SuZen SELF PORTRAIT
Join SuZen at her 50th anniversary retrospective, “VISIONS of LIGHT&SPIRIT” exhibition, opening SUN, MAY 1ST at Westbeth Gallery. On view will be photographs from 1966–2016 and SuZen’s newest multi-media installation. “Transmigration,” inspired by Buddha’s teachings, invites viewers to enter surreal holographic worlds from lower realms to liberation.
SuZen interview with DNA Info
Exhibit To Showcase Work of Artist Behind Decades-Old Times Square Mural http://bit.ly/sz-DNA
SuZen is a fine-art photographer, designer, educator and peace-activist. Her photography has been exhibited in museums and galleries internationally and in numerous public and private collections. Recipient of numerous grants, NYSCA funded a 40’ x 23’ painted mural of her photograph, “Flowing Light,” on 42nd Street across from the Port Authority Bus Terminal in Times Square.
Committed to always pushing the photographic medium into new dimensions, SuZen’s artwork has evolved from traditional black and white photography shown in galleries to public spaces with performances in the lobbies of the One World Trade Center; Port Authority Bus Terminal; and TWA Terminal at JFK Airport. In 1979, SuZen began organizing events in public spaces around NYC. Through the Organization of Independent Artists, she curated “50 NYC Photographers” in the lobby of 26 Federal Plaza. In 1981, she founded, Art for the People, and coordinated numerous public events including her first performance/art installation, “Coming from Blindness Into Sight,” (1982) in the lobby of One World Trade Center. Receiving a grant from the NEA, she co-created a 4 Woman Inter-Arts performance/installation, “Between Spaces,” in the TWA terminal at JFK airport. In 1984, to commemorate the anniversary of the bombing of Hiroshima, she coordinated the first Universal Peace Day in Central Park, which has become an annual event.
SuZen has taught photography at International Center for Photography, Pratt Institute, Lehman College, Hunter College and Marymount Manhattan College. Last year, she retired as a full-time professor at Art Institute of New York City, where she taught digital photography and graphic design.
50 photos to celebrate 50 years – a photo a day! http://bit.ly/SuZenGPlus
Sunday May 8 at 3PM – SuZen presentation
Sunday May 15 at 3 PM – SuZen presentation
TRANSMIGRATION – a multi-media installation by SuZen
by P Segal
In “Transmigration”, New York City photographic artist, SuZen, combines multi-media, moving images of the natural world in a looping installation that represents Buddhism’s concept of the realms of consciousness. Two synchronized projectors cast images onto hanging layers of diaphanous fabric. The multiple layers of the sheer gauze create a holographic effect in which the viewers enter and are transported into ever-changing images and sounds of the ethereal worlds of the biosphere.
Transmigration begins with a bang, symbolic of the beginning of life on earth, and then fades to light. Images of the beginnings of consciousness take the viewers to the dark lower realms, where schools of sardines and jellyfish travel; a single stingray swims alone towards liberation from the lower realms and into bird form; the images encapsulate the essence of evolution and transmigration, the passage of the spirit, after death, into another body. Birds fly up and into the distance, replaced by Monarch butterflies, symbolic of transformation. The turtle appears, as he does in Buddhist teachings, as the symbol of human good fortune. The turtle represents transition, a creature at home on land and water. In the sly humor of Buddhist teachings, the turtle is a frequent character. Buddha asked, “What is the possibility for a blind turtle to raise up in a golden yoke every 100,000 years?” The answer: “Very rarely.” As the daylight footage fades to twilight and darkness, images of lightning and the sounds of thunder bring the 5 minute long loop again to the big bang.
The flowing images of nature in Transmigration, projected onto the overlapping layers of gauze, escape the two-dimensionality of images on film, taking on the multi-dimensional fullness of the teeming, and ever-changing elements of the natural world. The gauze itself changes the viewer’s perception of the images, as it moves, almost weightlessly, in the air currents, drafts, or human movement in its space. The immersive quality of the installation pushes the boundaries of photography and surrounds the viewer with the sounds of nature it presents. Transmigration is the most recent installation of SuZen’s LightVisions series.
SuZen shot the footage for this installation at Coney Island, Brooklyn and various sites in California.
Over the years, she has received numerous grants for her work from the National Endowment for the Arts, the New York State Council for the Arts, the Department of Cultural Affairs, and the New York Foundation for the Arts. Her work has been exhibited internationally in museums and galleries.
“Transmigration” is a new multi-media artwork created by SuZen, a lifelong New York City photographer and designer, in celebration of her fifty years of work in the photographic arts. A resident of Westbeth for many years, SuZen’s long career will be honored with a 50-year retrospective, entitled, Visions of Light&Spirit in the Westbeth Gallery in May of 2016.
• 40’ x 25’ painted mural on 42nd Street, NYC
• Exhibited in museums and galleries internationally
Museum Ludwig, Cologne, Germany
Zabriskie Gallery, NYC.
• Recipient of grants from:
National Endowment for the Arts (NEA)
New York State Council on the Arts (NYSCA)
New Yorkers are familiar with SuZen’s photograph, “Flowing Light,” seen as a 40’ by 25’ painted mural across from the Port Authority Bus Terminal on 42nd Street. It was funded by a grant from the New York State Council on the Arts.