September 10- October 2, 2016
Opening reception Saturday September 10th, 6-10pm
Cristina Molina + Jonathan Traviesa
Inspired by the title of Claude Levi-Strauss’s book Tristes Tropiques this collaborative exhibition focuses on the psychological landscape of paradise, the tropics, and more specifically—the mythology of Florida. Through site-specific photo murals, videos, and a themed gift shop installation, the artists, both Florida natives celebrate and critique the eccentricities of the Floridian aspiration.
Florida is not quite the “feast of flowers” that Ponce de Leon and his crew described as being the site of eternal youth. Yet still, this marsh territory lined by beaches is where settlers young and old have historically and presently escaped to establish their own vision of utopia. Sad Tropics reflects the hyperbolic ambition embedded within Floridian culture—images of modernist geodesic architecture are mingled with tricked out limousines, a stop motion animation named Florida Man + Woman feature top news headlines of ridiculous crimes committed by Floridians, and photo murals of lush foliage immerse the viewer into the gothic Floridian landscape.
Cristina Molina is a visual artist who creates video installations that include still imagery and sculptural forms. With a background in the study of psychology, and an interest in human relationships, Molina’s non linear, hypnotic narratives highlight interpersonal dynamics between family members, lovers, and friends. Her work has won national awards for its immersive quality and inventive use of technology. An example is Molina’s Crystal Radio , an interactive installation that transmits audio confessionals into viewer’s heads via crystalline lollipops. Molina has exhibited her artwork regionally, nationally, and internationally. She is currently an artist member of The Front in New Orleans (an artist run gallery collective) and is Assistant Professor of New Media + Animation at Southeastern Louisiana University.
Jonathan Traviesa is a photographer and artist living in New Orleans since the late 1990s, and is currently serving as a Visiting Artist Professor in photography at Tulane University. He has had numerous solo and group exhibitions in New Orleans, Philadelphia, Chicago, New York, and Tokyo. Traviesa is a founding member of The Front gallery and released his first book, “Portraits” with a concurrent exhibition at The Front during October and November of 2009. As part of Photonola, Traviesa received the New Orleans Photo Alliance’s inaugural Michael P. Smith Grant Award, and the Ogden Museum of Southern Art exhibited a selection of his portraits from the book. His work is collected publicly at the Ogden and at The New Orleans museum of Art and privately at the Jimmy Club, The Saratoga Collection, and The Paramount Building.