Within the framework of her exhibition, Jeu de Paume is pleased to provide the audience with a special moment of exchange with photographer, Susan Meiselas and art historian and journalist, Shelley Rice.
During this Masterclass, Susan Meiselas will answer the questions and comments that will be suggested by the participants. To enable her to prepare these exchanges in the best conditions, the participants are invited to send us their questions or proposals before April 10th, 2018 to the following address: firstname.lastname@example.org
SHELLEY RICE: “There is, first and foremost, something I would very much like to ask Susan, and it is a big question. I want to ask her what she has learned from her world travels, her close encounters, her active, varied and engaged career?
There is no way to put Meiselas’ achievements in a box, since she has photographed directly and archived others’ photographs; moved forward in history on the wave of revolutions and backwards in chronicling destruction, death and loss. She has told stories of power and agency, and collected remnants of disenfranchisement and oppression; she has faced violence on levels ranging from war to sexual abuse. She has interviewed people in rural communities and cities on several continents, studied working conditions and family structures. She has perused domestic environments and family albums of those at home and in diaspora. In other words: Susan Meiselas’ life has been an extraordinary journey into the human condition in its many manifestations —a life of privileged access to an extraordinary richness of experience. She is always in the midst of collecting stories about the lives of others, and passing these on to an increasingly global audience.
In my mind, what distinguishes Meiselas is the steadiness of her gaze into the lives of others, her non-judgmental acceptance of peoples’ existences. It is as if she understands that all of us are dealt a hand of cards when we are born, for better or worse, and she is endlessly intrigued by how we choose to play it. Never an ideologue or a political activist in the strident sense, Susan is committed to the sanctity of individual experience, the worthiness of every point of view. I would love to ask her what she herself has learned from the archive she has created and collected during her lifetime —an archive of tales whose diversity makes manifest a vastly expanded picture of life on earth. I think it’s fair to say that Susan Meiselas has helped us to recognize the experiences of those with whom we share this planet. I would love to hear her thoughts on this assessment.”
Shelley Rice, March 2018
Masterclass with Susan Meiselas and Shelley Rice, on Saturday April 14th, 2018, 3-6PM at Jeu de Paume’s auditorium.
Admission: 3 euros or free on presentation of the exhibition ticket (valid only on the day of purchase), within the limit of available seats