For the first ARCO e-xhibition, Sabrina Amrani is pleased to present pleased to present FloodZone, a solo booth by Anastasia Samoylova‘s. The title Floodzone is borrowed from her eponymous project started in 2016, a photographic series in which the artist seeks to respond to the environmental changes on coastal cities of South Florida.
The project is built upon a set of interrelated paradoxes: the seductive and destructive dissonance between the official iconography of the region, comprised by tourist and real estate advertising, and the stark daily realities of climate change; the ways of landscape and the sense of place are at once natural and constructed; and the way photography both records and crafts perception.
Although the project was prompted by the effects of a major hurricane, FloodZone avoids the over-familiar media imagery of ruin and disaster. Instead, there are photographs of the saturated topography, portraits of locals, and close-up observations of architecture, abundant flora and fauna. Samoylova’s images provide a broad yet acute perspective on what it feels like to live in at-risk areas while economic forces instill a sense of denial and disavowal. Her subject is the precarious psychological state experienced by those living in a paradise sinking towards catastrophe.
By playing self-consciously with the familiar motifs and palette of the region, her photographs work as complex allegories. They pick out scenes, situations and details that compress multiple meanings and implications, bringing to the surface the many ways in which the fate and self-understanding of South Florida is bound up with its self-image. For Samoylova, photography is key in the making and remaking of collective memories and imagined geographies. FloodZone is a contemplation of this, at a moment of significant transition.
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