A reexamination of the role of female
avant-gardes in the fields of performance
: a comprehensive publication with over 2500 color illustrations, together with documentary material on Valentine de Saint-Point, Marinetti
, Canudo, Russian Ballets, German and American expressionism (original photographs, manuscript letters, drawings, woodcuts, manifestos, first editions and ephemera).
“Feminine Futures”, an exhibition curated by Adrien Sina, was staged for the Performa
Biennial at the Italian Cultural Institute in New York in 2009. It focused on the role of early twentieth-century female avant-gardes in the field of performance and dance. Structured around a unique personal collection, it included a significant number of previously unpublished pieces, some of which subsequently featured in “Danser sa vie” at the Centre Georges Pompidou in 2011-2012.
The examination of hitherto unknown source material – photographs, films or manuscripts unknown to art historians or public collections opens new horizons here. The premises of modernity are challenged with new material, in particular the documentation of ephemeral actions which left few traces.
The reader confronts the very origins of performance and the interdisciplinary practices that have inspired generations of artists through the twentieth century and up to today. A female history of the avant-garde is pioneered here, freed from the hegemony of the “isms”, defined by dominant male artists. A new repertoire of creations and acts of dissidence may be traced through this magnificent archive and book.
This publication is depicts as well a history of photography. An exceptional filed of convergence is opened in the encounter between dance, movement, body language and photography. Genuine artistic strategies remain behind technical processes and their specific pictorial qualities. The photographic pieces of “Feminine Futures” are also witnesses of the history of photography. Half a century of imaginative mutation between the years 1890' and 1940'... From albumen paper, silver or radium bromides to silver prints, a large chromatic spectrum of chemical experiments are gathered, between stability and self-destruction of the visible matter.
Peaks of plastic and artistic mastery are reached in the collaboration between photographers and choreographers such as Isaiah West Taber or Harry C. Ellis with Loïe Fuller, Hixon-Connelly or Herman Mishkin with Vera Fokina and Anna Pavlova, Lou Goodale Bigelow or Nickolas Muray with Ruth St. Denis, Isadora Duncan and Arnold Genthe, Charlotte Rudolph and Hugo Erfurth with Mary Wigman and Gret Palucca, Barbara Morgan and Chris Alexander or Isamu Noguchi with Martha Graham, Maurice Seymour and Siegfried Enkelmann with Ruth Page and Harald Kreutzberg...