“Mama’s Girl Suite”, a series of vignettes, evokes a memory play. Composed from images in Mom’s photo archive and mine, photographs are broken apart, juxtaposed and reinterpreted, as I ruminate on our mutual engagement with the camera, and the ways we’ve projected our sexual identity onto one another through the creative process.
“A Daughter’s Survival Index”, an interdisciplinary project, investigates creativity, female identity, and modernism through the mother/daughter bond. Rhoda Mogul, mother of six and housewife, was a lifelong amateur photographer, and, incessant interior decorator. Her creative drive – though confined to the home – had a major influence on my private and public life as an artist/filmmaker. Drawing upon materials from Mom’s Archive and Mine, this work in progress underlines the domestic environment as a source and site of imagination, and, creative reciprocity.
“Mama’s Girl Suite”, a series of Vignettes, is also part of this project.
Collages, Diptychs Patterns and Photographs from the “Daughter’s Index”
The following images were constructed digitally by, or are analog photographs by Susan Mogul. The images derived from Rhoda Mogul’s Archive are indicated in the descriptions.
In 2011, I interviewed several female artists and asked them to expound upon their mother’s creative influence upon them. My intention was to make a film on the subject.
I didn’t know it at the time, that these compelling interviews were preliminary research. And just a year later, I would embark upon a large-scale interdisciplinary project about my own mother’s creative impact on my private and public life as an artist.
“Mogul Celebrates Mogul”, was a satirical response to the Getty’s male centric “Pacific Standard Time” ad campaign posted all over Los Angeles. I plastered “Mogul Celebrates Mogul”, in various Los Angeles neighborhoods, guerilla style, next to the Getty’s “PST” posters, where young male celebrities “celebrated” older male artists, such as John Baldessari and Ed Ruscha.
Funny, joyful, playful informative, seductive, ironic – yet brimming with a rightful desire to turn the sorry state of things upside down. —Kino Magazine.
Susan Mogul’s short film captures the energy, passion and radical spirit of the Los Angeles Woman’s Building (1973–1991), a groundbreaking center for women’s culture.
Mogul looks at the men in her life, starting with her tragic first love and ending with a road trip with a new boyfriend forty years later. The often funny video tackles sex, desire, loss, family and the twisted threads of identity, as Mogul ponders being single and fifty. —LA Weekly
Holly Willis, “Mini Mogul“, LA Weekly, August 15–21, 2008
Annie Buckley, “Movie Mogul“, www.artforum.com, August 15, 2008
“Giving voice to ten women who chose not to have children, Mogul’s video simultaneously offers a hilarious and poignant meditation on all manner of life choices and the necessity of living with their consequences.” —David Pagel, Los Angeles Times
This interview of Susan Mogul was broadcast on the on the award winning and long running daily news magazine show, “Life and Times”, May 8, 2001, on KCET (PBS Los Angeles).
Tender and unflinching, four characters’ struggles, wounds and romantic entanglements are gradually revealed in the context of their everyday lives. Filmed in Mogul’s Highland Park neighborhood, a predominantly Latino area of Los Angeles. Produced in association with the Independent Television Service for public television with major funding from the Corporation for Public Broadcasting.
Program Notes, Southern Circuit, by Linda Dubler
Howard Rosenberg, ‘I Stare at You’ an Intimate, Fresh Journey, Los Angeles Times – TV Review, May 2
“… an insider’s journey through a Los Angeles neighborhood that you seldom see on television … a highly personalized film threaded by the filmmaker’s self-effacing wit and candid introspection about her life as she settles into middle age.” —Howard Rosenberg, Los Angeles Times
Interview of Susan Mogul by Alexandra Juhasz
Pages from the Diaries of Children, Mogul’s collaboration with gifted and deaf children at an L.A. public elementary school, resulted in a set of ten books, drawings, and a video diary, We Draw – You Video. Exhibited at LACE, Los Angeles Contemporary Exhibitions and was funded by the National Endowment for the Arts.
