Susana Raab: Cholita

In support of this year’s New Works Photography Fellowship Award Exhibition and to share the work of this year’s photographers with the online community, En Foco partners with juror and FlakPhoto.com creator Andy Adams to highlight their work in a series of  blog posts. For more information, preview the exhibition catalog. Part 5 of 5.

Family, Huanchaco, Peru, Cholita series, 2011 © Susana Raab 

An editorial photographer by trade, Susana Raab has been telling visual stories for years. It’s no surprise then that social perception and cultural identity heavily influence her current project. Peruvian by birth and father, Raab left the country at the age of three following her parent’s divorce. When she first returned to visit a decade ago, she was surprised to find herself nicknamed Cholita Gringa by local friends. Cholo, a racial slur assigned to Peruvians of mixed American Indian ancestry, is a complicated word with connotations that range from disgust to affection. Similarly, the photographer’s childhood was complicated by an upbringing that straddled two cultures. Raab has spent the past two years photographing modern coastal Peruvians in order to connect with her cultural roots. Her Cholita series turns common stereotypes on their head: instead of poncho-clad natives, llamas and rural mountain paths, Raab shows us middle-class families at the seashore, urban architectural landscapes, and suburban interiors. Cholita is an ongoing exploration of the photographers’ fractured cultural identity and a personal journey to understand her place in a lost homeland.

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Lunchtime, Miraflores, Peru, Cholita series, 2009 © Susana Raab

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Surf and Burger, Huanchaco, Peru, Cholita series, 2011 © Susana Raab

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Paula and her Nanny, Playa Asia, Peru, Cholita series, 2009 © Susana Raab

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Julia, La Costa Verde, Lima, Peru, Cholita series, 2011 © Susana Raab

Susana Raab is the recipient of En Foco’s New Works Photography Fellowship Awards, an annual program selecting three or more U.S. based photographers of Latino, African or Asian heritage, and Native Peoples of the Americas and Pacific, through a national call for entries. The New Works program helps artists to create or complete an in-depth photographic series exploring themes of their choice, and provides the infrastructure needed for national visibility and a professional exhibition of their new work in the New York area. More about her on her En Foco Photographers page and at SusanaRaab.com

Susana’s work is on view as part of New Works #14, at Bedford Stuyvesant Restoration Corporation’s Skylight Gallery in Brooklyn, through July 1, 2011. Please join us Thursday, April 28, 6-8 pm for the opening reception and Saturday, April 30, 2-4 pm for the artist talk.

Andy Adams is the founder and editor of FlakPhoto.com, a contemporary photography website that celebrates the culture of image-making by promoting the discovery of artists from around the world. An online art space + photography publication, the site provides opportunities for a global community of artists and photo organizations to share new series work, book projects, and gallery exhibitions with a web-based photography audience. More about him at AndyAdamsPhoto.com

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Sarah Sudhoff: At the Hour of Our Death

In support of this year’s New Works Photography Fellowship Award Exhibition and to share the work of this year’s photographers with the online community, En Foco partners with juror and FlakPhoto.com creator Andy Adams to highlight their work in a series of  blog posts. For more information, preview the exhibition catalog. Part 4 of 5.

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Suicide with Gun, Male, 40 years old (II), At the Hour of Our Death series, 2010 © Sarah Sudhoff

One of photography’s distinctive qualities is its ability to reveal subjects that are invisible to the eye. But carefully considered images can also make visible ideas that we find difficult to think about or discuss. Dying, for example, is an act that is frequently shielded from view, presumably to protect the living from facing fears of what happens when life ceases to be. Sarah Sudhoff’s At the Hour of Our Death, takes as its starting point writer Phillipe Aries’ observation that “death’s invisibility enhances its terror”.

Like most of her work, these pictures are inspired by personal experience. As a teenager Sudhoff lost a friend to suicide. While visiting his home after learning of the tragedy, she witnessed a clean up crew efficiently removing all physical traces of his final moments—the stuff of death we prefer to quietly avoid. Brightly illuminated and full of vibrant color, Sudhoff’s large-scale photos present swatches of bedding, carpet and upholstery marked with the signs of a passing life. Seemingly grim at first blush, the series is a fascinating and beautiful work of conceptual art. By making abstract the thing we fear most, Sudhoff brings it into stark focus.

