The MIAMI INSTITUTE OF PHOTOGRAPHY in collaboration with MIAMI NEW MEDIA FESTIVAL will showcase the exhibit UNTITLED ENVIRONMENT presenting artists Julia Zurilla & Gabriela Gamboa on Saturday October 20. The show includes a selection of video, videographic installations and photographs. As part of the activities during the show there will be a talk and guided tour of the exhibit with the artists on November 17.
Man is the “animal that makes a world,” for whom the environment (where his existence happens) is always the landscape, a fabrication to give nature order according to his own needs, desires, experiences, signifiers, memories. In this sense, landscape is the humanization or spiritualization of territories and surroundings, an exercise or an experiment allowing man to emotionally and semantically appropriate the places he inhabits, turning them into an expression of his concerns and yearnings. The exhibit Untitled Environment probes into landscape and the paradoxes of it, and does so understanding that even as it becomes the footprint of human action, preserving the traks of those who have inhabited it, landscape is testimony and witness of its’ time, the transformation of culture and human existance.
In Gabriela Gamboa the research of landscape has become a political meditation, which not only speaks of ecological devastation and violence resulting from ill conceived exercises in power but considering the erosion of landscape as metaphor for existence, of ruin and destruction by contemporary inhabitants, exiled from their context and signifiers. In her works, unleashed (floods or erosion) “nature” is presented, precisely, as something beyond landscape – as that which resists ideological human order- and thus becomes the sign of the limitations and paradoxes akin to mans behavior. These images, lacking containment or continent, are the presence of an “environment” –a nature- that goes beyond what is human, exposing the fragility, the vulnerability.
Lassitute, videographic installation
Julia Zurilla, on the other hand, explores landscape as “an object of memory” far from remembrance or recall and reveals itself as remains, trace, footprint or inscription. Turning landscape into a place of non- forgetting, her images become the means by which to invoke neglect- the disappearance- as well as a strategy to reveal hidden or unforeseen meaning. Her videos and photographs are built upon a myriad of testimonial images – fragments of found images, vestiges of another gaze- which faced or connected with each other make way for the appearance of a lost event or “history”, of an absence and a past that is not recovered or revealed but exposed precisely for its’ unattainable and ungraspable condition, like a presence disrupting the internal order, coherence and plenitude of landscape.
Thus, in this dialogue between an image that shapes the limits of human making and another which exposes the unattainable, the exhibit Untitled Environment faces us with two sorts of landscapes, where the visual exceeds the visible and the image overflows it’s presence. These two sorts of landscape operating as devices not only gather a diverse discourse and textuality but also become a critical, suspicious, searching space.