Michal Chelbin 'How to Dance the Waltz'

Michal Chelbin 'How to Dance the Waltz'


Michal Chelbin’s photographs of acrobats, and travelling troupes in Eastern Europe has earned her wide acclaim. In this new body of work taken over the last five years Chelbin trains her eye on students in military boarding schools, matador training academies and teenagers in Ukraine preparing for their proms. Chelbin explores the connection between the use of dress codes and uniforms to shape identity and instill traditional roles in boys and girls. Young cadets in formal military garb look fragile and sweet. Young women in oversized debutante dresses evoke an old glamour but also outdated views of women in society. This tension is at the heart of Chelbin’s photographs and give them a deep power.

Photographer 'Aleira and Friends Ukraine 2015' © Michal Chelbin / ClampArt Gallery
EXHIBITION ClampArt Gallery, New York, April 15 – May 29, 2021

GoSee loves ... Michal Chelbin 'How to Dance the Waltz' – adolescent portraits in uniform – as an illustrated book at Damiani and exhibition at ClampArt New York

For many years, we have been accompanied by Michal Chelbin’s portraits of acrobats and by her reportages from Eastern Europe. In her new work, we encounter cadets in military boarding schools, matador students and young people in the Ukraine preparing for their graduation ball. It is all about dress codes, uniforms, traditions and about the identity of young adolescents. ‘How to Dance the Waltz’ is appearing this spring as an illustrated book...

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