Artist Statement

then he forgot my name, a self-portrait photography series, examining decay and mortality while reflecting the collective awakening of female power set in American Rust Belt darling, Youngstown, Ohio.

Several years ago my father was diagnosed with dementia, prompting frequent visits to my hometown.  I set forth on a dual mission of spending more time with my father and a creative project employing a rundown family owned building, in the heart of downtown Youngstown, as backdrop. Commencing work under the initial impulse of my ailing father I slam up against undeniably, less than enviable, coming-of-age memories housed in my body. Through researching the history and tenants of the building (thank you Mahoning Valley Historical Society) and employing a willing suspension of disbelief by declaring each occupant/character female. I set the stage for stories of womanhood, replete with trials, wounds, strengths, tolerances and impossible tasks. Drawing upon the recent revelations of what seems an endless narrative of: neglected boundaries, inequalities, injustices, violence and the fallout that ensues.

The use of the color pallet red, white and blue in conjunction with the deteriorating state of the rooms symbolize vulnerability of democracy—what once seemed indomitable. While flashes of yellow represent the light of new beginnings and the potential for rebirth. Despite it all—amid the ruin—the strength of the woman emerges.

 

showing 6 of 28 images.

*To view the portfolio in its entirety please send a request to susancopich@gmail.com with affiliations.