Vice is a photographic series that explores the region in and around Evansville, Indiana. Residents of Evansville, a medium-sized city situated near an oxbow in the Ohio River, identify at once as being part of the American South and within the territory of the Midwest. The third-most populous city in the state, this ‘River City’ is at odds with itself: plagued by the collapse of American industry, Evansville clings to outdated technology while yearning for innovation and revitalization. Vice is a photographic series that presents and confounds the visual conflicts in this centrally-located, right-of-center place.
Flanked in three directions by coal-burning power plants, the air in Evansville is potent enough to pollute cities in the Northeast. It is populated by big pick-up trucks, concealed carry permits, blue collars, red politics, and a vague kind of lawlessness that haunts middle America’s failing industry towns. Drivers are reckless, food is fast, and the landscape is perennially exploited by big energy companies clinging to 20th Century ideals. Yet, despite these industrial and political pitfalls, Evansville is rich with sublime light, lush terrain, deep-seated loyalties, and small-town charm. Through my lyrical documentary photographs, I depict and describe these contradictions while formulating a poetic reimagining of place. By closely observing the visual character of Evansville, Indiana, the resulting body of work presents a figurative photographic identity of the region.
Susan Morelock is an artist whose practice is compelled at once by beauty and theory. Morelock was born and raised in central Pennsylvania. Since then, she has traveled a circuitous path around the country with pit stops in upstate New York, Chicago, 3 of the 5 boroughs in New York City, and a small city in southern Indiana. Along the way, she earneda BFA in photography from Rochester Institute of Technology, an MA in visual and critical studies from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, and an MFA from Columbia University.
Her work has been widely exhibited in venues across the United States as well as in Italy and South Korea. Her photographs have been published online and in-print, including in the Humble Arts Foundation, The New Yorker, and Buzzfeed News. Among her awarded grants and residencies are Artist in Residence at ChaNorth, Pine Plains, NY; Teaching Artist in Residence at the Hudson Valley Center for Contemporary Art, Peekskill, NY; Artist in Residence at Constance Saltonstall Foundation for the Arts, Ithaca, NY; and the Faculty Research and Development Grant at Moravian College, Bethlehem, PA.
Presently, Susan lives and works in Allentown, PA and teaches photography and media at Moravian College. You can see more of her work here.