Anastasia Samoylova (1984; lives in Miami) is a Russian-born American photographer who moves between observational photography, studio practice and installation. Her work explores notions of environmentalism, consumerism and the picturesque. Her FloodZone, an expansive photographic project that began in 2016, reflects and responds to the problem of rising sea levels through a striking case study of Miami. Floridas is a follow-up series, it zooms in the state of Florida and explores it culturally, politically, economically, and climatically. Samoylova’s two monographs, FloodZone and Floridas, were published by Steidl in 2019 and 2022.
Most recent exhibitions include Kunst Haus Wien (AT); Chrysler Museum of Art (US); HistoryMiami Museum (US); Kunsthalle Mannheim (DE), and Museum of Fine Arts Le Locle (CH). In 2022 Samoylova was shortlisted for the Deutsche Börse Photography Foundation Prize and will present an extensive solo exhibition at the George Eastman Museum (US). Her work is in the collections at a.o. the Pérez Art Museum Miami, Museum of Contemporary Photography Chicago, and Wilhelm-Hack Museum, as well as and a number of corporate and private art collections.
Floridas (2021) is a layered portrait of contemporary Florida that establishes a dialogue with the oeuvre of Walker Evans, employing a language similar to his detached and laconic imagery. A logical follow-up to her FloodZone, Floridas zooms into the state and shows Florida as a condensed version of the whole US while maintaining an outsider’s perspective. With her vivid bright images and sharp juxtapositions, she offers a test for endurance to the iconic American narratives of the American Dream. Made through a series of wandering road trips, a traditionally male-dominated genre within American photography. Anastasia expands this field with a female perspective. For more about Floridas, click here
FloodZone (2019) is a 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. Samoylova’s beautifully subtle and often unsettling images capture the mood of waiting. The colour 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 the water. Crumbling walls carry images of tourist paradise. 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. For more about FloodZone, click here
Samoylova’s earlier body of work, Landscape Sublime, explores how social-media images and the repetition of certain motifs informed an understanding of natural phenomena. In recent years, the project has been frequently commissioned as large-scale public art installations as well as shown in a number of solo and group exhibitions.
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