Suzanne Opton is giving a lecture at the Henry tonight on her Soldier and Many Wars photographic series. These photographs were also part of her Billboard Project. As part of this project, Opton installed billboard across Colorado to much controversy. Here are some articles on the controversy and Opton’s response.
NPR: Suzanne Opton describing her Billboard Project in 100 words or less.
The New York Times: The media conglomerate building owners “canceled her contract last week, having decided that the pictures sent a confusing and inappropriate message”
“Our only concern is that people driving on highways at 55 or 60 miles an hour, seeing an image like this popping out of nowhere, it could be disturbing.”
Opton’s response: “They may look troubled,” she continued, “but it’s not easy to be a soldier. Why should that be hidden from us?”
The Guardian (U.K.): “Although the artworks neither display images of violence nor are gruesome, the media company that owns the billboards said it feared pedestrians and motorists would mistake them for images of war dead.”
Susan Opton: “It’s like you see someone opposite of you with their head on the pillow. We see our lovers and our children in that pose. They look like the heads of fallen statues, and they afford the viewer an intimate look at the face of the young person whose life is at risk, and that was the point.”
You can view the photographs at Platform Gallery. 114 Third Avenue South, Seattle; Hours: Wednesday to Friday, 11AM to 5:30PM, Saturday, 11AM to 5:00PM