SUZANNE OPTON

Soldier’s Face

SUZANNE OPTON  AIR

source: blogvoccomcn

苏珊娜·奥普彤(Suzanne Opton)是一位美国摄影家,拍摄了一系列的美国士兵肖像,呈现出私密又令人不安的状态,这些士兵都是从伊拉克或者阿富汗归来的,并且经过短暂的休整和训练之后,又会回到战争之中。

这些肖像拍摄于部队,采用非常规的姿态,并且使用了近摄的模式。奥普彤将他或她将脑袋放在硬的桌面上,侧面面对照相机。在拍摄照片的过程中,让他们保持静止。两者之间不用太多的语言和指导。摄影家只是默默地操作她的4×5相机,调整焦距,移动光源,选择时间,而士兵只是保持其专注的姿态,在放松的状态中进入沉思或回忆。摄影家于是等待他们不戒备的瞬间按下快门。

摄影家希望保持画面的原生态,除了发型,希望没有什么线索暗示士兵的身份。没有军服,没有勋章,更没有枪和伪装。我们看到的就是巨大且空洞的脑袋,以及脸部熟悉的细节,包括每一张脸中看上去有点受惊,或者不知所措。

奥普彤说:“他们有的看上去很安静,有的患有战争疲劳症。他们看上去都是非常易受攻击的。”
还有一层令人不安的因素,就是我们很少看到这样的姿态安放,距离又这么近——除非我们和他们睡在一起,靠在同一个枕头上。于是我们还会感到一种非常不舒服的亲密感,感受到一种心理创伤,一种难以撼动的情感。

奥普彤的这一系列作品还有另一种处理方式,同样是脑袋和近摄,但不是一个人的脑袋,而是让其妻子、女友甚至是其他的士兵托着。很难说这是一种舒适感还是保护感,尤其是这些士兵的脸看上去更为令人不安或者疏离、恍惚。

奥普彤在2009年获得古根海姆基金奖。她的士兵系列已经成为一种战争的宣传标识,出现在美国八个城市的广告牌上,同时引起广泛的争议,关于艺术,关于士兵。她的作品往往介于纪实和观念之间,她常常让被摄者做一些简单的表演,从而更好地描述他们的生存环境。她的作品被世界一些重要的机构收藏,同时她也在国际摄影中心执教。
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source: fotogartisticablogspot

“Nei ritratti dei soldati ho voluto dare luce a volti di giovani che hanno visto qualcosa di indimenticabile. Ho chiesto a ogni soldato di mettere la testa sul tavolo al fine di creare un’immagine provocatoria che mostri la solitudine e la vulnerabilità di chi torna da una guerra”.

Suzanne Opton nasce nel 1950 a Portland. Dopo aver studiato filosofia, si avvicina alla fotografia da autodidatta. Attualmente vive a New York, dove insegna presso il Centro Internazionale di Fotografia (ICP).

Con la serie “Soldier” la Opton riesce a coglier la fragilità umana dei soldati, attraverso dei ritratti di giovani militari tornati dal fronte iracheno e afghano. Mediante una posa alquanto peculiare, la fotografa americana rende visibili le cicatrici dell’anima che lo scontro bellico inevitabilmente infligge. La testa dei soldati viene ritratta appoggiata su un tavolo, come se il corpo avesse perso la linfa vitale e lo sguardo si perdesse nel vuoto.

Piuttosto che limitarsi a esporre le immagini in una galleria, dove avrebbero raggiunto un pubblico limitato, la Opton ha esposto le fotografie su cartelloni pubblicitari in tutto il paese, riscuotendo reazioni polemiche e apprezzamenti. In “Many Wars” Suzanne Opton continua il racconto riguardante i soldati, concentrandosi sulla sindrome post-traumatica da stress.

I soldati appaiono avvolti in una coperta pesante, come l’eredità di una guerra mai terminata. Ritratti fragili, intimi, dei ricoverati per disturbi da DPTS, in una clinica medica per veterani nel Vermont.
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source: argusvlinderwordpress

Er is een heel mooi kunstproject dat in de Verenigde Staten een nogal gemengd ontvangst krijgt.
Suzanne Opton, een fotograaf uit New York, heeft foto’s gemaakt van soldaten die in Irak en/of in Afghanistan zijn of zijn geweest.
Niet in stoere poses met volledige bepakking en bewapening, maar close up, in een heel serene omgeving, mooi belicht, kwetsbaar.
De foto’s zijn gemaakt in 2004 en 2005 in de Verenigde Staten met toestemming van de soldaten en hun officieren.
De foto’s zijn bedoeld om te verschijnen op bill boards, grote reclameborden.
Een foto is in Denver te zien geweest ten tijde van de Democratische conventie.
Er zouden ook foto’s getoond worden in St. Paul, tijdens de Republikeinse conventie maar om de een of andere reden ging het op het laatste moment niet door.
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source: photogaspesieca

Elle a fait ses débuts comme photographe autodidacte dans une petite ville du Vermont où elle a photographié six familles tout au long d’une année. Elle a ensuite déménagé à New York où elle a été durant plusieurs années photographe de magazine indépendante.

