DOT FIFTYONE EXHIBITS “A SUM OF POSSIBILITIES” BY NINA SUREL, LESLIE GABALDÓN AND CHRISTINA PETTERSSON
The Miami-based gallery presents this group show curated by Verónica Flom where the works revolve around questions like “What lies behind the merely visible?” and “What is the memory hidden in the landscape, in the trees, in our bodies?” Using photography, sculpture, or drawing, Gabaldón, Pettersson and Surel explore and produce those zones of silence, encounter, and transformation.
Leslie Gabaldón (b. Venezuela) conducts a field research study on the forest, which is focused both on the environment and the introspective. Her series of photographs titled Locus has been made over the past 6 years at the same exact location in Florida: Gulf Hammock. Her photographs call for a reflection on the passage of time, nature, and our perception of them. In these images, the gaze of the artist appears walking, taking visual notes, keeping a log of a journey through time. It is as if she were an archaeologist of a lost world. There is a real thrill at the immensity of the landscape. But at the same time, that landscape contrasts with the permanence on our current more digital world and the tangibility of the things that we have let escape.
Recent series of drawings by Christina Pettersson (b. Sweden), Memory Palaces of Florida, bear witness to sites she considers sacred in her state. She speculates on how landscapes, in particular trees, plants and birds can act as living artifacts of our history, providing a unique opportunity to access multitudes of human drama and geological events, as well as more intimate details of the past. Through delicate line we see the grandeur of Fairchild Oak, the oldest tree in Florida at over 400 years old, located within Bulow Creek State Park, once part of a slave plantation. Or a particularly hallowed grove at Kissimmee Prairie State Park, where the last living Carolina Parakeet (our only native parrot species in North America) was shot in 1904. Questioning the myth of Florida as a young place, her drawings reckon with how beautiful places often resonate with a brutal past.
Nina Surel (b. Argentina) goes in search of the most essential, the innermost layer. Surel subtly works around the relationship between nature and time. Core, her ceramic sculptures, revisit two previous works by the artist (the performance The Rite of the Womb and the video installation Grávida, both of 2019) to produce a set of individually molded pieces on the pelvis of a group of women. In this way, the result is as relevant as the intimate process of its production. The unique shape of each body is secretly registered, while at the same time it evokes the permanence of the origin, the persistence of life. These totems are not only a symbol of resistance and appreciation towards womanhood, but also a recognition of the legacy of our female ancestors, the mothers and grandmothers who preceded us.
“A Sum of Possibilities” posits geographies that invite a reflection on what lies behind what is seen, thus opening infinite perspectives for Florida and beyond.