SHIFTING BASELINES: TEXAS GULF COAST | Victoria Sambunaris in collaboration with Kristopher Benson
November 28th, 2015 - February 6th, 2016
The Galveston Artist Residency is pleased to announce Shifting Baselines: Texas Gulf Coast by Victoria Sambunaris in collaboration with Kristopher Benson. An opening reception will be held on Saturday, November 28th from 6-9pm.
Victoria Sambunaris is a project-based photographer who organizes her life around annual road trips across the American West, equipped with a 5x7 wooden field camera, camping gear, and a few months supply of canned sardines and crackers. The large-scale photos of the contemporary American landscape tell a conflicted story in geographic, economic and cultural terms.
In 2014 GAR invited Sambunaris to Galveston to continue her examination of the thriving trade and energy industries so integral to this region.
Sambunaris's process begins with her research into a location's industry, culture, history, anthropology, geology and ecology. She travels with an extensive library of books, maps and reference material and has amassed on her journeys an extensive collection of local artifacts including mineral specimens, field journals, maps, video footage, road logs, and oral histories. She integrates herself into the community in which she is working.
While in Galveston Sambunaris collaborated with Kristopher Benson of the National Oceanic & Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) to develop the work on view in Shifting Baselines: Texas Gulf Coast. The show brings together their unique perspectives on the industry and culture of the Texas Gulf coast, specifically in the context of the Galveston port and other parts of the Texas Gulf coast from Port Arthur down to Brownsville.
Benson offers a scientific/empirical understanding of how locations are affected by people and industry. Sambunaris brings a visual/aesthetic interpretation of place to focus the viewer's perspective on these locations. Together their collaboration brings attention to the important conservation and restoration work undertaken by NOAA and other natural resource managers.
Shifting Baselines: Texas Gulf Coast is a studied visual consideration of the culture, environment, and history of the Texas Gulf coast. Viewers are invited to consider their own notions and questions about landscape, our place within it, and the individual and collective involvement in shaping and stewarding it the way we do.
Victoria Sambunaris received her MFA from Yale University in 1999. She is a recipient of the 2010 Aaron Siskind Foundation Individual Photographer's Fellowship and the 2010 Anonymous Was a Woman Award. In 2011, a twelve-year survey of her work was exhibited at the Albright Knox Art Gallery in Buffalo, New York, the Museum of Contemporary Photography in Chicago, the Albin O. Kuhn Library Gallery at the University of Maryland, Baltimore, the Nevada Museum of Art in Reno, and currently the Rubin Center at the University of Texas El Paso. Her work is held in the collections of the Museum of Modern Art, the Museum of Fine Arts Houston, the National Gallery of Art, the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, the Albright-Knox Art Gallery and the Lannan Foundation. Radius Books recently published her first monograph Taxonomy of a Landscape. She is represented by Yancey Richardson Gallery in New York.
The GAR Gallery would like to give special thanks to the following people for their help in making Shifting Baselines: Texas Gulf Coast possible:
Kristopher Benson, NOAA Restoration Center.
Jim Ditty, Juan Salas & Shawn Hillen, NOAA Fisheries - Galveston Laboratory Fishery Ecology Branch.
Dave Baca, Texas A&M University at Galveston, Jack K. Williams Library.
Andy Sipocz, Bill Irwin & Scott Triebes, Texas Parks and Wildlife Department, San Jacinto Battleground State Historic Site.
Boyd Blihovde & Hilary Swarts, US Fish & Wildlife Service, Laguna Atascosa National Wildlife Refuge.
Troy Bellmyer, Gulf Coast Waste Disposal Authority.
The exhibition will be on view in the GAR Gallery from November 28th, 2015 - February 6th, 2016.
To see more images from the exhibition, please visit our Facebook page here.