Photographers in Focus: Susan Meiselas

you don’t always have to know what you’re doing when you’re doing it [Music] it’s all unpredictable as a photographer I don’t want to look at people as objects I sort of want to find other entry points to making photographs that bridge a relationship that’s different not only between me and the photographed person you could say the subject but also the public or the person who is not in the photograph who’s looking at the photograph and how do they relate to the person they see in the photograph those are the issues that I’m constantly preoccupied by [Music] you so it’s not delighting in just the perfection of the frame though the frame is incredibly important to me but it’s the relationship of that I have with a person in the frame when I think about the work of Prince treat girls of course I’m on the street they are also random encounters chance not planned not intended I meet them on the street over a long period of time multiple years from the age of maybe some of them were eight or ten too into their teens later teens there was a lot of hanging around doorways you know sometimes individually sometimes in small groups but then I also went to them with them to the beach or I would get on the subway and we had somewhere else so I was following them as well as finding them just in odd moments of their own lives not really thinking about what’s so obvious to look back on now is how very very slowly they were shifting their our sense of self their projection of self their posing of their selves one to the other so I’m looking at all of that I’m absorbing all of that I’m sort of assimilating into the little world that they’re creating [Music] of course to be as much of an outsider as I was when I first went to Nicaragua and then progressively to other parts of Latin America and when you’re a stranger in a place which is in conflict no one’s there to protect you unless you have relationships so it’s very it’s very essential for people to understand why you’re there and again it’s not necessarily what you say it might be how you act I tend to not expect that I’m always going to make a photograph I’m okay about just waiting until I feel like people feel okay about my being there I feel I can’t belong there but again it’s nothing it’s very often unspoken it’s kind of how you look at people how you listen to people not just what you tell them about what you’re doing but also how you how people understand why you’re there and what you’re hoping to make and what when you get back [Music] you [Music]

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