Anastasia Samoylova – Coming Waters and Matthieu Litt – Oasis
Anastasia Samoylova, Matthieu Litt
February 25 - April 10
Open Wed-Fri 12-18, Sat 13-18. Two visitors at a time, appointment advised but walk-in is also welcome
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.
Anastasia Samoylova (1984) is a Russian-American artist who lives and works in Miami. Her ongoing series FloodZone is an expansive photographic project that began in 2016 reflecting and responding to the problem of rising sea levels – she was awarded a number of grants for FloodZone, including the South Arts Fellowship and Michael P. Smith Fund for Documentary Photography. In 2020, Samoylova had her first solo museum exhibition at USF Contemporary Art Museum in Tampa, Florida. In 2021, her work will be shown at Orlando Museum of Art; Museum Helmond; The Print Center Philadelphia; Chrysler Art Museum and HistoryMiami Museum. Her work is included in the collection of Pérez Art Museum Miami and Museum of Contemporary Photography Chicago, Art Slant Collection in Paris, and a number of other corporate and private art collections.
Matthieu Litt – Oasis
Matthieu Litt explores a terrain that is called ‘Ry-Ponet’, 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 and presented in Het Nederlands Fotomuseum.
Matthieu Litt (1983) is a Belgium-based photographer, working closely with the notion of distance. He received his BA in graphic design and photography from Saint-Luc in Liège. In 2015, he attended a masterclass on Visual Storytelling with Alec Soth and in 2016 joined a course by Taiyo Onorato during ISSP Latvia. Over the past years, he exhibited in several international group shows in a.o. London, Melbourne, Vancouver, Los Angeles, Palermo, Astana and Krakow. In 2016, he had a solo exhibition in Musée de la Photographie de Charleroi with Horsehead Nebula. The series Tidal Horizon was presented solo at Biennale de l’Image possible (BIP) in Liège in 2018. In 2020, he had a solo in Cultural Centre Jacques Franck in Brussels. In the most recent years, Matthieu Litt he has received the Young Artist Prize of the Wallonia Parliament (2019), was nominated for Deutsche Börse Photography Foundation Prize (2018), received Prix de la Fondation Bolly-Charlier (2018), and was awarded Second place Natural & build environments at International Fine Art Photography Awards in Paris (2017).