Liquescens is a photographic exhibition of performance at a festival for theatre. Can it capture the live medium of theatre through its static frame?
Liquescens - the Latin for 'liquification' - contains photographs made by Daniel Grünfeld during the final stage of production of German dance piece The Virgin's Voice. It is a series of long exposures, attempting to track the movement of the dancers.
Figures emerging from the whiteness of the background seem to have no ground beneath their feet - only an occasional line can evoke some sense of space. Time is also relative to the viewer – the dancers seem to float in some ethereal, eternal realm. Having abstracted or obscured these primary categories of human consciousness, the artist can communicate more directly, or perhaps profoundly, on a subconscious level.
Even without knowing the title of the play one can have strong associations to sex and religion - maybe because the figures represented resemble Botticelli's Graces. This resemblance is given its justification in one of the photographs where the three women form a circle - here, just like in the Primavera - there is no perspective, the location is magical, there is a strong sense of a ritual, movement, burst of energy created by the presence of Spring itself, youth, and a transcendental, lyrical aura about it.Perhaps no exhibition can transfer the narrative of a play. Instead, Grünfeld takes the play and offers it a new form in which to live and breathe. The spectator can clearly feel the fragility of the figures presented, but also the strength of their bodies and the blood rushing through them. Internal turmoil alongside the precision of movement.
This reading is supported by a colour palette restricted in order to achieve a symbolic function. The only colors we see can be read as symbols. Green for nature, freshness, fertility. Red for blood, energy, passion, and purple for mystery, magic. These colors mix and seem almost liquid, such as dancers seem to melt into each other, appear and disappear in the fabric of space surrounding them.
What makes these photographs so haunting is that they provoke an idea that science has proven but the mind cannot contemplate - that we are made from the same fabric as the material world. The atoms that make a human body today will tommorow form a wing of a bird or a petal or an ocean. This liquescens cannot be caught by the human eye in the space and time - we know, however, that if we remove this frame, all that remains is 'liquid scene' of the body becoming space.