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Anastasia Samoylova: FloodZone

July 16–December 18, 2022, Main Galleries

Anastasia Samoylova’s photographs are deceptive, drawing us in with the promise of luxurious paradise then revealing a crumbling landscape that nature promises to reclaim. Yet this is what it is to live at the edge of climate change, as rising sea levels and hurricanes threaten the very spaces that are so prized. In her series FloodZone, Samoylova (American, b. Soviet Union, b. 1984) focuses on the southern United States, where the sought-after tropical climate drives the real estate market to continue to build upon land that is known to be slipping into the ocean.

Samoylova’s images are seductive and eerie. Their alluring color palette—lush greens, azure blues, and pastel pinks—gives way to minute details of decay: palm trees toppled over into a building, the patina of constant moisture eroding a freeway overpass, the boarded-up windows of a hotel after it has weathered another storm. The landscape in her work is riddled with advertisements promising a utopian dream, where swimming pools overlook the ocean, where everyone is tan and chiseled, and where nature is manicured. Somewhere between the artifice and the sobering reality lies the melancholy of life in the time of climate change.

The exhibition includes more than 60 photographs from Samoylova’s FloodZone project with additional photographs from the Eastman Museum collection selected collaboratively by the curator and artist.

Generously sponsored by the Rubens Family Foundation.

Hear from the Artist: Anastasia Samoylova: FloodZone

Artist Anastasia Samoylova introduces her exhibition, FloodZone, on view at the Eastman Museum through December 18, 2022. 

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Exhibition Catalogue

FloodZone is Miami-based Russian photographer Anastasia Samoylova’s (born 1984) account of life on the knife-edge of the Southern United States: in Florida, where sea levels are rising and hurricanes threaten. But this book is not a visualization 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. Manatees appear in odd places, sensitive to environmental change. 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. The carefully paced sequence of photographs, arranged as interlocking chapters, make no judgment: they simply show.

Purchase Catalogue

Virtual 360 Tour

Explore Anastasia Samoylova: FloodZone virtually, complete with all audio, text, and full-size images.

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