Viewing the works of Ryan Schude is similar to a game of eye spy with movement of the eye from place to place. There are frequent interactions of the characters with each other, as well as the environment occurring simultaneously. Tableux Vivants, the name of the collection of staged photographs contains various scenes of gatherings including house parties. Schude’s settings involve scenes that are staged normality, absurdness and somewhere in between. Many of the narratives are everyday occurrences colliding with abnormal incidences. His images create an energetic quality because of the gestures of the characters and the capturing of still movement. Further, the environment is chaotic yet is contained, with intentionality from Schude. Themes that appear often include conflict and humor.
Photocamp, the morning after a party is a strong illustration of the eye spy quality, comprised of many amusing situations within the image. There are variations of people laying haphazardly on furniture, the floor and each other as well as objects intertwined with them. As the eye scans the photo, details include half eaten pizza pieces, a gallon of ice cream and a guy running outside. Red House displays the more conceptual theme of conflict specifically within a family. Two children are outside, most likely the daughters of the man and women arguing inside the house. O Russet Witch!, represents the absurd yet some of the incidence within the photo are everyday life disputes such as the children fighting over toys. Set in a library, a fairy godmother like women in the middle on a toy fire truck, surrounded by books in mid air and various characters including a nun.