the museum of americana

a literary review

Subdivided Views — Photographs by Susan Moore

 
For many years now I have been photographing the landscape seeking to discover the many ways in which people interact, live and coexist with their environment. This new body of work depicts an idealized view of nature that is fundamental to the subdivisions surrounding South Bend, Indiana.

I began this project, photographing the homes within the subdivision, Ranch Acers, where I live. I was most drawn to the spaces between the homes, a depiction of the façade and the exterior landscape. And, although there are similarities between the subdivisions as each one is typical of subdivisions as a whole, it is the unique qualities that drew me to each of these places. I admire the care many homeowners take in maintaining their lawns. Expressing their pride through the exterior of their home shows the cultural significance of the home in relation to the American Dream.

From the lawns of the individual homes, I continued photographing the wide swaths of land that subdivisions encompass. The places where the development presses against its surroundings and the somewhat empty space that cushions and creates distance between the homes. In these quiet places, the underlying bucolic nature of the suburb is most evident.

These images depict my engagement with my immediate surroundings. The wide-angle lens exaggerates the expansive lawns and amplifies the distance between the home and the camera, illustrating the privacy and the quiet isolation embodied in the subdivision, a ubiquitous part of society and culture in Indiana.

Susan Moore, Photographer

 

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Susan MooreSusan Moore received a BA from Columbia College in Chicago in 1991, a Master’s in Art Education at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago in 1998, and most recently, in 2003, she earned an MFA from Washington University, School of Art. Currently Susan Moore is an Associate Professor at Indiana University, South Bend, where she coordinates the photography area. In her teaching, Susan has developed and taught an international program to take IU students to Florence, Italy to study abroad for four weeks in the summer. She teaches students at every level in the photography minor and BFA major. Susan Moore’s photography has been exhibited regionally and nationally in individual shows as well as juried exhibitions. Her work was recently published in View Camera. Her recent landscape images were selected for exhibition at the South Bend Museum of Art and she has received grants from the Indiana Arts Commission to support her landscape photography projects.

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