: Moving Still” exhibit features dancers from world-renowned companies such as Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater, Camille A. Brown, Shen Wei Dance Arts, and Martha Graham Dance Company. The large-format color photographs (36” x 48”) in this exhibit afford the spectators privileged access to the otherwise imperceptible details by allowing them to “enter” the dancer’s space.
This exhibit is a companion to her elegant monograph, Lois Greenfield: Moving Still, (Thames and Hudson, LTD, UK and Chronicle Books, USA 2015), which celebrates one of the world’s most accomplished and respected photographers and expresses the artistic possibilities of contemporary dance reflected through an inimitable lens.
Lois Greenfield is from that seminal generation of female photographers of the 70’s who made their mark on the field of photography by creating a radically new vision. In Greenfield’s case, after working as a photojournalist for The Village Voice from 1973 to the mid 90’s, she decided not to follow the conventions of traditional dance photography. She opened her own studio in 1982 which allowed her to devise an entirely different signature approach that continues to influence young photographers today. Her experimentation resulted in the iconic, gravity-defying black and white images from her acclaimed Breaking Bounds and Airborne collections from the 90’s that remain classics to this day.
Greenfield says of her own work, “I’ve spent the last 40 years of my career investigating the expressive possibilities of photographed movement. What motivates my work is exploring the potential of a moment that I can only begin to imagine. I’m fascinated by photography’s ability to defy logic and gravity, to stop time and reveal what the naked eye cannot see.”
Since her first show at New York City’s International Center of Photography in 1992, her work has been exhibited in many museums and galleries, such as the Tel Aviv Art Museum, Israel; the Venice Biennale, Italy; the Musée de l’Elysée, Switzerland; the Erarta Contemporary Art Museum, Russia; and the Southeast Museum of Photography, Florida.
Greenfield has been fascinated by non-traditional forms of photographic presentation and has participated in a plethora of unique gallery viewings. Invited to participate in “Le Printemps de Cahors” in France, she projected her images onto a 30-foot high water screen in the Lot River. She collaborated from 2003 to 2007 with the Australian Dance Theatre on HELD, a dance inspired by her photography, where Greenfield was onstage shooting the live action which was then projected real-time as part of the performance.
In 2015, she was honored with the Dance in Focus award given by the Film Society of Lincoln Center and the Dance Films Association, and in 2016 she received a lifetime achievement award from The McCallum Theatre Institute in recognition of her ground-breaking contributions to the field.
LOIS GREENFIELD: MOVING STILL
August – December 2018
This exhibit is free and open to the public 9 am – 4 pm Monday through Friday, as well as by appointment and when the Norton Center is open for concerts and related activities.