New Work: East of the River (state of mind)

Outside the Soup Kitchen, Ivy City, Washington, DC © Susana Raab 2010

I am going to start boning up on my biblical stories and Jungian psychology.  I love the allegorical and archetypical.  This is why I adore Flannery O’Connor and Faulkner and Joyce.  It’s all about the signs and symbols that subliminally unite us.

East of the River: Kabula and Mabula

Kabula and Mabula © Susana Raab 2010

When I met them, twins Kabula and Mabula Samuels were preparing to move from the Anacostia neighborhood of DC, where boarded up apartment buildings sit next to the faded Victorians of a more prosperous era, to Ft. Lauderdale, Florida.  I photographed them moments before their mother came to collect them for their trip.

East of the River: denominations as low as one dollar.

ATM gives you $1 and Up © Susana Raab 2010

Really, who thinks this is a good idea?

New Work: East of the River

Sienna and Lady with their Puppies, East of the River, Washington, DC © Susana Raab 2011

I’m starting to gel a bit more with this project that has been a really hard one for me.  First I am shooting primarily with the 4×5 that lends itself to a very different style of picture taking for me, less kinetic, fluid, etc.  But I want to also be very deliberate about everything here and very obvious about my presence, because when you are working across the Anacostia River in this other Washington, I feel it’s important to be obvious and open.  The thing to transcend for me, and perhaps I will not succeed – is to move beyond the cliches of life here, and make something that speaks beyond the apparent.  If I’m not successful at least I’m gonna try.

Not for Teetotalers: The Columbia Room – A Commercial Break

Derek Brown of the Columbia Room for the Wall Street Journal

Just wanted to let you DMVers and visitors to our nation’s capital aware  that if you are in need of more than the middle-of-the-road libation you must thither yourself to the Columbia Room, it only seats 17, and is a secret garden of delights! Brothers Brown opened the Columbia Room inside the Passenger which is right across from the Convention Center and it is based a bit on the speak-easy model. You don’t need a password, but you do need a reservation before 10 pm.  It’s only open Thurs-Saturday.  Having had the chance to watch the master mixologist Derek Brown himself prepare drinks for the shoot, I was reminded of a quote from the Robert Olen Butler story, “A Good Scent from a Strange Mountain.” I paraphrase and mangle here:

His kitchen was full of such smells that he knew he had to understand them all or be incomplete forever.

I sampled a bit of a Manhattanesque beverage and gin gimlet, and both were club top-drawer.  As Doogie MacArthur would say: “I shall return!” Here are a few others from the shoot that I liked, and will give you a feel for the Columbia Room.

Always Start with a Handsome Subject © Susana Raab 2010

Clean Implements are Also Helpful © Susana Raab 2010

Crazy Aromatic Ingredients © Susana Raab 2010

A Classy Joint © Susana Raab 2010

Saturnalia Opens Tomorrow at Irvine Contemporary

Eva, Miraflores, Peru, 2009 © Susana Raab

Please do come:

New Work by Gallery Artists
January 8 – February 12, 2011
Opening reception with the artists, Saturday, January 8, 2010, 6-8PM

To celebrate the New Year with a festival of new art, Irvine Contemporary is pleased to present Saturnalia, a group exhibition of new works by gallery artists. The exhibition will include works by Teo González, Melissa Ichiuji, Hedieh Javanshir Ilchi, Akemi Maegawa, Alexa Meade, Susana Raab, and Nicholas Kahn & Richard Selesnick.

Nicholas Kahn & Richard Selesnick from their new series, Mars: Adrift on the Hourglass Sea

I’m ensconced back in the motherland awaiting repatriation with the luggage that contains all my clothes.  Luckily Lima is balmy right now, delightful actually, so just shedding the down jacket allows me to go from winter to summer with relative ease.  Looking forward to a weekend jaunt to the quaint fishing village of Pucusana, then back to Lima to TCB as Elvis would say, then finishing up my too short stay in Trujillo.  A town built by Bolivar.