“Floridas” is the second solo show by Anastasia Samoylova presented by Sabrina Amrani in Madrid. The exhibition revolves around Samoylova’s portrait of Florida, one of the most intriguing states in the USA, which embeds the rise and fall of the iconic American Dream. The artist took these pictures during her intensive trip from 2016.
Samoylova, echoing the American photographer Walker Evans who documented the state between the 1930s and the 1970s, continues his work by looking closely at the telling details in landscapes, cityscapes, people, objects and interiors of contemporary Florida. The artist sheds a light on the ambiguity of Florida, commonly depicted as a place of extravagance, indulgence and sunny retirement. Samoylova is able to unveil the other side of the coin, showing Florida’s conflicted history, the issues of the tourist industry, the boom and bust of its cities, and its effects on the local residents. Florida becomes a metaphor to tell the intrinsic contradictions of American culture.
Samoylova photographs are not exclusively documentary: her works are permeated by such a surreal atmosphere to almost resemble a crafted photo collage.