Clth, 11 x 12 in. / 108 pgs / 62 color.
Pub Date 4/13/2021
Catalog: SPRING 2021 p. 93
ISBN 9788862087261 TRADE
List Price: $60.00 CDN $84.00
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Michal Chelbin: How to Dance the Waltz
Text by Joseph Akel.
Chelbinís remarkable portraits of Ukrainian teenagers lay bare the tensions and contradictions of adolescence
Israeli photographer Michal Chelbin (born 1974) has spent several years traveling through Ukraine and Spain to explore the connection and tension between youth and uniforms. Internationally acclaimed for her striking portraits of teenagers throughout Eastern Europe, Chelbin recognizes adolescence as a liminal space between childhood and adulthood, a stage of oneís life that can be difficult to represent in all its complexities and contradictions. Chelbinís teenage subjects embody that contrast to the fullest extent: their youth is apparent despite the startlingly adult contexts in which they are placed, as one can see in her previous work taken in juvenile prisons or traveling acrobat troupes.
In How to Dance the Waltz, Chelbin looks at puberty and gender as a performance that involves as much attention to costumery as any circus act. The subjects in this collection are dressed in military garb, traditional maid uniforms, extravagant debutante gowns and outfits of matadors, all slightly ill-fitting and strange on their slight frames. In each photograph, the teens gaze directly into Chelbinís camera, seemingly impassive, their world-weary seriousness contradicted by the unmistakable youthfulness of their faces. This imagery hints at the ways societal expectations of gender, especially in regard to clothing and uniform, can inform a teenagerís cognitive development and overall identity. Chelbinís remarkable portraits simultaneously represent their subjectsí vulnerability and self-possession.
Featured image is reproduced from ĎMichal Chelbin: How to Dance the Waltz'.
PRAISE AND REVIEWS
Exploring the connections between uniforms and dress codes, Chelbin spent five years photographing young people in Ukraine at matador training academies and military boarding schools. Challenging the viewerís perception of gender stereotypes and the performative effect that uniforms can have, the Israel-based photographer delivers a portfolio of striking portraits.
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Pub Date: 4/13/2021
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