DocuFlorida was born from a desire to consider my home through the lens of other artists working in the South Eastern area of the US. I'd just moved back to Florida in 2016 after being away for five years living in Vancouver, BC. I was inspired by the Documerica project and suggested 'DocuFlorida' as a title for a next exhibition via an impromptu chat on Facebook with Amy. I began working with Amy Bowman-McElhone at the PMA, and through a well informed collaboration and investment in our community we facilitated an exhibition in an under utilized area of the museum, the stairwell. The thoughtful outcome of artists' works continues on. The museum has since taken over this project. I am glad artists continue to share in the dialogue of their own environments.
This image is one I captured while driving across the Escambia River from Pace into Pensacola, Florida. The chemical plant has been polluting the water system for generations. It was captured in 2016 after the passing of my father, and was later used as the main exhibition image background for DocuFlorida in 2017.
Pensacola, Fla. – DATE – The Pensacola Museum of Art announces the digital exhibition DocuFlorida, which will be projected at the Pensacola Museum of Art and simultaneously screened at Pensacola Voices Multicultural Center. DocuFlorida will be on view from October 17, 2017 through February 4, 2018 in the Stairwell Gallery located on the second floor of the museum.
DocuFlorida features photographic and image-based work and is focused on the current environment and landscapes of Florida, the Gulf Coast, and the Southeast Region of the U.S. The exhibition is intended as an iteration of Documerica, the photographic documentary project that was sponsored by the Environmental Protection Agency in the 1970s.
Documerica documented the environment as framed by larger systems of change. Established in 1971, the Environmental Protection Agency hired more than 100 photographers to document specific issues and interactions with the environment. In a time of political uncertainty, deception, and intrigue, North America’s land and waterways suffered from neglect. Through photographs, Documerica became a project of investigation to fuel a movement for change, and a vital archive of our mutable environment.
DocuFlorida aims to explore similar conditions with a focus on the local; an interpretive lens that addresses the socio-cultural and socio-spatial conditions of natural and built environments of our larger region, which is deeply informed by river systems, gulf waters, and their associated industries and economic enterprises. Established, emerging, and nascent artists and image-makers answered a call for art that considered what landscapes shaped their lives and how the camera mediates these environments in vernacular and abstract forms. By zooming in on a coastal and local level, we hope to examine these points of view alongside our global communities at large.