The photographs of Susan Wides convey the experience not merely of being in a place, but of connecting to that place on many levels of consciousness. Wides creates a unique visualization of a site utilizing a language of the lens both with her approach to the subjects of her investigations and the methods of selective focus she has innovated and evolved since the 1980s. Wides directs our eyes towards essential nuances of comprehension to construct a visual memory weaving the artist's perception in and out of our socio-cultural memory. Wides' photographs rely deeply on light and time in order to dissolve, intensify and filter our visualization of a place.
At a time when the virtual seems to rival the real, Wides locates the poignancy of human desire to be in our environment, where we feel "in the heart of the multitude...in the midst of the fugitive and the infinite," as Baudelaire said of the flâneur. Wides adopts a transformative vision of our natural and urban environments, expressing her conceptual and intuitive responses to our relationship with a site. Her lens blends her subjects with their surroundings to express the interconnectivity of subject, subjectivity and space.
Merleau-Ponty writes of Cêzanne's struggle to paint "an object in the act of appearing, organizing itself before our eyes." Cêzanne "did not think he had to choose between feeling and thought, as if he were deciding between chaos and order." The subtle complexity of Wides' images fuse feeling and thought, requiring us to slow down and contemplate where we are, and thus the very "why" and "how" of our being.