Susana Reisman: Rough–cut slab

6”×1”×36” Rough-cut slab, 28 × 20 inch archival pigment print, 2013

The theme of ‘wood culture’ and a rather multifarious display of their functions circulate in Susana Reisman’s photographic exhibition, Standardizing Nature: Trees, Wood, Lumber.  The eclectic photo series display through the transition of tree to lumber, an order by which nature is transformed to the composite wood. The wood in some of the photographs is neither standardized nor naturalized, but a peculiar representation of the idea.

The surface of the rugged slab is partially painted white with an unpainted section in the size and form of a standardized lumber. This piece of wood leans against a backdrop of a white wall, which visually emphasizes on the unpainted surface of what it looks to be a common piece of lumber. Reisman standardizes the wood by de-naturalizing its visual form through painting part of it, while not painting the rest, creating two different shapes in one.

Although it is a rough slab, the first thing we notice is the unpainted shape of a standardized lumber. Through this piece, Reisman distinctively expresses how we recognize the conventional matter in a material rather than in the natural form.

Eun Byul Jo

*Exhibition information: Standardizing Nature: Trees, Wood, Lumber, September 12 – October 18, 2014, Gallery 44 | Centre for Contemporary Photography, 401 Richmond Street West, Toronto. Gallery hours: Tue – Sat 11 – 5 p.m.

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