Susan Wides’ photographs render the sleek surfaces and bright lights of Manhattan as a series of disorienting glimpses. By allowing her images to “go soft” at the edges and to lose sharpness of a singular focus, she welcomes the camera’s objective failures. The results are both precise and painterly; a general sense of the landscape is set up and then in certain places it snaps into clear focus. The photographs are part of a series Wides calls “The Bubble,” referring to both the glassy, distorted reflections on the surface of a bubble, but also to the fragile and disorienting economic “bubble” of New York City. The images convey the atmosphere of city life, its conditions of light, movement and the divided attention that urban existence demands.
J. Abbott Miller
2wice, Vol. 6 No. 2, 2003
Shortly before the Fresh Kills landfill closed in March 2001, I photographed it by day. Located on Staten Island, it is at the edge of New York City. At night, I made photographs at the glittery center of urban consumption in Manhattan. Together, the pictures explore two poles of the city: the brand names visible among the detritus at the Fresh Kills margin testify to the allure of their origin at the center.