Woman Crush Wednesday: Carole Usdan
Interview by Yanika Anukulpun
"I like to think of the work as a visual essay about the inevitable distorting over time of that which we think we know. The subject tends toward irony. It is at once about the impermanence of knowing. And it is about the impermanence of the images during the creative/ reactive process, the impermanence of images in my hands as they are demolished, fractured and rearranged.
For me, cognitive information is ephemeral. It becomes increasingly imprecise, increasingly mixed up. I try to convey this through process. I am mimicking the impermanence through my process. Intermingling, reinventing, stretching, blurring." Carole explained.
So that leads me to the notion of faces. I believe in the power of faces. I believe we are, in fact, unable to ignore them. In this series, the faces are of women. They are at once ugly and seductive. I have intentionally distorted the faces as a way of referencing the distortions and the imperfections of knowing.
An imprecise look at the perplexing hodgepodge of memory, all that one thinks of as the self. At least I think that’s what’s going on.On s’amuse.
How did you get an inspiration from?
Life is confusing and confirming. I get my inspiration from ambiguity and from anything that seems original or unusual. I’m easily seduced by dreaming and uncertainty.
As I see all of your photos that are all female models. Do you have the particular reasons to choose only female on your pictures.?
I am inclined to portray women because I am one. In the universal sense, I’m depicting the unconscious, particularly the way memories fade and are distorted, simply put, the way we can’t know.. But I’m also interested in societal messaging about women and the tortured role modeling that women, in particular, are subjected to. Hence the confusion and, yes, the distortions.
How did you translate your self-thoughts and feelings into your fine art photos?
How to answer ? This question goes to my core. My feelings are the descendants of my memories. Even though I may not know why, they are by definition the driver of everything. That means that the process starts with some feelings coalescing in an image, some excitement that propels exploration. I then play with the image and with the feeling, hoping to find the secret. I sometimes feel like a surrealist. I value accidents. It goes along with not knowing. I value distortion and disfiguring. It can be alarming and I think it goes along with that as well.
Describe your creative process in one word.
If you could teach one, a one-hour class on anything, what would it be?
The right to do nothing.
What is the last book you read or film you saw that inspired you?
I’m struggling with this. Impossible to pick just one.
What songs do you play the most in your music library?
Feeling Good / Nina Simone Ne me quitte pas / Edith Piaf Je veux / Zaz
How do you take coffee?
Black with a shot of espresso without fail every morning, occasionally something with foam in the afternoons.