FloodZone is Anastasia Samoylova’s photographic account of life on the climatic knife-edge of the southern United States. Sea levels are rising and hurricanes threaten, but this is not a visualisation of disaster or catastrophe. These beautifully subtle and often unsettling images capture the mood of waiting, of knowing the climate is changing, of living with it. The color palette is tropical: lush greens, azure blues, pastel pinks. But the mood is pensive and melancholy. As new luxury high-rises soar, their foundations are in water. Crumbling walls carry images of tourist paradise. In the heat and humidity nature threatens to return the place to tangled wilderness. Liquid permeates Samoylova’s urban scenes and unexpected views: waves, ripples, puddles, pools, splashes and spray. Water is everywhere and water is the problem. Mixing lyric documentary, gently staged photos and epic aerial vistas, FloodZone crosses boundaries to express the deep contradictions of the place.
With FloodZone Anastasia Samoylova (1984) had her first solo museum exhibition in the USF Contemporary Art Museum in Tampa (Florida US). Samoylova is a Russian-American artist who moves between observational photography, studio practice and installation. Although her work takes many forms, a central concern is the place images occupy in our understanding and misunderstanding of the world. The epic project FloodZone, photographed in the Southern United States, reworks our expectations of coastal paradise into a psychological portrait of communities faced with rising sea levels. With over 80 photographs, the book of the project was published by Steidl.
FloodZone will be presented at the Wilhelm-Hack-Museum, Germany; as part of the Biennale für aktuelle Fotografie. Recent exhibitions include Museum of Contemporary Photography Chicago, Purdue University, Milwaukee Institute of Art and Design, Griffin Museum of Photography, Foley Gallery New York, Aperture Foundation New York, Darkroom Detroit, Currents New Media Santa Fe, Julie Saul Gallery New York. In 2018 Samoylova was awarded a number of grants for FloodZone, including the South Arts Fellowship and Michael P. Smith Fund for Documentary Photography.