Sue De Beer
I’m an artist working in film installation. I make these films that are narrative films. If they connect to a genre in film it would sit somewhere between New German Cinema, and Italian Horror. A little deconstructed, a little gratuitous. Every film I have made could loosely fit into the category of an “occult thriller.” But every film I have made is unique, and from a plot point of view they really have little to do with the horror genre. The film I am working on currently is a werewolf film, and I don’t want to tell too much and spoil it. This current film will represent two or three years of my life by the time I open the exhibition. The script is shifting as I am filming it—my favorite part of working.
I worked for many years in Berlin. The easiness of working over there (the cheap real estate, groups of interesting people who would be up for participating in my work) created energy that fueled some of my best work. Returning to New York was fairly bruising. Fantastic people live and work here, but the creative community in the city has been bonsaied by real estate development. As I was looking for a large space to shoot, I met with a range of stressed artists looking to sublet their studio spaces that they could no longer afford because of rent hikes or a bad couple of months of flat sales.
A friend told me about Mana, and Kele McComsey gave me a tour of their spaces in Jersey City. I was and still am fascinated by their mission. It was great to be in an industrial space that was expanding, whose focus was an arts mission. Brooklyn and Queens, where I had studios and apartments for many years, are a luxury-condo wasteland. Mana generously offered to host my shoot, and it has been the most relaxed and creative shoot I have had since I have been back in the U.S.
Many cities are having this compression problem. It’s not just New York, although New York is certainly high on the list of difficult places. Yet, the urban centers remain a key part of contemporary art dialogue. I’m an artist—not a curator, not an urban planner. I’m not sure what shift will take place in the next decade or the way that the creative community will shift in response to this pressure. But I know that one is underway. I can feel it.