"What I look for in my work is to illustrate an idea using its intended form as a springboard, creating believable though not necessarily real forms that evoke the essence of an object, remaking the known into something uncommon and transformative. I think about the ability of an image to sustain itself throughout time, to excite-provoke and feel new.
Being 5 foot tall, it is not easy to create large works. You have to climb up and down ladders just to take a look at what you are making, but the idea of making an artwork that you can 'walk into' in which all the variable parts add up to the whole, is just so exciting. When I 'install an idea' in a space, I try to consider the architecture as an integral part of the work. Each section or piece contributes to the whole with the work dialoguing from wall to wall and space to space.
I work between dimensions, as an investigation into perception and optics. I loved the illusional play on shape and space in Bugs Bunny cartoons (circle as a hole) where Elmer Fudd would chase Bugs into a hole in the ground with him getting rid of the hole by taking it with him. Line is the obvious 'hole' to work with because it can be rendered flat, given shape, depth or literally extended into space.
For the most part, my work is concept driven and has always embraced a social-political view using an aspect of semiotics (form as sign, symbol or communicative behavior). Sometimes it represents universal laws on the natural world, and may show systems of life processes as subjective universes. I often incorporate video into my installations. What I find so appealing about this medium is that it is concept driven, time based, sensory and completes my static work. Its ability to be fluid yet manipulated is similar to my working process. I can alter the intuitive way information is recalled or processed, and can manipulate sequences and operations that will change an association or visual perception, just like I can visually change the outcome of a form."
- Suzan Shutan
River as Economic Trade Route. Paper, 1' x 1' x 20' (above)
The artist, Suzan Shutan (left)