Dancing With Colors
There are few things more abstract than light, yet so dramatically objective. It creates every color on the prism as a fraction of itself. It makes the world visible. Cecilia André has spent years chasing light to create art, which has led her to develop an apparently oxymoronic vision, at once so prosaic and yet exceptional: colored shadows. By overlapping simple translucid materials against a light source, she found a way to harvest color.
Dancing with Colors is an immersive experimentation of this process and a subversion of the traditional art space. The myth of the white cube is turned on its head by presenting an installation where nothing is hanging on the walls, and yet they are fully activated. Further, the public is made into part of the work. Everything is canvas. When choosing to step into the space and observe or dance, bodies become non-still life, with each gesture capable of creating a new ephemeral picture. Wearing one of the white covers pushes the participation further by making the chromatic gathering palpable. Whether perceived as an artist smock, a lab coat, a ghost suit, or a humble piece of fabric, donning a special garment promotes a sense of performative freedom. The present installation also has the inherent quality of refuge. It’s an escape from the city within the city, giving and being a breathing room. For a few moments, it is possible to explore a different reality, perhaps having a taste of seeing the world through Cecilia’s eyes.
Curated by Mina Warchavchik Hugerth
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About the Artist
Cecilia André is a Brazilian artist of Lebanese descent, who resides in New York City since 1991. Initially trained as a contemporary figurative painter, André’s work moved into abstraction and later into mixed media as she started using heirloom textile fabrics. Color transparencies entered André’s art-making process during two residencies in Brazil, targeting site-specific outdoor installations. This allowed her to integrate sunlight into her work, inviting the public to interact with the color shadows they cast.
In 2020 André was one of the six female immigrant artists selected as an AnkhLave Arts Alliance Fellow, receiving a Queens Council on the Arts grant to develop installations at the Queens Botanical Garden. Her participatory art offered an immersive and almost tactile experience, embracing the audience and sparking environmental awareness. Now, in 2022 she became the resident curator of the project.