Anastasia Samoylova (b. 1984) moves between observational photography, studio practice and installation.
FloodZone is an expansive photographic project reflecting and responding to the problem of rising sea levels. The project began in Miami in 2016, the hottest Miami summer on record at the time The pictures examine the way that the city’s seductive tropical palette and quality of light conceals the growing dissonance between its booming real-estate market and the ocean’s encroachment on its shoreline. Ocean views are prized in the real-estate world, with little regard for building projects’ locations in high-risk flood zones. Investors seem to turn a blind eye to the reality that Miami is steadily slipping underwater. Miami Beach, in particular, is a striking case study: the artificial island boasts some of the most luxurious properties, but it is subject to regular flooding. Living in Miami is bittersweet: it looks and feels like a paradise, but the only secure roots belong to mangrove trees.
Landscape Sublime focuses on the way that landscape imagery in our contemporary culture is used to create constructed realities, wholly apart from our lived experience. Samoylova collects online stock photography, creating a group of landscape images that reflect the stream of consciousness nature of internet surfing and the idealized imagery of consumer culture. The digital images are printed, cut, folded, and assembled into three-dimensional studio tableaus that are then re-photographed. The resulting works collage together unreal and romanticized spaces, evoking the way that commercial images reflect popular taste like an infinite hall of mirrors.
The FloodZone project was published as book by Steidl in 2019 (with over 80 reproductions). The book has been highly acclaimed in national and international press, including The New York Review of Books, The Washington Post, The New Yorker, Burnaway, Document Journal, and others. In 2020 Samoylova had her first solo museum exhibition of the ongoing project FloodZone at USF Contemporary Art Museum, Tampa.
Samoylova was awarded a number of grants for the FloodZone project, including the South Arts Fellowship and Michael P. Smith Fund for Documentary Photography.
Her work is in the collections at the Perez Art Museum Miami, Museum of Contemporary Photography Chicago. Art Slant Collection, Paris; Miami International Airport; Mount Sinai Medical Center Miami Beach; Boston Consulting Group; and Vontobel, Switzerland; among others.
Samoylova grew up in Moscow where she earned a Master’s degree in Environmental Design from Russian State University for the Humanities in 2007. She received MFA from Bradley University in 2011. She lives and works in Miami, Florida.