As the in-house photographer of the dancer and choreographer Trisha Brown, Babette Mangolte attended the rehearsals of Brown’s Water Motor in 1978, where she became convinced that the intensity with which the dancer performed her movements could not be sustained forever and should be recorded. In time, this choreography has come to be regarded as a key piece in Brown’s early repertoire. A pioneer of contemporary art, Brown draws from everyday gestures to create a continuous and fluid sequence of movements that, as the work’s title suggests, recalls both the flow of water and the intensity of a motorised engine. Mangolte’s recording of the piece explores the relationship between time and movement: the choreography is presented twice, once at normal speed and once in slow motion at 48 frames per second. Choreographer Yvonne Rainer called it “One of the best dance films ever made.”

WORKS IN THE COLLECTION BY BABETTE MANGOLTE

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My work is my body, my body is my work.
Helena Almeida