Susan Seubert at the Froelick Gallery and the Venice Biennale

Susan Seubert at the Froelick Gallery and the Venice Biennale

For Portland Photo Month the Froelick Gallery has mounted an exhibition of my photographs entitled, “Not A Day Goes By.”

The 2016 rise of a racist, xenophobic, sexist, bigoted, extreme-right political climate in the U.S. presidential political cycle profoundly depressed me. Climate change in both its literal and figurative sense was being denied as a hoax. Lies and fake news were accepted as “politics as usual.” It seemed to me that America was smothering all the positive ideals historically it has stood for. Unbearable emotional pain motivated me to explore showing this issue visually as suicide.

The show is a body of work produced to illustrate suicide. The images in the series, “Manner Of,” present common objects used to take one’s life. The muted black and white palate and soft image quality of the print rendered on tissue paper is then further obscured by the encaustic medium. This treatment of the photograph underscores the veiled nature of the option of suicide. The portraits of people with their heads wrapped in plastic illustrate acts of asphyxiation. The cool tonality combined with the highly reflective, almost mirrored surface of the work adds a performative aspect to the piece: a glimpse of the viewer’s image is reflected, offering a space to contemplate suicide.

You can read a review of the show by Bob Hicks on Oregon Arts Watch here.

Five works from the “Asphyxiation” series will be included in the Personal Structures show, curated by the Global Art Affairs Foundation, at the 2017 Venice Biennale, and hosted by the European Cultural Center at the Palazzo Bembo.  This work will be on display from May 13 – November 26, 2017 in Venice.  For more information, you can download a press kit here.

 

artist: Susan Seubert, title: Asphyxiation #16, size: 40×30″ (101.6cm X 76.2cm), year: 2017, medium: metal photographic print

“Manner Of: Noose”, From the series, “Manner Of,” as part of the show, “Not a Day Goes By.” 12×12″ digital pigment print on silk tissue, edition of 10, 2017, artist: Susan Seubert

 

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portland commercial photographer Susan Seubert’s printed book online

Greetings!  Over the last few months, I worked with Wonderfulmachine to fine tune my printed portfolio.  Although I’ve updated my iPad portfolio, it’s been many years since I paid attention to a printed book.  With the onslaught of the internet, it seemed like a not-so-prudent investment to pay good money to have my work edited by dispassionate eyes and then pay to have prints made.  After all, doesn’t a photographer just need a good web site?  Uh, no.  After my first visit with the recently released iPad, (a couple of years ago), to New York and Washington, D.C., I got some great feedback from both editors at magazines and art buyers at agencies.  The resounding answer to my question about the iPad was that yes: the photos on the iPad look beautiful.  The images sing because they are backlit, kind of like 8×10″ transparencies. (Ah, the good old days!)  But, and it was a big but, they all needed/wanted to see what the images looked like on paper because print is not dead.  The images must work both in print and online, so a printed book is a necessity.

For me, self promotion has never been easy, but I’ve always tried to keep it simple.  Staying in touch with people who I’ve worked with by means of in-person visits, asking for references, following up on those with phone calls and printed promo cards has been my modus operandi for years.  For the last two years I’ve stared doing quarterly email blasts and following up with a printed promo card for those persons who’ve clicked through the site.  The sum of these efforts has led to a certain amount of success.  However, the main problem is doing this on top of running a business that is mostly out-of-town. (I also hand address all of my promo cards. Tedious, but it makes more sense than just slapping a sticker on a card.  I am confident the person on the other end should see my work.)  Now Wonderfulmachine has posted my printed portfolio online!  It’s nice to see it there, and although it’s not the same as flipping through a book, it’s a nice showcase of recent work and I think they did a good job.  You can watch the video here:

Click here to be taken to the Youtube video 🙂

If you’d like to see a printed portfolio, you can contact me directly, or you can contact Wonderfulmachine and they can send one to you.  Thank you for reading and have a great day!

Portland Photographer Susan Seubert on why to hire an editor

A couple of weeks ago I had an opportunity to sit down with photo editor extraordinaire, Mike Davis.  If you haven’t visited his web site, you should.  It’s chock full of useful information and good stories.  Here in the backwaters of Portland, it’s rare to be able to have someone with such a remarkable résumé look at your work and give an opinion.  So I found myself at his doorstep, slightly hesitant, knowing where he’s been and who he has worked with and thinking that perhaps what I shoot isn’t up to his par.  My work has largely consisted of travel photography, mostly features for publications like National Geographic Traveler and The New York Times.  In the past, he has hired me to shoot for Mix magazine, when he was the editor there, but there’s something vastly different about bringing a group of photos to your assigning editor versus showing up with a hard drive containing over 600 random pictures just to see how he/she would sequence them.  I don’t know if it was good or bad that it took only a couple of hours to whittle those images down to a group of 24.

I had given my husband the same group of images with the same missive: edit the 600 down to 24.
He is no schlock when it comes to editing photographs.  He definitely has a completely different history: one informed by the complex world of fine art photography which is often out of step with Mike’s world: one that is heavily steeped in the tradition of photojournalism.  My husband is also just that, my husband.  He can’t possibly see my images without seeing me, (and my fragile ego).  Although what’s amazing is that there was a certain amount of crossover.

It’s important to find someone whose vision you admire and then allow them to see your work wholly through their eyes.  Step aside and let them look, check your attachment to pictures at the door.  Mike’s history and experience informs all his decisions about how he sees. His perception is truly unique.  He saw things in my pictures that I never have and never could.  It was a wonderful experience and I’m sad I didn’t take more pictures for the initial edit.  I’m thinking of going back.

Here’s Mike’s Sequence.

The final 24, in order of appearance

These images were made with every possible variety of camera from Holga to Hasselblad.  I’ll be printing this as a small book soon.