Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Suspended in time

Express Staff Writer

Sue Dumke's Paris was found, in part, through an inability to communicate in the native language. But the silence became a crucial avenue for her to capture the images of the cafes and brasseries where Ernest Hemingway often held quarter in the 1920s.

"We talk so much here we forget to look. I was there to look, to see, and to keep my mouth shut," Dumke said.

She also had a new technique to master called HDR, or high dynamic range imaging, a method of enhancing luminance by overlaying several images that are taken split seconds apart at different exposures.

Usually known locally for her images of Buddahs here and abroad, which earned her the People's Choice honor at the Ketchum Arts Festival a few years back, she obviously nailed a hot topic again as her series from Paris garnered her People's Choice again at the festival this summer.

With Hemingway fanatics streaming into the Community Library starting Thursday, Oct 20, filling up with facts about the author, Gilman Contemporary is hosting an artist's reception with Dumke and her images on Friday, Oct. 21, from 5-6 p.m. at the Ketchum gallery on Sun Valley Road.

People who gravitated to the work at the festival last summer came because "so many of them had been to these places and recognized them," she said.

Yet, in her research, she was the first to photograph them in the way she had. Many people thought they were historical photos because her technique conveyed the understated but always in-vogue aspects of Paris chic.

Along the way, Dumke met a Hemingway look-alike, a local who had won contests for his uncanny resemblance to the legendary author. Now, the two are considering collaborations around Sun Valley haunts of Hemingway's. She also plans to venture to Key West, Cuba and Spain in the future to continue the theme.

Dumke's photos are so rich they almost have a sound. Despite the many dark aspects of Hemingway's life and death, it is easy to see how Paris had his heart and why writers today still gravitate to those places looking for inspiration.

Hemingway himself said, "There are only two places in the world one can be happy—at home and in Paris."


Hemingway 'alive'

Gilman Contemporary will host an artist's reception for Dumke at the gallery in Ketchum, Friday, Oct. 21, from 5-6 p.m.

"Hemingway and Women" The Community Library's Third Annual Symposium for the author runs Thursday, Oct. 20, through Saturday, Oct. 22. See the related story below for more on those events.

Jennifer Liebrum:

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