Women Crush Wednesday: Danna Singer
Interview by Francisco Rosario
1. Was it emotionally straining at times to photograph the people you grew up around?
Danna Singer: Yes, definitely. I felt such a sense of responsibility and in my community, pride is motivating force in most everything. I didn’t want to embarrass anyone but I also wanted to make images that were true to the feeling of a place, a person and my experience within it. As the work deals with difficult issues like abuse, and addiction, living in that head space took an enormous emotional toll. I would come back from a weekend of shooting completely depressed, crawl into my bed and not leave for a couple of days.
2: While you were in the process of photographing this series did you ever get a sense of danger? Or is it something you strive to achieve in your imagery?
Danna: I never felt threatened while making the work but I absolutely want there to be a sense of danger in the images. I strive for the work to express those moments in life when one feels a shift, a sense of unease, or loss, like the sensation just before the floor drops out.
A fellow artist conveyed a story to me about a stage actress who was cast in a role that had minimal lines. While on stage, she fumbled with her martini glass pushing it toward the edge of table until it hung on the edge in this desperate balance. With that simple action, the audience couldn’t look away. Anxiety and uncertainty hold a lot of power and that tension is what I’m looking for and want to achieve in my pictures.
3. What is something you gained from this series that you didn't have going in?
Danna: I gained an understanding of how much was sacrificed and given freely to me as I made this work. It was an act of extraordinary love and loyalty by those who allowed me to photograph them. It touched me beyond words.
1. How would you describe your creative process in one word?
2. If you could teach one, one-hour class on anything, what would it be?
The Merits of Scheduling and How to Love your Daytimer
3. What was the last book you read or film you saw that inspired you?
Film: Deniz Gamze Ergüven’s Mustang.
Book: Rebecca Solnit’s Men Explain Things to Me
4. What is your most played song in your music library?
It’s a tie between Leon Bridge’s River and Cat Power’s Colors and the Kids
5. How do you take your coffee?