Photo exhibition Huis Marseille

Flamenco Biënnale 2014

Raw expression captured in photography and moving images. Photography exhibition Huis Marseille.
13 December 2014 - 8 March 2015


A photograph is a photograph, and a dance is a dance: stillness versus movement. At first sight these two art forms might seem to be poles apart, but the exhibition Dancing Light, open from 13 December throughout the newly double-sized Huis Marseille, proves the opposite.
Along with film and video, photography turns out to be an ideal way to illuminate the characteristic emotionality and transport of dance – its ‘primal power’ to move us.

To unravel the mystery at the heart of dance the exhibition takes inspiration from Flamenco and its concept of duende, that intangible and ineffable moment of rapture when the chemistry between flamenco musicians, dancers and audience bubbles up and overwhelms everyone. Duende (literally ‘elf ’ or ‘spirit’) is an untranslatable concept, a mysterious force that is manifested in the combination of certain sounds, words and gestures. Dancing Light captures the raw expression of flamenco in photography and in moving images: from the flamenco legend Vicente Escudero, who used film in the early 20th century to establish a dialogue with modern art, to the extremely individual dance expression of the flamenco dancer Antoñita la Singla, born deaf-mute, whose unique energy was captured in the early 1960s by the photographer Xavier Miserachs. From contemporary artworks born of the collaboration between the dancer Israel Galván and his artistic director Pedro Romero, to the work of the artist Pilar Albarracín, who interprets her Spanish flamenco legacy in an entirely personal way. It is, of course, true that once a dance is over its momentum vanishes; but a photo or video not only fixes our original experience, it also independently adds something to our memory.

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Photo credits:
1. & 3. Xavier Miserachs, Antoñita La Singla, 1962, MACBA Collection. Study Center. Xavier Miserachs Fonds, © The Estate of Xavier Miserachs
2. Johan van der Keuken, Quatorze Julliet 1958, © Van der Lely & Van Zoetendaal
4. Paolo Porto, ‘Aquilla’ serie, augustus-september 2009, C-print op Hahnemuhle Fine Art Baryta papier, Met dank aan de fotograaf
5. Naoya Ikegami, Kazuo Ohno, premiere van ´Admiring La Argentina´, Tokyo, 1977, Met dank aan Naoya Ikegami & sprout-curation

Supported by:
instituto ramon llull