Susan Wides - Photographer | Visual Artist - Mobile Views

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this: seasons
I, Manahatta
I, Kaaterskill
Fresh Kills
Mobile Views
The Name of And

'Blur, for most of us, is an intractable fact of life. Days, months, years seem to flow by in a dreamy haze, interrupted by all too brief moments of focused lucidity [..] (when) the world shifts into focus, it is not a uniform focus; certain objects, certain significant details loom into consciousness with a heightened clarity as the rest quietly fade away into dreamy obscurity. [..] Susan Wides' newest series of photographs, 'Mobile Views,' are like visible emanations from this myopic eye of the mind. Wides made these pictures with a 4 x 5-inch view camera, twisting the pleated bellows and tilting the lens to create hazily indistinct scenes, each with a narrow zone of sharpness. Details gently glide into focus, catching the eye and holding it like a fish on a hook. [..] In these landscapes, Wides intensifies her use of selective focus to convey this sense of perceptual absorption. She manipulates the camera's lens to seize upon details in the landscape with the hypnotic fixity of a child's gaze. [..] Yet there is also a fluidity in these photographs that echoes the mobile shifting of attention, the way the focus of perception seamlessly darts from one detail to the next. Wides chose to call this series 'Mobile Views' because of the implied and condensed motion within each image, their sense of tilting and panning through space like the mobile frame of the movie camera. [..] With these landscapes, Wides definitively veers away from the sober documentary style that has dominated landscape photography for the last twenty years or so, embracing instead a dreamlike lyricism and a lush interiority. By intentionally throwing her lens out of focus, she encourages a kind of imaginary slippage that imbues her images with a strange sense of enchantment. [..] The continual slippage between focus and blur, clarity and obscurity, also brings to mind the elliptical operations of memory. The time of year (late summer to early autumn) and the time of day (late afternoon to early evening) add to the elegiac mood. And yet Wides' photographs seem to be as much about the processes of forgetting, about the ways in which objects and landscapes and events quietly slip away from us, as they are about recollection.'

-- Madeleine Frank ('Susan Wides: Mobile Views, Kim Foster Gallery' Exhibition Catalog, April 1998)

Mobile Views 2 [Geese, Hamptons] 1997