Susan Wides - Photographer | Visual Artist - Waxworld

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

Waxworld (1983-1990) uses the question of where reality ends and illusion begins—a subject inherent in waxwork displays—as a starting point for exploring human interactions in both public and private spheres. In photographing these uncanny and claustrophobic displays, packed with the iconography of a popular culture fascinated with its own decline, I saw an unsettling spectacle of myth, history, and recent headlines. As relics of a time past, the wax figures also seemed to reflect a forceful refusal of death, a quality shared with photography.

The series is, in part, a response to these often misogynist distortions—a refictionalizing of the subjects that removes them yet further from their origins. In doing so, I create new visual artifacts, producing worlds for the viewer to sort out.

Masterpiece Theatre 4 [San Francisco, CA] 1986