Anastasia Samoylova’s photography exhibition is now open at the George Eastman Museum
Samoylova’s work flood zone explores life in the southern United States when rising sea levels and hurricanes threaten the most prized locations
Rochester, NY — The Great Exhibition Anastasia Samoylova: flood zone is now open in the main galleries of the George Eastman Museum. Anastasia Samoylova’s photographs are deceptive, drawing us in with the promise of a luxurious paradise and then revealing a ruined landscape that nature promises to reclaim. Yet that’s what it’s like to live on the edge of climate change, as rising sea levels and hurricanes threaten such precious spaces. In his series flood zoneSamoylova (American, born Soviet Union, b.1984) focuses on the southern United States, where the sought-after tropical climate is pushing the real estate market to keep building on land known to slide into the ocean.
In 2016, Anastasia Samoylova moved to Miami, Florida. As she became familiar with the city through photography, a larger story began to unfold. The resulting body of work explores what life is like in the southern United States at a time when rising sea levels and hurricanes threaten popular locations with storm surges and coastal erosion.
Samoylova’s images are seductive and disturbing. Their alluring color palette (lush greens, azure blues and pastel pinks) gives way to tiny details of decay: toppled palm trees in a building, the patina of constant humidity eroding a freeway overpass, the boarded-up windows of a hotel after it weathered another storm. The landscape of his work is peppered with advertisements promising a utopian dream, where pools overlook the ocean, everyone is tanned and chiseled, and nature is nurtured. Somewhere between artifice and sobering reality lies the melancholy of life in the age of climate change.
The exhibit will run until December 18 and includes more than 60 photographs of Samoylova’s flood zone project with additional photographs from the collection of the Eastman Museum selected collaboratively by the curator and the artist.
Anastasia Samoylova has published two books, flood zone (GoettingenGermany: Steidl, 2019), and Floridas: Anastasia Samoylova, Walker Evans (Goettingen, Germany: Steidl, 2022). Both books are available in the George Eastman Museum Shop.
Samoylova holds an MA in Interdisciplinary Visual Arts from Bradley University (2011) and an MA in Environmental Design from Russian State University of Humanities in Moscow (2007). His work has been featured in numerous solo and group exhibitions. In 2022, she was shortlisted for the Deutsche Börse Photography Foundation Prize.
Generously sponsored by the Rubens Family Foundation. Production support for the photographs in this exhibit was provided by HistoryMiami Museum and the Chrysler Museum.
About the George Eastman Museum
Founded in 1947, the George Eastman Museum is the oldest photography museum in the world and one of the largest film archives in the United States, located on the historic Rochester estate of entrepreneur and philanthropist George Eastman, the pioneer popular photography. Its collections include more than 400,000 photographs, 28,000 motion pictures, the world’s largest collection of photographic and film technology, one of the leading libraries of books related to photography and film, and extensive collections of documents and other items related to George Eastman. As a research and teaching institution, the Eastman Museum has an active book publishing program and the graduate program of the L. Jeffrey Selznick School of Film Preservation (a collaboration with the University of Rochester ) makes essential contributions to film preservation. For more information, visit eastman.org.
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Media Contact: Eliza Kozlowski