Suspending Time - The Art of Presence

All the photographs in this series were captured within a 60min session of a Contact Improvisation dance. They are shot at 1/60 sec at f 1.4 with a 23mm prime lens. There is no cropping and they are sequenced in chronological order as shot.

 

This is my personal exploration of the ‘Magic’ present in our daily lives. Of how much can happen in 1 second. And of what Contact Improvisation might teach us about connection and the art of presence.

Part I – Planting Seeds

 

At some point during my photography journey I become fascinated by the idea of ‘freezing’ time. Capturing a specific amount of light. A split second only - perhaps – which still contains so much information.

Imagine 60 images all captured at 1/60 sec. That is 1 second.

How to understand, communicate and present it? My investigation began.

 

Part II – Constellation

 

When asked “What is the purpose of Contact Improvisation?”, Martin Keogh answered: “The purpose of Contact Improvisation is to dilate time before we die.”.

 

Part III – Connecting the Dots

 

There’s something incredible happening when I dance Contact Improvisation.

I lack rich vocabulary and skills to explain it in words. Therefor I use photography.

The only word which makes sense to me is Magic. By ‘magic’ I mean an extraordinary experience within the seemingly mundane.

What does it take? The hall, any space? Gravity to play with. Other moving bodies. Presence.

 

Part IV – Alchemy

 

It is the ability to become present. Finely tuned senses. Deep listening.

To me this is the necessary ingredient allowing this alchemical process transforming ordinary into the magical.

This is the art of being present.

 

Part V – Formed

 

I came across Contact Improvisation in Sydney in April 2021.

From my very first experience it felt like home in my body. I felt like a fish in the water within this form.

Contact Improvisation allows me to practice being present. It challenges my perceptions.

Sense of my body and its boundaries blur. Where does my body start and end?  Where is yours? I am not longer me. It’s us.

 

Part VI – Synchronicities

 

In May 2022 I participated in intensive Contact Improvisation workshop with Joerg Hassmann. I asked him and the group if I could bring camera into the space. I only needed an hour, I did not explain what I wanted to explore.

They all agreed. And so I danced, for an hour, with my camera.

Natural light, movement, slow shutter speed. Is this even technically possible? I wondered.

I had no theme in mind, no expectations. Only the strong feeling of curiosity.

 

Part VII – Harvesting

 

When moving in a state of flow, linear time dissolves.

An hour feels like a fleeting moment. We traverse through space and suspend time.

This to me is magic.

What you see here could be a happy accident.

Only I don’t believe in coincidences.