Sierra Nicole Kinsora is an American visual artist and dancer based in France. After 13 years of strict ballet training, at the age of 18 she radically changed orientation and joined the Seattle-based physical theatre troupe, The Cabiri, as an aerialist. It’s there in 2013 where she discovered butoh dance and began the creation of dance photography and films. In 2016 she settled in France to train with dancers Masaki Iwana and Moeno Wakamatsu, and to study cinematography. In 2019 she became a founding member of the dance company Infradanse, created by Tudi Deligne. In the same year, she graduated from EICAR, the International Film and Television School of Paris, receiving the award for Best Cinematography and Outstanding Achievement. In 2020 she directed her first film Styx, during the first Covid-19 lockdown in Paris. In 2021 her film was screened in two European film festivals and her photographs were featured in several online publications. Her work explores the transfiguration of bodies in relation to their environment, through photography, video, and dance.
My photographic work is a research on the transformation of bodies in relation to their environment. Using various kinds of manipulation, I work to restructure bodies and objects into impossible forms. I use many material and digital techniques to morph and reshape my subjects, while merging them with what surrounds them.
As a dancer of 20 years, I am inspired by the body’s relationship to the space around it. I explore this relationship by disrupting the typical sate of a body or object until it becomes unrecognizable, falsified, or altered. I then use different techniques to merge it with the background. Most of my pieces include objects and settings from « daily life », or my body. In other words, things that I find in my direct surroundings. In a way, I am questioning my own relationship to these places through my work.
My process begins materially, with photoshoots often including costume, makeup, lighting, mise-en-scène, and scenography. I then enter a phase of editing, where I use digital techniques such as layering and collage to compose the piece. When complete, I sometimes treat the images in different ways to subvert their
« digital » look. In 2021 I developed a blending technique where I photograph a preliminary print that is covered with a sheet of paper, and lit from behind. These images blend various parts of the print together, offering the possibility to incorporate organic textures to the final piece. This blending also melts the edges of the subject’s body into the space around them.
By blurring the boundaries between subject and environment, I hope to portray an active relationship between them: that they influence and modify each other in impossible ways. And finally, that this relationship reveals a sense of time, a history. That they change together. In this way, I consider my work to be a personal investigation of interdependency, impermanence, and transfiguration.