dancing with the present


by Laura Kimmel

For me this time has been a major paradigm shift on all fronts – for some the experience is shocking and tragic, and I understand and hold space for that. Despite the difficulties and uncertainty, I am prone to embrace change and for me it is an incredible opportunity to deaccession that which does not serve me and move forward into a fertile future which honors Mother Earth and our interconnected nature as a species on this earth.

Shot a day before lockdown orders at the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, these photos show ballerina and acrobat Ashlee Rose Montague dancing in the lonely and desolate streets of New York City.  The fragility of her body and the act of dancing mirrors the fragility of her livelihood amid the ghost town that NYC has become during this time. We were roused to document this paradigm shift of culture and activity, and protected ourselves and each other during the shoot.

Laura Kimmel (formerly Laura Weyl)  is a New York-based  filmmaker, photographer, and multi-media artist.  Her work explores sexuality, the urban landscape, and analog image manipulations to create visceral, poetic visual worlds.  Her work has been exhibited in galleries and event spaces including Art Basel Miami/ HG Contemporary, Mana Contemporary, Karst Gallery, Untitled Space, Franklin Street Works, and Project One in San Francisco.  She is currently the director of Visual Identity at The Box NYC and Soho.

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