water & architecture : Escape: Highways

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Lewis Baltz: Text for Paris Biennale Catalog

Susa Templin
Born in 1965, lives and works in New York
"My own work", she wrote, "is about exhibition space, and ... against the notion of a final art product".
Trained as a painter and a film maker Susa Templin's allegiance to photography is contingent, "I want to use photography in a different way ... to show what I think, see, feel and wish, even though it is invisible...". "It's important to lose respect for the conventions of the medium ... photography makes it possible to produce many cheap pictures. It's interesting to show a vision or an idea but not to show skill or physical handwork".
Templin's febrile, nervous environments of shifting boundaries and oceanic imagery, coupled with her strategic disregard for the definitive object reference an agenda that quietly subverts both Modernist and the Post-modernist orthodoxies.
Templin's iconography privileges the notion of dislocation and fluidity: bodies of water / bodies in water; water in the city / the city submerged. The city and the water as two sites where movement is possible along both the x and y coordinates, and both are containers for the body, its movements and its processes. "Water symbolizes the decision of how you want to move, if you want to be on the surface or if you want to go deep inside; it's the beginning of life, and of real depth. There is no up or down".
"Deserts : empty spaces ... horizon and surface".
"Cityspace: how architecture dictates the way we move, and where we should feel free. "Swimming pools are ... the negative image of the city".
"Boxes: ... apartments, in bigger boxes ... buildings. People construct boxes to contain content: containers. I like the idea of a box that contains content".
"Me and my body : being in-between or outside ; being involved, showing that sometimes I'm totally weak and sometimes I'm strong".
Susa Templin's citations from an interview with Lewis Baltz, New York City, December, 1997
from the Catalog "Biennale de lĀ“lmages Paris, 1998" a joint publication by the Centre National de la Photographie, Paris and Actes Sud Publishers, Arles

ISBN 2-86754-116-6