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Susan Fereday

Susan Fereday works with an eclectic mix of photography, paper objects, found images, text, video, and installations of light – to explore the medium of photography itself.

She writes: “Where photography transposes its subject from the realm of objects into the realm of pictures, I aim to reverse this process so that images are transposed into the 3D world, and significantly, into the conscious awareness of the embodied, seeing, experiencing, shifting self”.

Remember Me (2001-ongoing) is a cycle of installations that invoke experiences of loss and bereavement in photography. In this work, mourning is implied within a state of self-awareness, described here in the flat fact of photographic death (Barthes) and the existential trauma of representation (Foster).

While many of the installations in the work incorporate photographs in the form of mural prints or image projections, photography is consistently invoked in absence, through the use of light and shadow and a variety of media that emulate the ontological characteristics of the photographic medium…

Under a Steel Sky (2006) is a series of found photographs, all taken inside cars in America, dating 1950s-60s. While the snapshots are from entirely separate sources, they appear surprisingly consistent in mood, subject, narrative, and author. Recurrent subjects include: stressed, anxious or zoned-out drivers; sleeping passengers; abstracted dashboards; horizonless views through windscreens; and landscapes taken with the car windows rolled-up.

“Over the past decade I have been collecting domestic photographs of uncertain origin, and re-presenting them to privilege new meaning. By this action I hope to foreground issues of mystery, authorship and disclosure that shadow the photographic image, even in its most ingenuous form.”

The series invites speculation around the effects of industrialisation and material complacency; and of the luke-warm cold-war terror that rides inside the American Dream…

(Susan Fereday 2006)