Susan Bercu

Santa Rosa, California, US


Just Knick Knacks

Assemblage inside a Coca Cola wood crate uses the heads of recycled dolls and my paintings (reduced) to fit each cubbyhole
12 W x 18 H inches

The concept of race is the insidious cultural story that must shift if we humans are to survive. “Just Knick Knacks” calls out egregious institutionalized prejudice.

The categorization of people by color or country of origin is a calculated invention of the oppressor to dehumanize and trivialize the “other” people as “Just Knick Knacks”. Our country was built on the backs of African slaves with the justification of labeling them an inferior race by those who enslaved them.

The Coca-Cola crate represents the unlimited power of giant corporations. Sugar, an addictive, non-nutritious substance is a symbol of greed dispensed across the planet. Each cubbyhole imprisons a victim of racism. The seven migrant children memorialized in my paintings and reduced to fit inside the case, died while in ICE custody between 2018 and 2019 under the Trump administration Zero Tolerance policy that Illegally and cruelly separated families

Racism, permeating the entire globe is the obvious result of “expedient” racial labels and leads to our demise with refugees, wars, poverty. We lose our family, home, livelihood, health, community. Our humanity.
  • Susan Bercu

I am the reef

watercolor, ink, acrylic/collage on paper
18in x 24 in

Born in the same brine where all life would surge, my bones will scatter, too soon, on your bleached coral bed. The same sun melts my heart and yours in the furious flame lit by the match of the insatiable human species. Post Carbon Institute’s “Thinking in Systems” emphasizes the reality of the interconnectedness of everything. My art is a warning of the dangers of the increasing decline of coral reefs, which are some of the most diverse and valuable ecosystems on Earth. “The world’s largest coral reef system- the Great Barrier Reef, … has lost half of its coral in the past two years because of extreme heat stress from global warming.” @earthorg
  • Susan Bercu

Too Late (Even for Superheroes)

Recycled materials: Canvas map (wood back), toys, phone wire, bullet cases, fake flora, tulle.
Paper mâché heads, objects are tied, nailed to background.
30 in. H x 48 in. W x 4 in. D.)

“Too Late (Even for Superheroes)" Halloween, a true story: assemblage wall triptych describes the devastation of our planet. Superheroes represent magical thinking that ignores the evidence of global warming and imperils our ability to alter over-consumption and reliance on fossil fuels. My surreal images illustrate the real toll of science denial. Fire and ash are depicted in paint on maps, doll limbs, flora. Paper mâché heads, toy animals are riddled with nails and bullets. We are in this perfect storm of partisan division, corporate greed, and a world pandemic where our outmoded, perilous policies are established by the powerful rich. The Post Carbon Institute posits that we need a new superstructure to guide us where we serve nature rather than mastering it.
  • Susan Bercu
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