AMI NORDA

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UPCOMING: Solo show Galleri Thomas Wallner 2019.

RECENT: My God it´s full of stars, GIBCA Extended, Saltet, Göteborg 2/9-17/9 2017 / GIBCA Extended at Konstepidemin, Göteborg 6/9-10/9 2017 / High Court, Malmö, sep-nov, 2017 (opening 30th september) / Polyfoni 4, Galleri Thomas Wallner, march 2017 / The Last couples standing, Solo show at Domeij Gallery, Stockholm, 22/9 - 15/10 2016 / Liljevalchs vårsalong 12/2-10/4, Stockholm / Polyfoni 3, Galleri Thomas Wallner (2015) / Solo show, Galleri Thomas Wallner (2014) / Group show, Wadström/Tönnheim Gallery (2014) / Solo show, Galleri Anna Thulin ( 2012) / Liljevalchs vårsalong 2012

 

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The last couples standing, Domeij Gallery, Stockholm, october-november 2016.

The last couples standing
The dancing couples in this exhibition, are based on documentary photographs from actual 1930's dance marathons in various stages of closeness and colapse. I have carried these photographs with me for a long time. To me they are a symbol of life. The pleasure and the joy of dance at first, wich gradually turns into struggle for life and death.
The dance marathons works for me as a documentary metaphor concerning man's struggle for the justification of its existence regardless of circumstances and conditions. It is easy to translate this phenomenon which took place barely a century ago, into the present national and global situation we are in now - class differences are growing again, the safety net is getting weaker, the social and human vulnerability increases.

/Ami Norda, september 2016

Dance Marathons
Having begun as a popular product of 1920s liberated living, dance marathons took on a far more sinister significance during the Great Depression of the following decade. Dancers whose primary aim had once been to break records now competed against one another for 24 hours a day and weeks on end, desperate to win prize money, or sometimes just for the illusory security of a roof over their heads and regular meals.
As the Depression took further hold and dancers' desperation increased, the marathons also became more dangerous, with desperate, unemployed contestants succumbing all too often to hallucinatory ‘squirrelly’ states in their exhaustion, and even risking death. During the Depression, dance marathons reflected the status of America at the time. They relied on the amount of time spectators and contestants, out of work victims of the Depression, had on their hands.
The chance at fame and fortune was there, but at the cost of humiliation at least, and at most, mental and physical health problems or even death.
The marathons also involved blindfolded contestant teams, often chained or tied together, racing one another. The audience watched this brutal sport, drawn by heavy newspaper promotion and live radio coverage. The pain and misery of the contestants helped spectators feel better about their own situations, while the prize represented a hope of the American Dream for contestants, probably never to be realized. It was certainly a far cry from the fun, voluntary sport that it had been in the
1920s. The longest running dance marathon lasted for 22 weeks and 3 1/2 days.
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Sources: Dance of the sleepwalkers/the dance marathon fad by Frank M. Calabria, 1993, Dance marathons, walkatons once talk of the time by Bill Kemp Archivist/Historian McLean County Museum of History, The Pantagraph, 2016, Dance Marathons of the 1920s and 1930s by Paula Becker, 2003, Dance marathons by Renée Camus, 2004.