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Katia Molino, Ari Ehrlich, The Babel Project (2007), Alan Schacher, Gravity Research Institute Katia Molino, Ari Ehrlich, The Babel Project (2007), Alan Schacher, Gravity Research Institute
photo Heidrun Löhr
THE STRONG PICTORIAL CONTENT OF EACH EDITION OF REALTIME ATTESTS TO THE EXPERTISE OF A NUMBER OF SPECIALIST PHOTOGRAPHERS. FOR THE EVOCATIVE IMAGES REGULARLY FEATURED ON OUR PAGES, WE’RE GRATEFUL TO ARTISTS SUCH AS JEFF BUSBY, CHRIS HERZFELD, PONCH HAWKES, LISA TOMASETTI, PRUDENCE UPTON AND OTHERS.

When you’re reading about performance in Sydney, the photographer whose pictures you’ll see most often is Heidrun Löhr, a dedicated and gifted artist who has documented the performance scene in this city for 25 years.

Sarah Jayne Howard, Already Elsewhere (2005), Force Majeure Sarah Jayne Howard, Already Elsewhere (2005), Force Majeure
photo Heidrun Löhr
In 2007 Heidrun Löhr received an Australia Council Fellowship to create an archive from her thousands of still images. A selection of these were featured in a moving exhibition entitled Projections: The Archive Project at Critical Path (RT92, p20). Löhr’s work is now to be introduced to a wider public in an exhibition at the Australian Centre of Photography entitled Parallax: The Performance Paradigm in Photography. “Parallax is a simple enough problem for photography: the image you make depends on your viewing angle. But when you add the variable of the moving body in performance, the parallax factor multiplies to a point when the camera captures something no human eye will ever see in any other way…This respected photographer of live performance is famous for her active use of the camera around the stage, tracking across the various viewing positions (possible and impossible) of the spectators. Her photographs are more than documents of a vanishing work, they are collaborative works, images built out of the action of the photographer as much as the gestures of the moving body on the stage.” (ACP media release)

Simon Stone, Eloise Mignon, The Wild Duck (2011), Belvoir Simon Stone, Eloise Mignon, The Wild Duck (2011), Belvoir
photo Heidrun Löhr
The exhibition has allowed Löhr to transfer some of her most striking dance theatre and performance slides to large format prints. There are also colour images, photo sequences—some echoing Eadweard Muybridge—and an animated sequence involving some 3000 still images produced for the SEAM2010 conference at Critical Path with performer/choreographer Nikki Heywood. On what she calls “the multitude wall” a range of work is documented—from 1986 (Judy Best performing in a disused building in Kings Cross—a performance we agree would probably not be possible with contemporary OH+S legislation) through to Martin del Amo’s 2012 work for dancer Paul White, Anatomy of an Afternoon. As well there are two vitrines displaying more archival material and a number of Löhr’s limited edition artist books.

Marnie Palomares, Rowan Machingo, Back from Front (2008), Dean Walsh, Performance Space Marnie Palomares, Rowan Machingo, Back from Front (2008), Dean Walsh, Performance Space
photo Heidrun Löhr
In her choice of most of the works in this exhibition, Löhr says she has favoured photographic interest over historical/documentary function. Considering so many possibilities, it’s “iconic images, ones that compress time or that still take me by surprise after all this time” that rise to the surface. Some images capture directors like Benedict Andrews and Simon Stone working behind the scenes while the majority convey dramatically, poignantly and playfully the world of contemporary performance from the vantage point accorded to Heidrun Löhr as a highly respected member of that community.


Heidrun Löhr, Parallax: The Performance Paradigm in Photography, Australian Centre for Photography, Sydney; March 3- April 15, artist talk March 3, 11 am; http://www.acp.org.au/

RealTime issue #107 Feb-March 2012 pg. 15

© Virginia Baxter; for permission to reproduce apply to realtime@realtimearts.net

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