ZAHARA GÓMEZ - NATURA
April 20th - June 1st, 2018
CASA Bushwick // 41 Varick Avenue
Visit by appointment: email@example.com
“A significant thing: it is not the head of a civilization that begins to rot first.
It is the heart.”
- Aimé Césair
CASA is pleased to present “Natura,” Zahara Gómez’s first solo exhibition in New York.
There are spaces that carry our memories and our future; time machines.
The first “discoveries” of the new world, the distribution of geographical and natural resources, the goal of scientific studies and the divulgation of natural history. This is part of our story, one that began in an almighty Europe that today is in a state of intense vulnerability.
In “Natura,” the juxtaposition of Gomez’s photographs and the illustrations from G.L Leclerc’s 18th century encyclopedic collection Histoire Naturelle creates a dialogue and centers on man’s representations and appropriation of the wild.
Zahara’s focus on zoos and wildlife is relevant and simultaneously only incidental, the broader concept shines light on our historical need to understand and somehow capture whatever we believe will construct our identity. The decadence of our civilizing projects, a peculiar and real approach to making sense of and confronting the world. We accept these spaces that were once created through collections of exoticism, spaces that traverse the past and an identity. Today in these places rather than finding the composition of an identity, we perceive a dystopian future.
These manmade environments that imitate nature, underline the ambiguous relationship we maintain with the wild: a relationship made from repulsion and attraction, from fascination and aversion. Contradiction inhabits them, ultimately they are simultaneously a source of life and death.
In this project, zoos are used as telling models of our time. Fossils of an era that seems doomed to disappear, an exposure of our own limitations.
Zahara Gómez was born in Madrid in 1983. She studied photography and sociology at the Sorbonne in Paris. Her theoretical field studies were based on the representation of the disappeared in Argentina. She currently lives and works between Europe and Mexico.