Arturo Herrera’s recent works for this exhibition pay tribute to the history of dance. The works take as their starting point a book of photographs by the late Russian-French Serge Lido entitled Danse, published in 1947, from which the exhibition borrows its name. Herrera lay objects from the BORCH print shop such as strings and twisted strips of metal over transparencies of the photographs to create collages made without cutting or gluing, and in doing so pushing the possibilities of collage further through the print medium. As in his earlier works based on dance such as Les Noces, 2007, Herrera joins a number of images together, in this case in sequence, collaging the photogravures into a performance of their own that extends the narrative from one frame to nine, from the ballet pose held in a fleeting instant, to multiple poses strung together to be experienced over the time we linger with them as viewers.
Herrera’s interventions revive these forgotten portraits of ballet: he fragments them, collages them, colours them, groups them, and in doing so, brings a new resonance and response to the work, an apt impetus considering that ballet, rehearsals and performances, unlike many other forms of art, are never seen or danced in the same way again, and can only be appreciated and momentarily experienced in the aftermath through photography, film, and in this instance, collage. Herrera re-frames these precious moments in time through his transformative series of photogravure collages.
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