The Movement folder in the SVA Pictures Collection is surprisingly jam-packed, considering the potential incongruity of medium and category. How can movement be captured or expressed in a form defined by its stillness, the image? In many different ways, the folder suggests. Some of the most interesting images in the folder show motion by blurring their subjects - a woman dancing in a skirt becomes a cloud of white chiffon; a child running in a red cape, a ghostly blear. The effect of this is a sense of the fantastical; the blurring lends a kind of magic or otherworldliness to the image. Another visual technique for rendering motion as image is the use of multiples. A hand holding a gun is multiplied as a shot is fired; a dancing couple is visually tripled in an elaborate embrace. This has more of a scientific visual effect - it serves as a way to break down movement into its composite parts, to dissect it. A third way to show movement by way of the still image is through gesture. An image that captures gesture as it happens, or a reaction to gesture, can evoke movement in a very tangible way. For example, see the photograph below depicting the moment immediately after a man punched a cop. A gesture interrupted by stillness (through photography or painting) has an uncanny relationship to motion - a kind of petrification of movement takes place. As you can see, there are several ways to portray or at least allude to movement by way of stillness, and if you are thinking about painting or photographing movement, this folder would be a great place to start.
Nov 14 2017