My name is Susan Goldstein, I live in Denver and I am a visual artist and photographer.
The COVID-19: Inside Out series represents my visual engagement with and response to the outside world while sheltering in place. At the beginning of the pandemic, I chose to forgo making traditional documentary photographs and turned to a new way of working.
I am a former newspaper photographer and resisting the urge to photograph the empty streets in Colorado was difficult. After the tragic death of George Floyd, May 25, 2020, emerging from sheltering in place to participate in and photograph the Black Lives Matter protests was a health risk I was unwilling to take.
I have been completely alone for more than a year. Adjusting to this solitary time has been a combination of managing my fear, loneliness, depression, anger, sadness, and eventually finding hope and settling into a more peaceful coexistence with this new reality. I’ve learned to both endure and embrace the situation.
I have been using my windows to delineate the interior from the exterior. By placing materials from my collections on the inside and using the landscape as a backdrop, I engage with the world by creating new images that sometimes relate directly to my thoughts about the pandemic and sometimes respond to the changing physical landscape outside my home and the emotional landscape inside my head.
Time has blurred as we remain suspended between the lives we were once able to live and the more carefully orchestrated lives we must now live to try to stay healthy. The act of creating these images has grounded me, kept me visually engaged, and helped tame my emotional distress.
It is indefensible that the Trump administration ignored best public health guidance and intentionally turned this pandemic into a political tool that has further divided our citizens.
This tragic pandemic reminds us of the universality of the human experience. At the end of the day we all watch the same sun set, we are all vulnerable to the ravages of COVID-19 and each one of us has the ability to cooperate for the greater good to help make life better for all of us. Like so many of you, I long for that kind of cooperation.
This body of work includes more than 50 images and as the pandemic continues, I will make new photographs.