Sans [ceuticals] | Su Wu, Writer + Art Critic

Su Wu, Writer + Art Critic

Images by Nastassia Bruckin

20 - 05 - 24

Interested in finding the beauty hidden amongst the strange and the border-line revolting, Su has carved her own niche in the art world by curating, critiquing and reviewing artworks that require a second look. There is a transparency to the way in which Su looks at the world that is unlike any other, an approach that, we imagine, takes continuous reflection and analysation. It is this consideration and openness to listening that we admire in Su. While her presence is warm and gentle, as she sits and simply observes, her comments towards our conversation are frank and humorous. So when it comes to rituals, a subject we find deeply reflective of a person, we were extremely excited to see how Su would respond.

Images by Nastassia Bruckin

Sans Woman

On reenergising creativity:

I’m into the idea of getting dressed for work even though I work from home, like how Alice Gregory wears lucite-heeled stripper shoes to write in her living room. I love that -- the idea that certain articles of clothing announce that you’re ready to work. I dress for leisure, all caftans and slippers, but maybe I’ll get some steel-toed boots or something.

On reflection of one’s own work:

I’ve spent enough time writing criticism that analysis doesn’t feel entirely negative to me, especially when it’s coming from yourself and not others, and especially when it’s true. It feels like paying attention and caring enough, and also trusting that your skills will eventually meet your own standards.

On family traditions:

Fighting really hard for your beliefs, especially over the dinner table. I wouldn’t have thought this was a tradition except I was pretty late to the realization that not everyone likes to digest an argument as much as I do.

How do you manage boundaries in relation to technical devices? "There is a hill next to the house that blocks cell phone reception, and there are often things I’d rather be doing than climbing a small hill."

On overcoming feelings of anxiety in relation to own work:

As a child, I used to practice interviewing myself in the bathroom mirror. I’d always wanted to be a journalist, but I never thought about having any answers of my own, just questions. So if I’m feeling nervous about the impending presence of other people, I might talk to myself a little bit. Or read poetry! Which is like answers rushing ahead, waiting for the questions to catch up. And if I’m feeling anxious, more generally, about the unspecified looming damages of being alive, it helps to take a bath or get in water.

Thoughts on cooking for one:

My family sat down to dinner together every night, even when my parents were going through a raw food phase and dinner was just some plum juice and celery. Then I went to a small Quaker-founded school where one of the secular vestiges of the religion was this attempt to have everybody dine together in community under one roof. So I’m not very good at eating meals alone. I might just eat some sliced radishes with butter or a nectarine while leaning against the counter reading, which I’ve loved to do ever since a relative scolded me as a child that only dirty old men eat fruit whole with their hands, without slicing it.

Sans Woman Su Wu Nastassia Bruckin

Secret to getting out of the door on time? "Nothing but the system of outsized guilt, I guess."

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