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Suicide with Gun, Female, 60 years old, At the Hour of Our Death series, 2010 © Sarah Sudhoff

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Illness, Female, 60 years old, At the Hour Our Death series, 2010 © Sarah Sudhoff

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Heart Attack, Male, 50 years old (II), At the Hour of Our Death series, 2010 © Sarah Sudhoff

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Overdose, Female, 40 years old, At the Hour of Our Death series, 2010 © Sarah Sudhoff

Sarah Sudhoff is the recipient of En Foco’s New Works Photography Fellowship Awards, an annual program selecting three or more U.S. based photographers of Latino, African or Asian heritage, and Native Peoples of the Americas and Pacific, through a national call for entries. The New Works program helps artists to create or complete an in-depth photographic series exploring themes of their choice, and provides the infrastructure needed for national visibility and a professional exhibition of their new work in the New York area. More about her on her En Foco Photographers page and at SarahSudhoff.com

Sarah’s work is on view as part of New Works #14, at Bedford Stuyvesant Restoration Corporation’s Skylight Gallery in Brooklyn, through July 1, 2011. Please join us Thursday, April 28, 6-8 pm for the opening reception and Saturday, April 30, 2-4 pm for the artist talk.

Andy Adams is the founder and editor of FlakPhoto.com, a contemporary photography website that celebrates the culture of image-making by promoting the discovery of artists from around the world. An online art space + photography publication, the site provides opportunities for a global community of artists and photo organizations to share new series work, book projects, and gallery exhibitions with a web-based photography audience. More about him at AndyAdamsPhoto.com

Rona Chang: Moving Forward, Standing Still

In support of this year’s New Works Photography Fellowship Award Exhibition and to share the work of this year’s photographers with the online community, En Foco partners with juror and FlakPhoto.com creator Andy Adams to highlight their work in a series of  blog posts. For more information, preview the exhibition catalog. Part 3 of 5.

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Play, Lensvik, Norway, Moving Forward, Standing Still series, 2010 © Rona Chang

The world moves forward at a dizzying pace, each of us audience to the moments that materialize before our eyes. One of the pleasures of photography is its power to pause time, to create a memory of something before it disappears. For the past 10 years, fellowship winner Rona Chang has been making photographs of her travels with an attentive eye on human interaction with the natural world. Chang’s Moving Forward, Standing Still is an ongoing series of landscapes that explores themes of architectural infrastructure, urban sprawl, and industrial activity. Like a street photographer, she waits for moments to fill the frame, capturing commonplace glimpses of the everyday: workers repairing the Colosseum in Macau, swimmers playing in a spring pool in the mountains of Oaxaca, an outdoor shaving business on the river banks of Wuhan. Observing from a space outside the focus of activity, Chang’s photographs reflect a unique combination of conceptual order and practical chaos. Though sometimes appearing staged, her careful compositions are entirely improvised, recalling classical paintings. Chang’s pictures bear witness to her experience as a traveler and remind each of us—no matter our time and place in the world—to be still for a moment of quiet reflection.

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Gambling, Yulong River, Guangzhou, China, Moving Forward, Standing Still series, 2006 © Rona Chang

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Coal Shack, Yangtze River, China, Moving Forward, Standing Still series, 2006 © Rona Chang

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Kite Siblings, Cholula, Mexico, Moving Forward, Standing Still series, 2010 © Rona Chang

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Men Working, TGDP, Yichang, China, Moving Forward, Standing Still series, 2006 © Rona Chang

Rona Chang is the recipient of En Foco’s New Works Photography Fellowship Awards, an annual program selecting three or more U.S. based photographers of Latino, African or Asian heritage, and Native Peoples of the Americas and Pacific, through a national call for entries. The New Works program helps artists to create or complete an in-depth photographic series exploring themes of their choice, and provides the infrastructure needed for national visibility and a professional exhibition of their new work in the New York area. More about her on her En Foco Photographers page and at RonaChang.com.

Rona’s work is on view as part of New Works #14, at Bedford Stuyvesant Restoration Corporation’s Skylight Gallery in Brooklyn, through July 1, 2011. Please join us Thursday, April 28, 6-8 pm for the opening reception and Saturday, April 30, 2-4 pm for the artist talk. Rona will also lead the Photographing Your Neighborhood workshop for youth on Saturday, May 7, 1-3 pm. All events are free and open to the public.

Andy Adams is the founder and editor of FlakPhoto.com, a contemporary photography website that celebrates the culture of image-making by promoting the discovery of artists from around the world. An online art space + photography publication, the site provides opportunities for a global community of artists and photo organizations to share new series work, book projects, and gallery exhibitions with a web-based photography audience. More about him at AndyAdamsPhoto.com