Saturday, August 4, 2007
Photographer : Susana Raab
Susana Raab's dog ate one of my prints. I got a note from her probably 100 years ago ...most likely in 1999, though it seems like forever ago. She was living in Kentucky or someplace like that, house sitting for someone who had a print of mine. Her dog ate the print and she was writing to see if she could buy a new print for the guy from me. Of course, I kind of ignored the note and the whole process of selling the print to the woman...it just seemed too messy. I wanted to stay out of it.
Last year I got to see her work at Review Santa Fe and it was the first work I saw for the length of the workshop that really made me laugh out loud. Amidst photographers' serious large format images of empty parking lots, construction sites, things that look like art but don't really move you, Raab's odd fascination with ugly American culture just seemed hysterical.
"Consumed" is the project here. Raab's obsessions: Ronald McDonald, fast food, marketing overload, testasterone driven guys and commercially sexualized women all roll together in this project. She introduces the work with a quote from the bible:
"a hungry man dreameth, and, behold he eateth; but he awaketh, and his soul is empty"
and follows it up with a more in depth artist's statement. In the end, the project needs little explaining. Raab could have let the project fall into some type of political propaganda, but it never really ends up in that direction. It walks the fine line and hits the tone just right.
For me, I couldn't shake that cycle of serendipity: the project is called "Consumed", it is about Americans and what they eat, Raab's dog ate my photograph, and on and on....
See Consumed and Raab's other projects HERE.
Read her at times very funny blog titled "Look Underfoot" HERE.