New work: “What Are the Wild Waves Saying,” an exhibition of 14 photographs by Susannah Ray ’94 with audio by Jen Poyant
Location and dates: Bonni Benrubi Gallery, 41 East 57 Street, New York City, July 18-Sept. 7.
The artist: Ray, who lives in Rockaway Beach, Queens, N.Y., began photographing landscapes as a student at Princeton. Later, she began to see landscape photography “as a kind of geography, a visual rendering of the complicated nexus of geology, history, and ideology.” Ray collaborated with Poyant, a fellow Rockaway resident and WNYC senior producer, on “What Are the Wild Waves Saying.”
The exhibition: Last fall, Hurricane Sandy devastated the Rockaways. Ray and Poyant worked together in documenting the experiences of individuals, the aftermath of the storm, and the recovery process. The images and audio score explore the effects Sandy had on the residents and the environment. “People told tales of survival, digging out, rebuilding, and hoping for things to get back to normal. Each person’s story reflects a long history of settlement along the peninsula, from the close-knit Breezy Point community on the west end all the way to Far Rockaway on the east. The floodwaters united the disparate populations of the peninsula through shared trauma and struggle, yet as they receded and the clean-up dragged on, longstanding differences resurfaced,” according to a press release.