Let's Reveal Susana's Work
I'm Macarena, I'm 25 years old and I'm an art historian. I dedicate myself to research and cataloguing of private collections. My project seeks to finance the initial stage of inventory, classification and registration of the visual archive of the surrealist artist Susana Wald.
Susana Wald (1937) is a surrealist artist with a creative trajectory of more than 50 years. She has developed in ceramics, painting, drawing and mural painting. In addition, she has published more than 40 surrealist books (exhibition catalogues, magazines, unique books). Since the 1960s, together with his fellow poet and collagist Ludwig Zeller (1927), they have managed exhibitions of surrealist artists and have endeavoured to spread Surrealism as a creative movement and as they consider and practice it: a way of life.
In 2016 I was fortunate enough to meet them both at their home in Oaxaca, Mexico, where they have lived for more than 25 years. There I was able to interview both of them, but I focused especially on studying Susana's work, seeking to find experiences of women artists in the surrealist movement. I immersed myself in her workshop, in her paintings and ceramics and I realized that her work spans 50 years of trajectory that are invisible in Chile. Her experience matches that of many women artists associated with the surrealist movement in the twentieth century.
Since then, I have dedicated myself to studying and disseminating her work and her experience as an artist, as a woman and as a surrealist in articles, in academic instances, even making her entry in Wikipedia. My motivation during these almost three years has been to make visible her testimony as a woman artist in the twentieth and twenty-first century. It is time to REVEAL her art of concealment and share it with the world.
The meaning of the term reveal includes the inventory, digitization, organization and registration of her visual work. To reveal her work is to make it accessible to the greatest number of people: to reveal is to unveil, is to publish and update her visual trajectory of more than 50 years.
Together with her family, Susana emigrated from Hungary to Argentina when she was 12 years old (1949), escaping from the Stalinism prevailing in Budapest. She lived in Buenos Aires until she was 20 years old and then crossed the Andes and immigrated to Chile, obtaining her nationality a few years later. She met Ludwig Zeller in 1963 and after 13 years in Santiago, they decided, this time together, to start a new life in Toronto, Canada. They stayed there for 24 years and that period meant internationalizing their work, becoming part of the international surrealist movement and the Phases group. In 1996 they moved all their belongings to Oaxaca, Mexico, where they have been living for more than 25 years.
All these changes of residence and experiences linked to the artistic culture of three countries as different as Chile, Canada and Mexico imply two things for Susana's work: On the one hand, her work has been impregnated with the currents, trends and environments of each country, marking stages in her artistic production. On the other hand, constant uprooting has prevented hers work from taking root in a particular scene, relegating it to a second place in the history of local art. Her house contains 50 years of creation that has spread from one end of the continent to the other, like the last redoubt of a wandering bird.
Her individual work is a contribution to the foundations of 20th century Chilean and Latin American surrealist art. Susana Wald is 81 years old. She has lived in 5 countries. She has translated and edited more than 50 books, invented typographies, organized, together with Ludwig, more than 25 art exhibitions; founded three surrealist magazines from which several issues derive; founded a cultural center in Santiago de Chile in 1968 and belonged to the Phases group in Paris in the 1970s.
The artistic production that testifies to this history is found in their home in Oaxaca. It is an invaluable collection since it is a record of the presence of a Chilean in an international literary artistic movement. There are more than 2000 works among paintings, collages, ceramics, drawings, sketches, engravings that have not yet been systematized.
Such a volume implies a great effort of cataloguing and conservation.
The intention of my project is to rescue this visual collection. What does the term rescue imply? It implies:
to mediate the works and documents
That takes time, technical equipment, patience and dedication. The project seeks to finance a month's stay in Oaxaca to begin the rescue of Susana Wald's art archive. The work involves the cadastre of these documents; their physical granization; their digitalization; their photographic capture; and their digital organization. I will do this side by side with Susana at her home. Your contribution can help me pay for the ticket, the stay and the necessary equipment for this task. But more importantly, participating in this project shows your interest in safeguarding and caring for our heritage.
This initial stage of inventorying Susana Wald's collection aims to host the visual archive on a website, for public and free use, in order to contribute to the knowledge and research of her surrealist work.
ALL THE REWARDS INCLUDE A THANK YOU EMAIL AND A MENTION ON THE WEBSITE THAT WILL BE CREATED AFTER THE DIGITIZATION OF THE WORKS OF SUSANA AND LUDWIG.
All this collection can, finally, be everyone's.
Thank you for helping me to release these documents.
If you like the idea, please share it!
This project contains generous and original rewards:
Stickers (10 x 6 cm) and mark books with unpublished work by Susana Wald
Postcards with Susana Wald's visual work signed and dedicated