When Christin Paige Minnotte moved back to Florida after spending years living in New York, she was taken aback to see the amount of plastic and garbage clogging our otherwise crystal waters. “I thought to myself, usually evolutionary adaptive mechanisms are [made] to help a species thrive. So why is that what we’ve invented is also killing us?” the artist said.
The idea to create photographs that show the artists encased in a plastic tank swarming with plastic water bottles was spawned from an idea about preservation — namely, how specimens are preserved. “I had this image of human beings suspended. Kind of like something in the future 3,000 years from now,” she said. “That image came to my mind. That was the inception of the project.”
Minnotte’s series of photographs, currently on display in "Disposable Ethic" at Little Haiti’s & gallery, are an ethereal representation of a dark reality – the irony of industrial progress juxtaposed with the life cycle of the human form.
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To create her photographs, Minnotte submerged herself in a tank of water and used a petroleum filter and low contrasting. “I thought this took you away from the literal aspects of it, and made you contemplate the higher levels of the work,” she said. Minnotte insisted on using herself as the model. “I truly believe that the thought of an individual is communicated in a photograph, she said. “I kind of felt it had to be me in order to express a particular understanding of the issue and the particular sadness they had.”
Along with her photographs is an accompanying performance piece, which Minnotte performed off the shores of Havana for the recent Biennale, and again on the opening night of the gallery exhibition. It was a means for which Minnotte could pull back the curtain of her process to the viewer, creating an added desperation to the concept of the work. Watching Minnotte gasping for air in a tank filled with plastic bottles was as visually beautiful as the idea is horrifying.
Ultimately, Minnotte’s photos and accompanying performance accomplish exactly what they’ve set out to do — they present the beauty of creative intelligence alongside the tragedy of adopting disposable ethics.
Disposable Ethic is on view at &gallery through July 24. For more information, visit andgallery.net.