By Daniela Ortega, Contributing Reporter
MIAMI BEACH, FLORIDA – A new multi-part installation titled ‘FloodZone’, by Miami Beach-based photographer Anastasia Samoylova, will lead up to a book release this fall. The artistic effort aims to shed light on the reality of living dangerously close to so much water, amidst sea level rise and constant hurricane threats.
Very much in tune with her vision and her previous work, LandScape Sublime, the artist tries to communicate feelings and ideas with photographs that highlight the contrasts and landscapes of Miami Beach, not the water disasters per se. Abstract and moody photographs of beautiful landscapes, with special focus on the environment, are the backbone of her artwork.
Regarding her new work FloodZone, Samoylova explained what the project is trying to convey. She said, “It’s an understated and indirect book in many ways. There are no images of climate catastrophe but it is there nonetheless in small details and traces, and in the mood of waiting and slight dread.”
Adding, “It’s a portrait of the psychology of this strange place. For those who live in tropical areas at risk of flooding, I would hope the project feels true to the mental state of life. For others I would hope the project is a very different kind of insight from the familiar mass media images of flood disaster.”
Samoylova has also explained that while her last projects have had sole focus on the South East, she plans to expand her work globally, and through her art shed light to other areas that face the threat of rising sea levels as well.
When asked what brought the young and upcoming artist to Miami Beach, she recounts, “I was curious to see what a place regarded as a kind of paradise actually looked like and felt like. It’s an extreme place, aesthetically, culturally, climatically, and extreme places have a way of clarifying certain feelings and problems and possibilities.”
“Miami is also a place built on contradictions and denials. There is great wealth and deep poverty. It’s a destination but it has no real roots, and little history. And of course it is struggling to accept and act on the fact that it is on a climatic knife-edge.”
“It took me a while to understand the place and my photography was a key part of that. A camera allows one to select, concentrate, and consider things carefully after the fact. So I felt my way into all these contradictions with the aid of a camera.”
Samoylova’s book might not be released until the fall, but elements of the project FloodZone will be available as an exhibition in various shows coming up. In Miami, it will show to the public from June 6th to July 20th at Dot FiftyOne Gallery, at 7275 NE 4th Ave #101.
She will also be working on public art projects, such as one at Miami International Airport, pertaining to her LandScape Sublime series. Her first solo show will be at the beginning of next year, and will feature FloodZone, at the USF Contemporary Art Museum in Tampa.