MFA Photo/ Video alumni Susannah Ray and curator of Prints and Photographs at The Museum of the City of New York, Sean Corcoran, spoke at the Works on Water/Underwater New York Residency Project Space on Governors Island last month, where selections from Susannah Ray’s series "Down For the Day" were presented.
From Susannah Ray's "Down for the Day:"
"They all come down for the day. Camps set up shoulder to shoulder, mini-habitations, refugees from the city. Running into the water with a shout. By August it's like a bathtub. The late-afternoon sun, relentless, lowering in the sky, the shadows grow long, lifeguard whistles from one stand then the next, like a virus up and down the beach: everybody out. Shaking sheets and packing coolers, missing flip-flops and crying toddlers, trying to rinse off the sand, its everywhere on everything, sand, sand, and more sand."
Susannah Ray lives in the Rockaways, a small peninsula on the edge of New York City bordered by the Atlantic Ocean, Jamaica Bay, and JFK International Airport. This intersection of city and water is at the heart of her photography and extends her early interest in landscape photography, which she uses as as form of visual geography, rendering the complex interrelationships of place, people, history, and ideology.