Swoon, Submerged, Motherlands-2. Image courtesy of Brooklyn Museum
NEW YORK— Presently on display at the Brooklyn Museum is Swoon: Submerged Motherlands, a monumental site-specific installation by Swoon, a Brooklyn-based street artist. Located in the fifth-floor rotunda of the Museum, Swoon: Submerged Motherlands has transformed the gallery into a fantastic landscape and immersive experience for viewers.
Centered on a monumental sculptural tree, the installation which rises into the 72-foot-high dome has a constructed environment at its base. Included in this constructed environment are Swoon’s signature figurative prints and drawings, and cut-paper foliage. The rafts that Swoon created and sailed on the Grand Canal uninvited during the 2009 Venice Biennale are also include in the environment. In the actualization of this performance project, Swimming Cities of Serenissima, Swoon and a crew of thirty sailed from Slovenia to Venice on rafts made primarily of New York City garbage, collecting scrapped material in Slovenia, and artifacts and curiosities along their journey.
Like many of her other works through which she brings attention to social and environmental issues, Swoon engages with climate change for this installation, focusing on the catastrophic Hurricane Sandy that hit New York in 2012. Sandy caused untold hardship on many people across the country and was the subject of a political debate because the affected states were denied emergency funds soon after the disaster. Although they were later provided with some funds, Sandy continues to be a major point of debate and controversy. Also incorporated with this installation is the disaster that befell Doggerland, a landmass that once connected Great Britain with Europe that was destroyed by a tsunami nearly 8,000 years ago.
Born Caledonia Dance Curry, Swoon is well- known for her intricately-cut printed portraits printed on walls and abandoned buildings. Recently, Swoon began creating large-scale figurative installations, which have brought greater recognition in the art community. Swoon celebrates everyday people, and borrows from disasters in history to highlight numerous and complex results of climate change.