Anastasia Samoylova – Coming Waters
Anastasia Samoylova’s second presentation at Galerie Caroline O’Breen is ‘Coming Waters’. The title comes from the essay by David Campany published in The New Yorker magazine and in Samoylova’s book FloodZone (Steidl 2019).
Made in South Florida, this suite of elegant yet unsettling photographs hints at the fragility of a place experiencing the very real but strange effects of climate change. Historically this region was swampland and mangroves. A century of intensive urban development turned it into a tourist paradise, But now nature is slowly reclaiming it. The sea level is rising. The limited fresh water is becoming salty. Storms of greater intensity inflict their damage. It is a time of transition that is perhaps irreversible, yet life goes on with its mix of denial, resignation, realism and fantasy.
Samoylova’s photographs are dreamlike yet clear-headed observations, alert to the everyday signs and symptoms of these changing conditions of place and mind. Fresh green leaves shredded by a hurricane settle on the shimmering blue of a swimming pool. A glossy wave oozes over the ornate marble deck of a crumbling historic building. A spilling high tide turns the staircase of a Miami-pink building into a surreal scene worthy of de Chirico. These are not images of disaster or catastrophe, They are open doors to the complex feelings we have about what is happening and what is to come.
Matthieu Litt – Oasis
Matthieu Litt explores a terrain that is called ‘Ry-Ponet’ (http://www.ryponet.be/), named after the small river that flows there. It is located in the metropolitan area of the Belgian city of Liège and covers an area of 350 hectares, five kilometers from the historic city center. It is an unplanned landscape park with hills and unexpectedly large biodiversity. At the time of globalization, the green lung is a symbol of resistance, a place to breathe, to escape from city noise and pollution, a shelter for people and animals.
Matthieu Litt is mainly interested, in his practice and his approach, by the concept of distance and closeness, the means by which the tracks can be blurred, the markers between images coming from horizons or from radically different contexts. This gave him the opportunity, in just three years, to produce two first books highly noticed by the critics and amateurs, Horsehead Nebula first (with images from former Soviet republics), then Tidal Horizon, which brews images taken during an artist residency in Norway. Essentially using photography but without exclusivity, he’s contributing to a growing number of editorial projects.
This project was nominated for the Somfy Photography Award 2020 and is presented in Het Nederlands Fotomuseum in Rotterdam.