David Michalek Figure Studies Edinburgh Festival

Helping secure initial funding for the project Figure Studies. This project was commissioned by Summerhall Arts Venue at the Edinburgh Festival, and by Pomona College and the Pomona College Museum of Art. Major support was provided by Le Laboratoire. This project embraces multiple referents: contemporary studies of bio-mechanics; the photographic motion studies of 19th-century photographer Eadweard Muybridge and French physiologist Etienne-Jules Marey; and the vocabulary of post-modern dance.

Slow Dancing for the Summerhall Arts Venue at the Edinburgh Festival

David Michalek's Slow Dancing is a series of 43 larger-than-life, hyper-slow-motion video portraits of dancers and choreographers from around the world, displayed on multiple screens. Each subject's movement (approximately 5 seconds long) was shot on a specially constructed set using a high-speed, high-definition camera recording at 1,000 frames per second (standard film captures 30 frames per second). The result is approximately 10 minutes of extreme slow motion. The trio of portraits will be randomly selected for each cycle, allowing viewers to simultaneously compare dancers from different styles and cultures.

What at first appears to be a series of still photographs unfolds gesture by barely perceptible gesture—a motion portrait in which each dancer's unique artistic expression and technique are revealed. Viewers can choose to focus on one dancer's complete performance or observe the interplay among the screens. The extreme slow motion enables the viewer to share privileged information about the complexity of the simplest gestures, catching details that would normally escape the naked eye.

David Michalek's slow video portrait commissions

Applying the technique of hyper-slow-motion video portraits to private commissions, these modern tableaux vivants become a special work of art for collectors. The classic experience of portraiture meets XXI century technology to create a carefully crafted piece.

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