“Bending Time”, Antique photo collage, 2013-present
The convergence of my passion for exploring the world and collecting old, discarded, often damaged objects, ephemera and antique photographs led to creating these collages. I occupy myself on road trips making traditional photographs, both digital and film based, while stopping along the way to explore antique malls, flea markets and garage sales.
My emotional connection to this work is totally different from other projects. When looking at the photographs, I know that my gaze is falling on the subjects in the same way the photographer saw them many years ago. When I hold a portrait, I suspect I am holding a photographic print the subject held and studied. Some of the materials I use have survived since the late 1800s. Occasionally I can see where a photographer retouched an image to enhance details, showing a presence that exists even in absence.
A fingerprint may be embedded in an old negative or a print may have the signature of the photographer or the name of the subject, but most of these images are of anonymous people and places made by unidentified photographers.
These collages are painstakingly difficult to make. Finding the elements that will work together and that are the proper scale is an endless challenge. This work is the antithesis of the “perfection” of digital photography. The only requirement I have imposed for these collages is size and that each piece includes some element that is a photograph, negative, or other material related to making an image using a camera. Currently there are 80 collages in Bending Time.
Susan Goldstein was born in the middle of the last century in Indianapolis, Indiana and moved to Boulder, CO to attend college in 1968. After moving to Denver in 1978 she began working for Denver’s weekly newspaper, Westword, eventually becoming the staff photographer. An admitted “late bloomer” she pivoted from the world of journalism to fine art at 49. Goldstein has been described by Denver’s art critics as a multifaceted artist who in addition to creating many photographic and photo-based bodies of work, has successfully made sculpture from antique office supplies, addressed a variety of political issues using collage and installation and generally explored mixing materials to make new imagery. The most recent collage work, Bending Time, unites her love of collecting, photography and collage.
Goldstein’s photographic work is included in numerous collections including the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, the Museum of Modern Art, Joaquim Paiva Collection, Rio De Janeiro, Brazil, Luz Astral Foundation, Buenos Aires, Argentina and The Colorado Photographic Arts Center.
Her work has been exhibited extensively including at the New Mexico Museum of Art, the Griffin Museum of Photography’s Stoneham Gallery, Colorado Photographic Arts Center and Colorado College’s Idea Space.
His website is susangoldsteinstudio.com
Kent Krugh is a fine art photographer living in Cincinnati.