We Draw – You Video
Susan Kandel, Dark Side to Children’s ‘Diaries’, Los Angeles Times, November 20
“With wonderful footage, great interviews – she chronicles a changing political and artistic scene in Poland…she titillates, outrages and always knows when to move on.” —Sally Stein, art historian
As an artist-in residence for three months at Childrens Hospital, Los Angeles, Mogul produced a series of portraits of chronically ill adolescents.
A videoletter to Dennis Hopper inspired by the fact that both Mogul and Hopper have the same dentist.
News from Home was performed nationally at museums, underground clubs, colleges, and universities for two years. A comedic cabaret performance, News was based upon twenty years of correspondence from Susan Mogul’s mother. (“Saw Barnett Newman’s paintings and got some good ideas for Kim’s room.”). Looking just like mom, Mogul modeled her mother’s cocktail dresses and commented on her letters, as the struggle to individuate was explored in the context of the mother/daughter bond.
Mogul’s untitled performance was an amalgam of comedic “shticks” from the “Last Jew in America” and “News from Home.” Sponsored by Creative Time, this Summerstage event took place at Central Park’s band shell in New York City, in front of one thousand people.
In this performance Mogul gives a “history lesson” on the conflicts and contradictions of Jewish American assimilation. This one woman show was performed at small theaters, alternative art spaces, and on cable television.
The Second Commandment
Gloria Ohland, “The Last Jew in America?”, L.A. Weekly, November 25 – December 1, 1983
Susan Mogul makes a salad that gradually takes over the stage. While she yaks about iceberg lettuce and lemons, Jerri Allyn rushes around Mogul setting a scene – with wallpaper, aprons and tablecloths – in an absurd attempt to color coordinate Mogul with each vegetable she slices and dices. Performed at 626 Broadway, in New York City.
Sally Banes “Consciousness Razing”, Village Voice
This installation and performance at Columbia Coffee Shop in Hollywood was a culmination of the “Hollywood Moguls” series. The “Hollywood Moguls” hung on the walls, and, in addition, placemats were designed and utilized at the coffee shop for the duration of the exhibition. In the closing performance at the coffee shop – women were given video screen tests- at the counter or in a booth. Waiting at the Soda Fountain was a feminist parody about getting discovered in Hollywood.
Performance documentation, Screen Test One
Performance documentation, Screen Test Two
Performance documentation, Screen Test Three
Punning on her own last name, “Hollywood Moguls”, is a series of photo collages (1976-1979) about literally breaking into and/or breaking open Hollywood: the Hollywood sign, Capitol Records, the historic Pantages Theater.
Her extroversion is so extreme that her story leaps from the vacuum around her, over the camera and off the screen entirely. —Artforum 1976
“Big Tip” was Mogul’s first work to grapple with the economics and anxiety of being an artist.
Mogul’s August Clearance was an exhibition at Canis Gallery at the Woman’s Building in Los Angeles. Mogul as “shopkeeper,” transformed the gallery into a discount store. Her photos and photo collages were priced according to degree of finish, for example: Work prints at cost plus. Photos hung on clothing racks and were stacked in bins. Large price tags dangled from the hangars. Finished prints were mounted pristinely on a wall in an area titled, “The Back Room.”
The Videoletter is a “tour” of the Woman’s Building, produced and directed by myself, Pam MacDonald and Sheila Ruth, active participants in the FSW and the Building.
Mogul is Mobil is a postcard (mail art) that Mogul produced after she received her first driver’s license and purchased her first car.
“In ‘Take Off’ Mogul has struck a fine balance between the tellable and the untellable. Her most remarkable action, the use of her vibrator ‘in public’ borders on being taboo (yet) is so ridiculous that ultimately ‘women’s polite language’ is mocked as incisively as is Vito Acconci.” —Afterimage
“(Dressing Up is one of) Susan Mogul’s very funny video stories, in which she proceeds from disrobed to robed, reminiscing about the history of each item of clothing.” —Lucy Lippard, “From the Center”, Feminist Essays on Women’s Art
Promo postcard for performance at Womanspace Gallery in Los Angeles.
“Mother Venus” was a collaborative performance by Laurel Klick, Suzanne Lacy, and Susan Mogul.
Body sculptures constructed of canvas, zippers, and or foam.