Thursday, July 07, 2016

Recollection: My Lost Yiddish Civilization

Recollection: My Lost Yiddish Civilization
Susan Schaefer’s collage series, part of Women’s Art Institute Summer Studio Intensive 
Artists Reception: July 8, 2016, 5-7PM
University of Minnesota, Quarter Gallery, Regis Center for Art, East Building
405 21st Avenue South | Minneapolis MN 55455

Left: Sura’s Storied Embodiment, 
archival family photographs, 
ink drawings on paper, fine art papers, found papers, and newsprint.

The ten intimate tableau are 8 x 6 and are evocative of the ten commandments etched in stone archival family photographs, 
ink drawings on paper, fine art papers, found papers, and newsprint.
Detail of six of ten

Recollection is the act of remembrance. To re- collect is to gather. The lost history of the Yiddish civilization is my history, the mysticism of the Kabbalah my spiritual center. 
In Recollection: My Lost Yiddish Civilization, I have constructed a remembrance of my own lost Yiddish ancestry and culture using archival family photographs, ink drawings on paper, fine art papers, found papers, and newsprint. I taught myself Hebrew script for this project.
Pen, paper and photography are my media. As a writer, poet, photographer, what better technique to use than fine art collage, a medium used to gather and glue diverse elements according to the rules of line, form, color, repetition and value to create an aesthetic whole, to breath life to my splinted story?
My intent is that the viewer access glimpses of the rich spirit of the Yiddish civilization which like these papers has been torn apart by millennia long dispersal, persecution, and diaspora. 

The ten intimate tableau are evocative of the ten commandments etched in stone.

Saturday, February 27, 2016

Monday, February 15, 2016

Wednesday, December 02, 2015

Mill City Raga: A short film

Click here please: Mill City Raga: A Short Film

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Photo Book, "Gathering the Sparks: Photography and text by Susan Schaefer,” to be published

Cover Image for Gathering the Sparks Book

My photography coaxes the invisible to become visible. When approached in respect and humility any subject reveals its hidden nature. Gathering the Sparks: Photography and text by Susan Schaefer, will be available for purchase shortly. Each image reflects the photographic journey of my past three years contemplating and chronicling interior and exterior life, capturing the sparks that constitute each aspect of human, natural and constructed form through my lens  

Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Visual Poem

Sunday, October 04, 2015

The Last Cigarette

Chester ©2014 Susan Schaefer
The Last Cigarette

I felt privileged to have had a slice of time with the man in the top hat and tails who has been a West Bank fixture for years, and my neighbor. Today, returning from a photo shoot at Mill City Farmer’s Market I felt an uncanny pull as I walked by his infamous encampment directly next to my building, Riverview Tower, tucked under the 10th Avenue Bridge. Had I done as my entire being was directing me, I might have become the last person to see the man so many Twin Citians know as Chester alive. But I didn’t follow my instincts. And tonight, after an evening out with friends at Seven Corners, I returned home to find law enforcement quietly conducting their business exactly at Chester’s outlier campsite home. I knew without even asking that this man whom I photographed was no longer among us.

I am sure the formal details will emerge, but it seems he died of natural causes.

According to our building’s evening attendant, his female companion of years, Marcia, asked to call the police, explaining that she had found Chester “cold and motionless”.

Most old timers in our building had a great fondness for this enigmatic outsider who rode a bicycle throughout the West Bank and Dinkytown, most often soliciting change from passersby. But the afternoon I snapped my portrait on a Dinkytown corner, Chester had just given his last cigarette to another homeless young man. That’s the only Chester I knew. I hope there’s a peg in heaven for his top hat.