A unique collaboration between a visual artist and a nursing home has resulted in a provocative series of video portraitures about aging, time, image, memory, and relationships. Media artist Susie J Lee began the Still Lives project in April with residents of Washington Care Center (WCC), a nursing and long-term care facility in Southeast Seattle, to explore questions about what we hold onto and what we let go over the passage of time.
For over three months, Lee and high school student volunteer Elizabeth Grubb, visited Washington Care Center residents on a weekly basis, conversing, listening to stories, playing music, and helping out. For example, one resident quietly sang gospel tunes, another played and sang Eric Clapton on electric guitar, while a third spoke of her life caught in the Armenian conflict. Lee sought to ground each person’s portrait in their personality with a particular focus on where they are now and how they view their past. At the end of June, director of photography RK Adams was brought in to film each resident in a series of professional video shoots. Adams’ extensive film knowledge facilitated and contributed to the composition, lighting and tone.
The Still Lives video portraits are composed of moments that are inherently still, such as waiting, watching, and daydreaming. The work is not slowed down or frozen, but rather, is realized as an unfolding of actual time.
New media artist Susie J Lee merges digital technologies with objects and spaces to create ephemeral, time-based installations, sculptures, and performances. An inextricable cleaving of materiality with light, sound, and image form the touchstone of transient experiences and connections. Lee's work has been exhibited locally, throughout the US, and internationally in Korea and Italy. Her video work is currently showing at the Blanton Museum, and a number of works has been collected by prominent private and national museum collections.
She has received numerous grants, awards and permanent public commissions, including the Wing Luke Asian Art Museum and the Finn Hill Jr High School. Her background is in Molecular Biophysics and Biochemistry at Yale University with a Masters in Science Education at Columbia University. She received her MFA at the University of Washington. Susie is represented by Lawrimore Project in Seattle and Galleria Tiziana Di Caro in Italy.