Common Language

Susan Davidoff, Rachelle Thiewes, 2009 – 2011

Our collaborative project, Common Language, began with our joint residency at Fiskars Village, an artist’s cooperative in Finland. We created several site-specific installations that responded to the natural landscape and architectural/ historic structures by incorporating foreign objects/materials. Returning to the Chihuahuan desert, we continued the project as a conversation with the forested Finnish landscape.

Each installation could be experienced in person for a short time before it was dismantled or worn away by natural forces. Because of the temporary nature of the installations, the process of photography became an extension and record of the sites and a central component of our finished project.

There are three major components to the project – large-scale photographs, video and a published book. One image has been selected from each of our 20 installation sites and printed large scale directly on aluminum. Two videos are projected on adjacent walls in conjunction with the photographic installation. A hardcover book with photographs and text relating to the project and process has been published, with a special artist proof edition.