Re:Collection: Dionne Lee on Susan Brodie
Visitors to our website are invited to explore thousands of photographic works and objects from the Light Work Collection in our online database that expands access of work by former Light Work artists to students, researchers, and online visitors. To coincide with the our collection website launch, we’re introducing a series on our blog called Re:Collection, inviting artists and respected thinkers in the field to select a single image or object from the archive and offer a reflection as to its historical, technical, or personal significance.
Today we’re sharing a reflection on an image made by Susan Brodie from multimedia artist Dionne Lee. Lee, born in New York City and based in Oakland, received her MFA from California College of the Arts in 2017. Dionne Lee: Trap and Lean-to exhibited in Light Work’s Kathleen O. Ellis Gallery in 2019.
As most of us remain homebound, I’ve found myself pulled between conflicting emotions and obligations: wanting to help but feeling helpless, wishing for connection in a time of mandatory physical solitude, tired of the indoors and wanting to go out. The desire to take a long walk, to go far away, without destination, grows daily.
This photograph by Susan Brodie offers a possibility of escape within the home. The glowing magnets of fruits and vegetables, familiar objects of a grandmother’s fridge, circling each other in a soft-shaped diamond, suggests a portal made from the most humble of knicknacks. Of course, there also is the fridge itself; both a container and gateway. So are the ingredients inside, the meals that will be created, the company that will share them, and the conversations that will happen over each composed plate (their own individual gateways), arranged and then consumed. Everything is traveling through something.
I’m left wondering what other household objects can be gazed at, circled, squared, or spread out into an escape route: black beans let loose from their jar, a lasso of spaghetti, the bottom of a glass after the last sip of water…
Find more of Susan Brodie’s work online here.
Explore the Light Work Collection online at http://collection.lightwork.org