Friday, 1 June 2007

Interview: SUZY POLING

To me, Suzy Poling's photographic work is a refreshing blend of natural and man-made textures with obtuse narratives that hint at things both physically beyond the frame as well as chronologically outside the instant the image portrays. While there is a definite consistency in her work, it's hard to grasp with elements of the absurd, horrifying, and mysterious bundled in intriguing, sublime parcels.

I am very grateful for Suzy's participation and hope some of you might find the same kind of insight and inspiration that I have from her work. -Sioux

Working with Julia Solis on Fantastic Degradation and Wonderland of Decay/Imaginary Companions, how do you approach the collaborative effort and would you say your work is different when working in conjunction with another artist? And what have you learned while working with Julia?
In 2005, I found a picture of Julia’s in a magazine and then I looked up her site and was blown away. There was something about how she was approaching these eerie places, namely hospitals. I could see that she was looking a lot further into these rooms and hallways than most people. I was fascinated by her and noticed that she was using similar language about these kinds of places that I was using. I thought who is this person? So I emailed her out of the blue and we met once and it was total trust and we knew should work together.

"The purpose has been to channel energies and to play with remaining artifacts and forces in the space."

I had previously lived in an old theatre that I was really into and I had been seeking out abandoned amusement parks for a few years, she had responded to these photographs of mine. It made sense or seemed really organic that we would synch up and join forces or alliances to find many interesting things. I also had this project called Wonderland of Decay where the premise was about growth in decay and I had these mischievous characters covered in greens moving around blending into this abandoned house. The project was absurd and kind of eerie.

Then Julia and I starting taking trips to more parks and hospitals and it was immediate magic. I brought in some costumes and material that fit the environments and it instantly felt like something was happening within our experiments as we moved around with the materials. The purpose has been to channel energies and to play with remaining artifacts and forces in the space. This is a shared experience has really only begun. The costumes and materials are only a bridge. Collaborating closely with someone who tunes into the same subtle vibrations of a place has been incredibly liberating and things like ego and control do not have any place.

Julia is also doing many things and has been organizing events and working on projects in hospitals for a while. Our collaborative work is called Fantastic Degradation and we have a site( and are finding ways to work on our stuff together as she is all the way in Brooklyn. It has felt like a fairly psychic relationship.

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