LUSH GREEN TROPICAL JUNGLE Brooks Dierdorff
Curated by Verónica Flom
Jun 6 - Jul 20, 2019
Dot Fiftyone Gallery is pleased to present Lush Green Tropical Jungle, a group show featuring Florida-based artists Brooks Dierdorff, Gonzalo Fuenmayor, Anastasia Samoylova and Magnus Sodamin, curated by Veronica Flom. The show will be on view from June 6 to July 20, 2019. The name of the show Lush Green Tropical Jungle alludes to the titles of commercial stock photo data bases of tropical areas. The exhibition questions our experience with the environment in a state such as Florida, where the difference among seasons is blurred, and unpredictable weather conditions and natural disasters emphasize both human vulnerability and human manipulation. From paintings of exuberant foliage of the garden of the Fairchild to the celestial photographs depicting Eden; from the tourist-centered areas of Miami to the Eurocentric vision of the tropics, the show’s emphasis centers on this dissonance between nature as both paradise and catastrophe. In the age of Anthropocene, these works raise debates about the ways in which we represent nature and the role that nature has in our life.
While on one hand nature can be synonymous with imminent catastrophe; the other is of risk of global warming and ecological hazard, symptoms of industrialization and irresponsible accelerated agriculture. A new parallel that has redefined the notion of what paradise is and could be has appeared thanks to technological advances in image manipulation. This ‘supposed’ parallel of idyllic paradise is omnipresent, and it affects our ultimate relationship with nature.
Brooks Dierdoff’s Failed Utopian Communities (1776-present)sheds light on utopian communities in the United States that were not satisfied with the way society and nature were structured.13 Edens (from Shutterstock) is an installation that puts together several stock images of aspirational paradises that may or may not exist. Dierdoff selected these images based on the volume of searches using the word ‘Eden”. The artist reflects on how media-created images creates the illusion of a place where the grass is always green and the sun always shines.
Gonzalo Fuenmayor reflects on cultural hybridity, colonialism, and tropical allegories. In his charcoal drawings, he uses symbols associated with both European and Latin American stereotypes. Through his works, Fuenmayor explores the preconceived categories associated with being a Latinx artist and the way the tropics are exoticized. Carmen Boompersonifies the dichotomy through the image of Carmen Miranda and the idea of the tropical. But far from looking for an identical portrait, he focuses on the headpiece, giving us a glimpse into the metonymy: the importance of the part as a whole.
Anastasia Samoylova explores in her photographic project FloodZonethe urgent climate threat, focusing on the problematic rising sea level in the state of Florida. This extensive body of work was produced primarily in the aftermath of hurricanes and massive flooding. In her images, nature appears within small pockets in the middle of the city: a bird’s nest tucked away in a cement reservoir, an unearthed tree baring its roots, and an advertisement for luxury living with visible water rising. Anastasia’s work highlights the notion that our insatiable growth is always dependent on natures allowance.
Magnus Sodamin uses one of the oldest topics in painting: the representation of landscape as a product of a year long residency at the Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden, at the Deering Estate and a research period at the Artist in Residency in Everglades (AIRIE) program. Instead of a distant approach to nature, Sodamin takes us deep into the bush. He observes and depicts the lush of the jungle, the seductive greens, and the sophistication of the variety of the vegetation. Through his works, the artist effectively reminds us to immerse ourselves in nature to approximate to the subject.
Brooks Dierdorff(b. 1985, Redlands, CA, USA) is an artist working in photography, video, sculpture and installation. He has exhibited his work both nationally and internationally at galleries that include Amos Eno in Brooklyn, New York; The Photographic Center Northwest in Seattle; High Desert Test Sites in Joshua Tree, California; The Orlando Museum of Art; The Midwest Center for Photography in Wichita, Kansas; Johalla Projects in Chicago; the Ulrike Hamm Gallery in Bissendorf, Germany; the Czong Institute for Contemporary Art in South Korea; and The New Gallery in Calgary, Canada. He received his BA from the University of California, San Diego in 2007 and his MFA from the University of Oregon in 2012. Currently he is an Assistant Professor of Photography at the University of Central Florida in Orlando, Florida.
Gonzalo Fuenmayor(b. 1977, Barranquilla, Colombia) has exhibited in numerous solo and group shows in USA, Latin America and Europe. His work was recently showcased in The Florida Prize 2018, Orlando Museum of Art, Orlando; a solo exhibition “Tropical Mythologies” at the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston in 2015; “Caribbean Crossroads," at the Queens Museum, NY; as well as recent solo shows at Dot Fiftyone Gallery in 2018 and Dolby Chadwick Gallery in San Francisco, in 2016.
Anastasia Samoylova(b. 1984, Moscow, Russia) is a Miami-based artist working with photography and installation. Samoylova has exhibited internationally, including Aperture Foundation in New York, Griffin Museum of Photography in Boston, and in photography festivals in Belgium, Brazil, France, Netherlands, Israel, China and South Korea. Her work is in the collections at the Museum of Contemporary Photography Chicago, Stanford University, Yale University, and Art Slant Collection Paris. Her book, Landscape Sublimewas published by In the In- Between Editions in 2016. She completed an artist residency at Mass MoCA in 2017 and she is an artist in residence at the ArtCenter South Florida for the 2018-2019. In 2018 she was the finalist for the Meitar Award for Excellence in Photography and received two grants for her ongoing documentary project FloodZone, the South Arts Fellowship and Michael P. Smith Fund for Documentary Photography.
Magnus Sodamin(b. 1987, New York, USA) uses an expanded painting practice that is at once hallucinatory and precise, employing a variety of techniques to blur the frontier between abstraction and landscape painting. His singular installations often begin with painting the walls and floors of an exhibition space with vibrant splashes of color, and then installing the space with similarly emotive, yet complementary canvas or panel compositions. The result is entirely immersive. Sodamin attended the New World School of the Arts (BFA, 2012) as well as the Nansen Academy in Lillehammer, Norway. Sodamin lives and works in Miami.
Verónica Flom(b. 1983, Buenos Aires, Argentina) holds an M.A. in Museum Studies at New York University. She worked as Exhibitions and Public Programs Coordinator of Visual Arts at Americas Society, New York, and previously at the Art Department of Universidad Torcuato Di Tella, Buenos Aires. She co-authored the publication David Wojnarowicz and Luis Frangella in Argentina (2017) with Ian Erickson-Kery. She serves as curator at Dot Fiftyone Gallery.