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Susan Black

Born: 12/07/64, USA
Resides: Brooklyn Heights, NY



Casey Kaplan Gallery, New York, NY, 10/96

Selected Group

"All American", Bellwether Gallery, Greenpoint, NY 07-08/01

"Mobile Video Bus", ArtBasel/Liste, Basel, 06/01

The Bass Museum, Miami, Florida, 04 & 06-07/01

"Bildarchive", Kunst-Werke, Berlin, Germany, 02-03/01

Project Room, P.S. 1 Contemporary Art Center, Long Island City, NY, 11-04 00/01

Seventh Havana Biennial, Havana, Cuba, 11/00

"Then and Now", Lisson Gallery, London, U.K., 07-08/98

"Kunstbunker", Nuernberg, Germany, 10/01

World Wide Video Festival, Amsterdam Planetarium, Netherlands, 09/ 00

"Two Friends and So On...", Andrew Kreps Gallery, New York, NY 06-07/00

"Ellen Altfest, Susan Black and Seth Kelly", Bellwether Gallery, Greenpoint, NY 04-05/00

Selected Publications

"All American", Holland Cotter, The New York Times, 08/03/01

"PS1 Special Projects", Frantiska and Tim Gilman-Sevcik, Flash Art, 03-04/01

"Light & Heat from American Indian Women", William Zimmer, The New York Times, 09/24/95

B.A., Cognitive Science, Hampshire College, 1986

Art Matters, 1995 Fellow

Skowhegan, Skowhegan, ME, 1996 The Artist in the Marketplace, Bronx Museum of Art, Bronx, NY 1995


Susan Black resides in Brooklyn with Angus & Fritz. She studied Cognitive Science at Hampshire College and did an artists residency at Skowhegan. Her studio is in Tribeca on White Street, between Church and Broadway. She makes landscape videos and soundtracks.


All my videos are landscapes. Half documentary, half digital manipulation; the "real" altered with a personal private fictionalization of various natural and architectural landscapes, these videos elegantly address representation and re-interpretization, among other things. Using documentary filming of places I've travelled- this footage is re-edited with input from my heads own internal reality. The re-editing process emphasizes an interpretation of the landscapes, with something particular to each in terms of place, or in response to something in the re-viewing. All come with a homemade soundtrack which is integral to the footage. Most of the soundtracks are sampled collages of many different songs and original compositions; the sampled music structurally reflects the process of video editing itself.

"Spangle" is a very typical idealized American landscape with houses and trees. The soundtrack is a remix of two iconic songs -- Jimi Hendrix's Star Spangled Banner and Aaron Copland's Appalachian Spring. Many of the houses are flying American flags. The footage is upside-down and at the end the film appears to rewind very rapidly- like a flashback of a memory of a journey. It then recovers in preparation for another loop, repeating the same story. The color has been slightly altered-it makes one think of a creepy cake. The video works in a psychologically similar fashion as the painting "American Gothic"-presenting an America that is a little bit proud, a little bit like a nice cake, and a little bit creepy.

"Dreamhouse" was filmed on St. George's island, in the Florida panhandle. The dreamy and fictive seeming landscape contains oversized houses on stilts and trees half as tall as they should be. The houses are individual utopias with amazing holiday colors and fantasy architectural elements. The original footage of the houses was odd, the stilts and the topheavy, oversized houses seemed alien to the landscape, like UFO landing pods. The footage was digitally manipulated to "fix" this; the houses were squashed and stretched to "sit" them better in the landscape. The music is original material mixed with Oz Mutantes, Sigur Ros, Pink Floyd, and orchestral music composed for a chinese princess.

"Heaven on Earth", is a slow upside-down film of Palm Springs California bungalows and gardens. Palm Springs is populated mostly by elderly retired folk who plant heavenly landscapes in their last moments of life on earth. There are rarely people seen anywhere outside; an emptyness that makes the gardening even more surreal. The low architecture of the houses is relected in the upside-down landscape ceiling scraping across your head as you watch. The landscaping, pristine and fictionalized, works best as a wonder-world, the flipping of the film gives it that fish-aquarium fantastical. The music I re-mixed mainly from Oz Mutantes, a 60's brazilian psychedlic band. It matches the surreal landscape.

ALL IMAGES © Susan Black