ABRAZO is a dual creation by photographer Caroline Hayeur and the interdisciplinary artist D. Kimm. One artist captures movements and atmospheres, the other has danced the tango for several years, developing a relationship with the tango community which allows the two artists to offer an insider’s vision, beyond clichés. 

First time presented in 2016 at Occurrence, Espace d’art et d’essai contemporains, in Montreal, the exhibit combines photo and video installations.

ABRAZO presented at Occurrence – Espace d’art et d’essai contemporains, Montréal © Caroline Hayeur

The result is a series of photographic prints presented in some fifty vintage frames; a large format double projection slideshow of abrazo; a couple dancing in the snow; Argentine milongueros performing a dance; an immersive installation of scenes filmed in milongas (dance halls). This range of elements creates a game of exchange where North and South intertwine in images captured in Buenos Aires and in Montreal.

Hayeur and Kimm approach tango as a social dance and place of confluence for enthusiasts of various backgrounds, different generations and social classes. The dimensions of live show, competition, performance and the historical aspect of the dance are deliberately set aside. This first collaboration brings together photos and videos collected during a residency in Buenos Aires in 2014 and continues in 2016 inside the tango community in Montreal. The artists’ approach and their challenge was to translate the ritual of the abrazo, the physical relation (how to hold oneself in the other’s arms) and the emotional.

Virtual visit, Occurrence – Espace d’art et d’essai contemporains, Montreal, 2016 © Caroline Hayeur

Presentation of videos Encuentro Ruth, Daniel y Pamela, double slide show projection,
Immersive installation, Occurence, Montréal, 2016 and Atoll, Victoriavillle, 2017 © Caroline Hayeur

The theme of the abrazo / encounter / connection is a reflection on the relationships between men / women, social codes, fragility, social norms, appropriation of the queer identity, representation / staging of the Self or the “we”. 

The audience is thus immersed in the universe of tango, enveloped in a unique and sensual experience which combines new technologies, documentary images and emotion.

Excerpt from the immersiveinstallation, Atoll – art actuel, Victoriaville.
Triple synchronized projection

ABRAZO is produced in collaboration with Les Filles électriques and Phenomena festival, whose objective is to create improbable encounters and to support interdisciplinary, and unconventional artistic practices.

Technical description:
55 numeric prints and refurbished frames, variable dimensions

Video diptych
100 photographs slide show with texts
7 minutes, 44 seconds

Visited milongas:
Buenos Aires : Bichito Tango / Club Independancia, Confitería Ideal, Espacio El Tacuari, Festival tango queer / La Marshall et La Maldita, La Viruta, Los Jueves de Ana Postigo / 444 Cochabamba, Los Laureles, Plaza Dorrego, Sunderland Club
Montreal : Chez Coco / Rialto, Grand Bal Tango / Rialto
Festival Tango Queer / Air de Tango, La Pratica / Studio Tango
Tango Social Club, Serres de Verdun, Tangueria / Petite Italie park

D. Kimm and Caroline Hayeur planning the exhibition, 2016 © Chloé Charbonnier

Video pieces
Tango in the snow, 1 minute, 08 seconds
Jo-Anne and Jean-Guy, Montreal, Jarry park

Encuentro Ruth, Daniel y Pamela, 5 minutes, 40 seconds
Buenos Aires: Espacio El Tacuari, Plaza Dorrego and Cochabamba 

Immersive video projection (3 or 4 projectors linked) 
¿Quiere bailar?, 5 min. 30 sec.
Five milongas and music
Buenos Aires 
Los Jueves de Ana Postigo, Cochabamba – Mandria, Juan D'Arienzo y Su Orquesta & Mario Bustos
Plaza Dorego – A Media Luz, Enrique Rodriguez
La Confiteria Ideal – Voz de Tango / Nelly Omar
Sunderland Club – Dejame Asi, Alfredo de Angelis Orquesta
Chez Coco, Rialto – Desde El Alma, Pugliese Piazzolla
Grand Bal Tango, Rialto – El Cencerro, Juan D’Arienzo y Su Orquesta

Exhibition history:
2022 – Centre d’exposition d’Amos
2020 – Maison culturelle et communautaire de Montréal-Nord
2019 – La Maison des artistes visuels francophones, Saint-Boniface + Nuit blanche Winnipeg (Manitoba)
2019 – Maison de la culture de Rivière-des-Prairies, Montréal
2018 – Maison de la culture de Notre-Dame-de-Grâce, Montréal
2017 – Atoll – art actuel, Victoriaville
2016 – Occurrence – Espace d’art et d’essai contemporains, Montréal, programmation officielle du Festival Phénomena

Les Filles électriques
Centre d’exposition d’Amos
Maison culturelle et communautaire de Montréal-Nord
La Maison des artistes visuels francophones
Maison de la culture de Rivière-des-Prairies
Maison de la culture de Notre-Dame-de-Grâce
Atoll – art actuel
Occurrence – Espace d’art et d’essai contemporains