Photo ©Tim Mantoani, from Behind the Photographs

Photo ©Tim Mantoani, from Behind the Photographs

Artist Statement

“I’ve spent the last 35 years of my photographic career investigating movement and its expressive potential. My inspiration has always been photography’s ability to stop time and reveal what the naked eye cannot see. What intrigues me is making images that confound and confuse the viewer, but that the viewer knows, or suspects, really happened.

The ostensible subject of my photographs may be motion, but the subtext is time. A dancer’s movements illustrate the passage of time, giving it a substance, materiality, and space. In my photographs, time is stopped, a split second becomes an eternity, and an ephemeral moment is solid as sculpture. My interest in photography is not to capture an image I see or even have in my mind, but to explore the potential of moments I can only begin to imagine.

I prefer to work outside the constraints of choreography, collaborating with dancers on improvised, non-repeatable, often high-risk moments. These moments are not plucked from a continuum, but exist only as isolated instants. There is a dynamic tension between dance and photography. I exploit photography’s ability to fragment time and fracture space, translating 360 degrees into a 2 dimensional image, depicting moments beneath the threshold of perception.

I am dealing in the poetics of a visual language rather than in its literalness.  I want my images to defy rational explanation. There is no “solution” to the questions posed by my photographs- they are meant to frame contradictions, present the impossible, and find coherence within chaos. All my pictures are taken as single image, in-camera photographs. I never recombine or rearrange the figures within my images. Their veracity as documents gives the photographs their mystery, and the surrealism of the imagery comes from the fact that our brains don’t register split seconds of movement."


Bio

In her exuberant and explosive pictures, Lois Greenfield captures not just the lithe and acrobatic forms of dancers performing their art, but the purity and exhilaration of movement itself. Without tricks or manipulation of any kind, she catches fleeting and impossible moments in a style that is both lyrical and graphic. Greenfield has been compared with Eadweard Muybridge for his exploration of human locomotion and with Henri Cartier-Bresson for capturing the decisive moment. Unlike her predecessors however, her images depict but don’t refer to the “real” world. They are documents of her imagination.

Beginning her career as a photojournalist, Greenfield covered the experimental dance movement scene for the Village Voice from 1973 to the mid 90’s. In 1982 she decided to open her own studio where she could control the lighting, and work with dancers in a collaborative environment.

Her exploration of the expressive possibilities of photographed movement and her unique approach to photographing the human form in motion has radically redefined the genre and influenced a generation of photographers.

Greenfield has created signature images for countless contemporary dance companies as well as commercial clients.  Her photographs have been featured in many magazines worldwide and exhibited internationally. She frequently gives lectures and offers workshops.  To find out her clients and exhibition lists, please refer to her resume HERE.

Since 2014 Greenfield has been an Artist in Residence at NYU/Tisch Department of Dance and New Media. In 2015, She was honored with the Dance in Focus award in recognition of her ground-breaking contributions to the field. Her third book, “Lois Greenfield:Moving Still”, (Thames & Hudson, UK & Chronicle Books, USA) will be released in Fall 2015.