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My Spot of Beauty: Maria Teresa Salvati presents Chiara Bonetti

ONE LAST DANCE SALON LOS ANGELES 00021

Maria Teresa Salvati every month presents photographers seen through their intimate and personal motivation, their Spot of Beauty.

Chiara Bonetti

Contemporary photography, video and collaborations, intended as a set of professional and personal skills, aimed at telling stories. Places, people, actions become perimeters of self-knowledge, and real or imaginary places, in which to feel free to express the truest and most essential part.

The representation of that “place” becomes reflection; attention to detail; searching for fractions that appear to have been forgotten; casual encounters; female bodies of unconventional beauty; imperfections of everyday life. The observation of how people and places communicate with each other are attempts to explore signals that in some way recreate and bring back to distant memories.

Always on the move in a fluid path aimed at discovery, in search of one’s own personal and artistic identity, the creative production seems to be like a perennial journey that takes you back “home”, be it a physical place, a metaphysical space or a refuge of the heart.

That “home” in which the teaching received by the women of the family now becomes inspiration and example. The artistic production therefore becomes the creation of visual notes that allow you to stop, pause, observe and reflect, investigate ephemeral moments of happiness that refer to a distant past, but which confront each other fluidly in the present living, and recall a distant desire to be looked after and warmed up, just like the need of finding home.

About ‘One last dance – Salon Los Angeles’ – words by Chiara Bonetti:

January 2020, Mexico City – It was a pretty lazy Sunday and as per usual, I’d made no plans. I had no clue about Danzon, or the Cuban cultural scene in the city, but apparently, “Anybody who hasn’t been to the ‘Salon Los Angeles; doesn’t know Mexico.”

I arrived at the Salon, an old lorry warehouse which was transformed into an elaborate ballroom in 1937 and that has pretty much remained unchanged since.

Passing through an unassuming entrance, we entered the lively pink ballroom with black and white checkered floors – it suddenly felt like a trip back in time.

Gabriel Garcia Marquez, Frida Kahlo and Che Guevara are just a few among the many personalities to have left their mark between these four extravagantly decorated walls, where, for what seems like an eternity, couples have been dancing to this mix of Cuban, African and European rhythm.

Curious about this place that is so far and detached from the world I am accustomed to, I let myself be enthralled by the stories of the people that have been coming together as a family, to celebrate music, every Sunday for the past 40 years.

I was captivated by the exuberant characters I met, their stylish attire, how gentlemanly and elegant they all were. This is a place where everything is permitted, with mutual respect and kindness and where is the women who decide who they will dance.

A place that defines carpe diem, where the mood is light, the atmosphere playful and where the jokes keep on coming. It’s here, miles away from home, where for a happy instant, I felt at home.

Recently, I suddenly discovered that the Salon Los Angeles, like other bars and nightclubs, has been fully or partially shuttered for more than five months due to the coronavirus pandemic and its owners say they are in debt and may have to close and demolish it.

Time to read
3 min
Words by
Staff
Published on
30 September 2020
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