this is [not] a photograph

b. 1955 London, England

Susan Derges has built on the classical traditions of art and photography while inventing a new physical means of taking pictures. For her Shoreline and River Taw series, Derges directly immerses large-scale sheets of photographic paper beneath the surface of flowing water at night. With lights placed above the paper, she makes an exposure that captures a unique record of an event, shape, season, and time, never to be duplicated again. To achieve the luminous color in her works, Derges uses Ilfochrome paper (formerly known as Cibachrome) and a dye destruction process. As a positive paper used to print transparencies as opposed to negatives, Ilfochrome has on individual emulsion layers the three primary colors if light - blue, green, and red. During development, the unnecessary potions of color dye are bleached and destroyed. With dye destruction prints, light produces light and color is recorded objectively, producing with Derges calls "a river of reality."

Derges received a B.A. with honors from the Chelsea School of Art, London, and completed post-graduate studies at The Slade School of Fine Art, London, as well as research at Tsukuba University in Japan.

Artwork from top to bottom:

Shoreline, 5 October 1998 (detail), 1998, unique dye destruction print

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