The Story of Transcending Lindy
I wanted to announce it to you here first… I just learned I’ll be heading off to Venice Biennale in May to photograph one of my favorite choreographers, Lindy Nsingo, who I shot last year in Tokyo. It was an amazing day! Let me tell you story behind this photo, which is my favorite from the series.
Perhaps the whole amazing thing about the whole experience is when Lindy was in the crossing, surrounded by all of these people, we were about to conduct this incredible performance without anyone noticing or stopping to watch. It was as if it never happened.
Earlier in 2014, I was asked by my friend David to photograph Lindy while we were in Tokyo. I had one day to put my idea for the photo together and was inspired by the first video that David showed me of Lindy dancing under a streetlight in the middle of the night. Because Lindy is a dancer, I wanted the photo to be about stillness and the chaos at the same time. I find dancing to be a parallel art form to my own in that I don’t understand the mind of a dancer and vice versa, but I do know we both find stillness in our craft. And since all of us on this planet are, of course, constantly surrounded by chaos, we still need to find stillness in our lives. There is no place with more chaos than the busiest intersection in the world, the Shibuya Crossing in Tokyo. I chose this specific crossing because I knew it was one of the busiest places in the world, with the most light, action, and humans. So, in essence, my idea was to capture Lindy in stillness while in the middle of human chaos.
Here’s how Lindy described it:
“Working with Trey Ratcliff was completely serendipitous as we happened to be in the same city at the same time and I attended his amazing Google+ talk. Trey set a date and time. We met and looked at the Shibuya Crossing and at the timing of people going in and out. From this moment the adrenaline kicked in and my main focus was to make Trey’s job easy and hold whichever position I found as long as possible so he could have the best chance of getting a great shot. Running out in front of the crowd was exhilarating and I think added to the intensity of the photograph because there was a limited amount of time. I had no idea how the photograph would turn out and I’m so happy with it!”
So, I’m off to Venice in April and May 2015 to attend the biennale, and where I will photograph Lindy again. She’ll be there collaborating on a work with artist Lena Liv, whose pastel drawing of Lindy is below. Can you believe that is a drawing? Lena is so amazing — be sure to check that link above to see more of her work!
Art critic Maura Reilly is preparing the catalogue for the exhibition and is working on a story about the collaboration. My image will be included in those various upcoming publications. It’s going to be awesome!