陸奥に みちたるのみか 四方八方に ひびきわたれる 滝桜か な
The weeping cherry
/ fills not just Tohoku
/ but resounds in all directions
-Suetaka Kamo, 1836
The Gentle Voice That Talks To You Won’t Talk Forever, a solo exhibition by artist Sofía Córdova, presents an abstracted view of a near-future Earth in which nature has resisted and survived human intervention. The work for this exhibition originated from Córdova’s research into the resilience of plants following nuclear events, and in particular, a thousand-year-old cherry tree close to the Fukushima nuclear spill site in Japan called the Miharu Takizakura. This tree has been the source of human pilgrimage and adoration for hundreds of years. Surviving the aftermath of Fukushima, the tree is relatively unaffected and is projected to thrive despite the presence of radiation.
Córdova’s installation imagines a landscape which has grown immune to human destruction. The exhibition, devoid of human figures and dressed in pink light, features serene sound and video of weeping cherry blossom trees that Córdova shot in South Korea this spring. Resin casts, ceramics, found objects and taxidermy signify possible transformations of natural elements in response to ecological ruin and pollution. Borrowing from the newfound life she believes the spill will lend the Miharu Takizakura, Córdova’s exhibition presents a disjointed, speculative vision of the “natural world” thriving through radiation, blooming more beautifully than ever – with no human eyes to see it. This installation continues recent new media interventions by Córdova exploring science fiction, futurity, extinction, and mutation. While the past works by Córdova have fixated on the new forms human civilization might take in the wake of ecological devastation, this exhibition turns its gaze towards landscape. The installation aims to decentralize the anthropocentric narratives that inform our collective visions of the future.
Sofía Córdova (b. 1985 Carolina, Puerto Rico) received her BFA from St. John’s University in conjunction with the International Center for Photography in 2006. She received her MFA from the California College of the Arts in 2010. She has exhibited and performed at SFMOMA, the Berkeley Art Museum, and Southern Exposure as well as other venues internationally. She has recently participated in residencies at the BAVC in San Francisco, Arteles in Finland, ACRE in Steuben, Wisconsin and at the Mills College Museum. In the fall she’ll be in residence at the Arizona State University Museum’s International Artist Residency concluding with her solo exhibition, Where Thieves Go After Death. Her work is part of Pier 24’s and The Whitney Museum’s permanent collections and was recently the subject of a First Look feature in Art in America.
All photos by Cranium Corporation