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Ambassadors Programme


Quentin Caffier


Histoire d'un Fin

By Quentin Caffier, Thursday June 05, 2014

© Quentin Caffier

Born in the socio-political context of post-war Japan, the Butoh is a subversive dance characterised by its slowness, its poetry and its minimalism. This dance, similar to a performance, is not spectacular as it arises as an introspection and can be done without any public [audience].

Guided by Ichihara Akihito, a dancer from the famous dance troupe Sankai Juku, and by Sono Fukunishi, a Japanese artist established in Paris, I did a series composed of nine images back in May 2013 as a cycle that can be read in different ways.

When photographing dance there is always the risk of limiting the photography to a documentary. However, here we were looking to create an original artwork, with our six hands, that would respect the traditional Butoh codes. This led us to decide to ask Ichihara to perform static postures, each one of them representing a sculpture.

An egg, a skull and a rice-powder whitened skin are fundamental symbols used in Butoh. The way that colours interact inverts their hierarchy in order to form an almost monochromatic artwork, making the body move from a constructivist architecture, as in [Hungarian painter and photographer] Moholy-Nagy’s pictures, to a sentimental explosion, as in German expressionism.

© Quentin Caffier

© Quentin Caffier