Susan Graham                                                      
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DISASTER FOLLOWED...

INSOMNIA


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Insomnia 1997-2003  

      Much of my work over the last few years has had to do with insomnia or with the fears (of guns, of tornadoes, of isolation) which contribute to insomniac musings.  The condition of insomnia is in opposition to the state of dreaming—or insomnia at least precludes dreaming—yet the outcome of prolonged lack of sleep is a dreamlike state.  My sculptures and installations use repetitive acts or actions (often resulting in the making of a multitude of similar objects) and images and linking them to a particular psychological state.

     For my work titled “Insomnia,” I used sugar and egg whites to make hundreds of “subtleties” (named after the edible confectionery displays served between courses at royal banquets in the 15th century).  These miniature sculptures are grouped and combined with film and video to make installations.  A sweet scent emanating from them marks time as it fades. The sculptures are also used as props for animated film loops and dreamlike photographs in which the sculptures function as apparitional presences in figmental landscapes and interiors.  The ongoing processes of this work refer to insomnia; thoughts spin continually and uncontrollably and sleep is unobtainable.

     Throughout the work exist allusions to the culture and landscape of the American Midwest where I grew up: photographs and film loops depict tornadoes, guns made of sugar or porcelain are encased in candy-colored cases, and photographs and videos of empty rooms are combined with scenes of empty malls, hotel rooms, and big skies.


  
insomnia sugar bed
                                                installation susan
                                                graham
insomnia sugar bed
                                                detail susan graham
insomnia silver
                                                gelatin print
insomnia photograph
                                                susan graham
sugar plane
                                                photograph susan graham
untitled landscape
                                                sugar wagon susan
                                                graham
sugar gun firearms
                                                susan graham
Sugar
                                                Approximation-Beretta
                                                92s Pistol by Susan
                                                Graham
Untitled Landscape
                                                (Sugar Coaster2) by
                                                Susan Graham
Untitled Landscape
                                                (Sugar Plane 2) by Susan
                                                Graham