Susannah Storch

  Artist Statement Abstract


I am a collector. I collect and keep diaries, collages, and scrapbooks because I feel compelled to document my life. This year, I have come to see photography as another tool with which to document life. What does that mean-to document life? To me, documenting life is not limited to recording daily scenes with an absence of sentimentality. It is not about taking straight photographs that illustrate what things may have looked like. To me, documenting life is about capturing the emotions and feelings that make up reality. It is about manipulating negatives and photographs to highlight the different aspects of reality that seem important to tell others. Why do I document life? It is because I am very intrigued with the past. By photographing the present, I am creating insights into the past.

This year I have tried to define my relationship with reality so that I can document reality. I feel that I can only make images that represent my own reality because I believe that everybody's realities are different. I have been printing straight photographs and manipulated photographs, and discovering which better suits this need of documenting reality. By manipulating images, I have more control over the final print and what it says. Sometimes, however, the single straight photograph is easier to work with because there is less that can be misconstrued.
I have also been trying to learn the language of presentation. Most of my works are very fragmented, or parts of series. Because of this, I did not want to mat my photographs and place them behind glass. To me, this method of presentation seems so permanent and official. I wanted to present my work in a manner that would enhance the fragmented feeling of memories. At the same time, I wanted to present my work in a way that would make them feel like objects. I wanted people to be able to touch my photographs, and I wanted these photographs to gain their own history. I decided to mount my photographs on metal, or else pin them to a wall. This way my photographs are changing. By pinning them to a wall, they are subject to breezes and may move. By mounting them on metal, their surface may change as the metal rusts.

In the future, I will look for more ways to enhance the object-ness of my work.

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