Friday, 1 February 2013

Susana Wald: Voyage to the Bottom

It was my pleasure to meet-- in an e-sense-- an artist by the name of Susana Wald. We did a small project* together, and I read up about her: accomplished as a visual artist, an author and a translator, Susana is associated with various surrealist schools, particularly in France and Chile.

Susana Wald’s translation of Betty De Shong Meador’s book Inanna - Lady of Largest Heart, Tres grandes poemas de Enjeduana dedicatos a Inanna,  Universidad Autonoma de la Ciudad de Mexico, was launched in 2009. 

In checking out her website, I was quite drawn to this series of paintings she created in the early 80s, The Wives. On her website, this note:
The paintings called Wives are images of the female in relationship of the professions of hypothetical husbands. The pieces were made in a playful manner, often without knowing that the outcome would point to a specific symbolism.
I was both irritated and intrigued by the images: irritated because i get tired of implications that i should apologize for being a straight-girl, and intrigued because of the sheer rude fun of the chairs, and various pieces of furniture. The series reminded me of seeing Judy Chicago's The Dinner Party, at the AGO, and Chicago's The Birth Project as well (in west coast settings).

Judy Chicago, The Dinner Party: Woolf & O'Keefe
 Just imagine pulling up some of Susana's chairs, and sitting down at Judy's vast, triangular table!

Judy Chicago, The Birth project: Birth Trinity
The Birth Project was for me a vitally important investigation of woman's experience, an extrapolation on the place settings of the The Dinner Party: remove the formal settings of the dishes and the table itself-- which is not very welcoming, given the lack of chairs-- and move the fabrics from the horizontal to the vertical planes. Now, let us discuss what is most important to us, the blood and the effort.

The top image is from a more recent series by Susana Wald: "From the end of 1997 to 2006 she worked on a series known as the Eggs." The evocation of the Virgin of Guadalupe is what calls me to the topmost image, fused as she is in this version with the World Egg, just as "The Potter's Wife" (fifth image) evokes the many-breasted goddess. Wald's eight years' duty in translating "Lady of Largest Heart" into Spanish fits in, as well, a deeper meditation, "translations of three long poems attributed to the Sumerian High Priestess Enheduanna, written to and for her personal deity Inanna." 

Playful, rude, infused with a sense of honour and celebration, an argument with life that in the beginning and at the end, is rooted in a vast historical sense, real, surreal, corporeal, whatever.

IV Encuentro de Nacional de Creadores
Susana Wald
Voyage to the Bottom: Enter the Gallery Here


*a small project:
I wrote this poem for Angye Gaona & her little girl
Cristina Castello passed it to Susana Wald
Susana wrote this, translating thus



No comments: