The photographers of Friderike Heuer
Sept 10 – Nov 1
Opening Reception: Sept 9
The transient nature of the immigrant experience, in place and emotion, inspired Friderike Heuer to photograph objects in transition. Her montages of materials found in steelyards, trashcans, recycling centers, junk stores and shipyards, bring to mind the Jewish scrap peddlers from Eastern Europe who began to arrive in Oregon in the early 1900s. Some of these immigrants made their livings by gathering scrap metal that was cast off, discarded, and broken and by peddling it on the streets of Portland and other Oregon towns. A few of these peddlers eventually turned this “recycling” work into successful enterprises such as the shipyard, where she was photographing.
Heuer’s montages represent the transient nature of the materials that historically provided some Jewish immigrants with a livelihood: iron, wood, glass, paper and steel. Contemporary immigrants too, regardless of how they made their livings back home, sometimes have no other choice than to turn to menial jobs, cleaning or working in the fields. Heuer provides the viewer a way to contemplate the mobility of the lives of immigrants, from one land to another, from one life to another.
The digital photographs were combined and altered to form abstract depictions using a MAC and Adobe Creative Suit 6 and printed with archival ink jet on German Etching or metallic paper.
About the Artist
Friderike Heuer immigrated to the United States from Germany in 1981. After receiving a Ph.D. from the New School of Social Research in experimental psychology she taught visual perception and cognition at both the graduate and undergraduate levels for 15 years. Her work with photomontages is primarily concerned with issues of social justice (historic and contemporary), the consequences of exile and emigration, and an exploration of the boundaries between photography and painting.