Le livre de Suzanne Opton, Soldier/Many Wars, a été publié par Decode Books en 2011. L’exposition Many Wars a été présentée au Chrysler Museum en 2012. On retrouve ses œuvres dans plusieurs collections permanentes, entre autres au Brooklyn Museum, au Cleveland Museum, à la Library of Congress, au Museum of Fine Arts à Houston, au Nelson-Atkins Museum et au Musée de l’Elysée à Lausanne.

Elle a été récipiendaire de la bourse Guggenheim en 2009. Son projet d’art public Soldier était composé de portraits de soldats américains affichés sur des panneaux d’affichage et dans des stations de métro de huit villes en 2008-2010. Elle vit à New York et enseigne à l’International Center of Photography.
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source: publimetro

La fotógrafa Suzanne Opton capturó los estragos de soldados estadounidenses que estuvieron en las guerras de Irak y Afganistán.

A pesar de que todos los militares salen en la misma posición, la mirada, la nula gesticulación y los rasgos del rostro dan un mensaje de descomposición del individuo.
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source: suzanneopton

Suzanne Opton is the recipient of a 2009 Guggenheim Fellowship. Her soldier portraits, icons of the aftermath of the current wars, have been presented as billboards in eight American cities, and have sparked a passionate debate about issues of art and soldiering.

Suzanne is a self-taught photographer who studied philosophy and has been influenced by performance art and the monochrome paintings of James Sprouse. Suzanne’s work lives on the edge between documentary and conceptual. She often asks a simple performance from her subjects as a means of illustrating their circumstances.

Suzanne photographs are included in the permanent collections of the Brooklyn Museum, Cleveland Museum, Fotomuseum Winterthur, Library of Congress, Musee de l’Eysee, Lausanne, Museum of Fine Arts Houston, and Portland Art Museum, Suzanne has received grants from the NEA, NYFA, and Vermont Council on the Arts. She teaches at the International Center of Photography.
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source: lightboxtime

It’s difficult to make a new kind of portrait of a soldier in an age when they have been depicted in such iconic manner in the media. But in her new book Soldier/Many Wars (Decode, 2011), artist Suzanne Opton does so by staging slight performances in front of her 4×5 camera. Opton asks soldiers returning from war to pose with their head lying sideways, and in that simple gesture, much is revealed. “We are inured to pictures of war,” she says. “This may have more power than a documentary picture. It makes you think. It’s a conceptual photo based on a documentary situation and that’s what I’m interested in.” When she began photographing soldiers back in 2006, around the same time her son would have been of draft age if the draft were still mandatory. “I’d see these young guys with all this gear representing the United States, and you really have no idea who they are,” Opton says. “I wanted to strip all that away and look at them like I would look at my own son.”

Getting to the subjects was not easy. After calling bases around the country a public affairs officer from Fort Drum finally called her back and asked if the project would have political undertones, and Opton said no. “Because the country at the time was so polarized, I wanted it to be about people. It’s about looking at these guys and wondering what they went through. How would they continue with their lives, with something that’s never going to go away—how do you manage your life around that? It’s that process that’s interesting to me and it’s the people. It just makes it so narrow to call it an anti-war project and so dismissible.” After Opton explained that it was an art project, they eventually gave her an appointment, and on three visits, she photographed almost 100 soldiers for the series. “They brought in one person after another, and they were all amazing looking,” she says.

Of her process Opton says, “I think of this a little bit as performance art. They have to keep their heads down and they have to stay in that uncomfortable position while I adjust the camera.” In that time their minds can wander and we see soldiers in a rage of expressions from detached to awkward, to sensual, all enhanced by the light and unique background colors she chooses. “I wanted to make them kind of theatrical because I think there’s a certain kind of glamour to the military and the way it presents and sells itself,” Opton says. “These pictures wouldn’t mean anything if they were just the man on the street. The only way we know they are soldiers is the haircut. Studio pictures are abstracted from life, extracted from a sense of place so the color and light was meant to imply a sense of place. If they were fallen where would they be?”

Opton acknowledges that the photos are difficult to view, particularly for those who have children in the military. In fact, she’s the first to admit that she wouldn’t want her own son photographed that way if he were in the military, but she made the pictures to create a dialogue. Opton has even presented them on billboards around the country in conjunction with exhibitions, playing off a space traditionally reserved for fashion ads or movie posters. “The billboards were interesting because they were ambiguous and that’s what we wanted,” she explained.

Suzanne Opton

Opton first exhibited the images in 2006 at a time when showing the coffins of dead soldiers returning home was banned. Today, there still exists a lot of controversy around publishing photographs of the fallen, and Opton says some people connected to the military were upset she’d shown the soldiers in this vulnerable way as opposed to looking strong or heroic. “Of course that’s what you want them to be,” Opton says. “But they are also seen from a mother’s point of view or a brother or sister’s point of view…so it’s from that very personal point of view that I wanted to show them.”