Greg Wasserstrom

Greg Wasserstrom

Work from USA!USA! (The Doldrums)

From an interview with Liz Kuball:

Liz: I love your project The Doldrums. It feels really cohesive in its disjointedness to me, like there’s a madness with a method underneath. Is that intentional, or does it just come out that way? I tend to be worried about drawing connections between images, and you seem not to be burdened with any of that, and it works so well. I guess I’m curious how you do it, if that’s even answerable.

Greg: I’m really happy to hear you say Doldrums feels cohesive. Having lived through all the moments the series presents, it certainly feels cohesive to me, but I’ve shown it to a couple gallerists who didn’t agree. But I do feel that these images are inherently tied together and that they are part of an ongoing body of work. The series is about the last few months before I moved from D.C., so I added the subtitle “A Fractional Portrait of the Nation’s Capital.” I think that helps make sense of it for people who don’t see what I’m getting at at first (or second) glance.

At the same time though, I kind of don’t give a shit about traditional organizing principles. Not that there’s anything wrong with creating work in a more project-based way. If that was a process that came naturally to me, I would assuredly use it. But I don’t think like that. I just shoot, and then the art is in the editing. So, in a certain sense, they all are just a bunch of one-off snapshots thrown together. But they create a sort of nonlinear narrative about me and the space I inhabit. If that doesn’t appeal, I don’t blame you. My life isn’t exactly the most fascinating.

But I hope to make work that that’s both personal and socially revealing. Looking at my life and what’s going on around me always makes me think that it’s totally insane that we live in a system that can support kids like me. So I want to try and do things that are sort of self-conscious chronicles of this particular historic moment; something that’s immersed in it all, but always cognizant of the giant thundercloud that’s hanging over this entire period of history.

But even if you don’t buy that, I think that my way of seeing comes across loud and clear. It all serves as a chronicle of depression if nothing else. So one way or another, I think it’s the autobiographical nature of what I do and the inescapable point of view I bring to it that links my work together—at least in my eyes.

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