Gulf Distortion, 2011
Portfolio of 12 silkscreen on mylar prints
22 1/2 x 32 1/2 in. (57.1 x 82.5 cm) each
AP edition of 5
Soledad Salamé’s Gulf Distortions, extends the artist’s focus on environmental and political concerns through innovative materials and techniques that involve printmaking. This suite of 12 silkscreened, hand painted, and cut images on mylar are the result of photographing the Venice and Grand Isle areas of Louisiana, in the Gulf Coast, immediately following the disastrous BP Deepwater Horizon Oil Well blowout in April, 2010. Following news of the spill, Salame and her photographer husband, Michael Koryta, traveled to the Gulf to document the catastrophe. “Read in registers from top to bottom, the work reveals a tranquil waterfront gradually cluttered and overcome with fishing and oil industries. The serene natural scenes of marshes and trees disintegrate into the oppressive jumble of oil storage containers and smokestacks.”
To make this series, Salamé employed a fax machine as a filter or tool to transmit, fracture, and fragment the digital data, denigrating the quality of the photograph so that it resembled news images one might recall passed through staticky B&W Tv’s. The degraded imagery echo’s that of the environments they depict, but dispel the exactness of this specific time- almost saying that this could have occurred 50 years ago, eleven years ago, or today.
This series represents the artists second series using a fax machine as a tool, the first, in 2009, was part of the Baltimore Contemporary Museum’s FAX exhibition, curated by Irene Hofmann. Gulf Distortions was exhibited at Goya Contemporary Gallery, and later at the Museum of The Americas, Washington, DC in 2011 in the celebrated exhibition Corridor curated by Irene Hofmann & Laura Roulet.
The Gulf Distortions series combines Salamé’s deep concern for the environment with her mastery of material exploration.