Suara Welitoff is a Cambridge-based filmmaker and video artist who creates lyrical and meditative videos that elevate the everyday to the poetic. Through the use of color, cropping, framing, and close-ups the videos take on a beautiful, even hypnotic effect.
In Welitoff’s work, seconds of film are stretched into minutes and hours—traditional structures of time and narrative are discarded in favor of a charged gesture or sequence. The chosen moment is often appropriated from a film or the news, but in its reduced and reworked form, retains only a trace of the original source material. In Clouds (history repeating itself), 2009, a violent riot is transformed into an underwater ballet. In Kiss (2010), where birds meet midair, and Rorschak (2010) where the wind billows a woman’s skirt, Welitoff isolates and transforms these singular moments. Slowed and abstracted, the fragmented actions become melancholic poems. What was specific and personal begins to speak of something more broadly universal.
Her videos have often been called “mechanical watercolors” because of their atmospheric haziness and seductive, slow pacing. Like watercolors, they also capture the fleeting and temporal, but as moving images set in a rhythmic cycle, the works insist on a single moment’s transcendence.
Welitoff’s Kiss (2010) was included in the outdoor video exhibition Nature Special, organized by deCordova Curator Dina Deitsch, on the Rose Kennedy Greenway in 2011.
What does the prize mean to you?
"I'd like to express my gratitude and thanks to the Rappaports and the deCordova Sculpture Park and Museum for this generous gift. I am tremendously honored to receive the Rappaport Prize in support and recognition of my art. The Prize will give me time to research and explore materials, and to make new art with the hope of pushing my work to a new level. I’m thrilled by this great opportunity."
Where is she now?
Welitoff was born in Jersey City, NJ in 1951. She works and lives in Cambridge, MA. Her work is included the collections of the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, MA; Worcester Art Museum, Worcester, MA; Deutsche Bank, New York, NY; List Visual Arts Center, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, MA, among others. It has been exhibited in the Institute of Contemporary Art, Boston, MA; NGBK, Berlin, Germany; Participant Inc. and Threadwaxing Space, New York, NY; Western Bridge, Seattle, WA; the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, MA; and CCC Strozzina, Florence, Italy. Welitoff shows with the Barbara Krakow Gallery, Boston, MA and Galerie Anita Beckers, Frankfurt, Germany.