“The Brave Keep Undefiled, A Wisdom of Their Own”
September 18th through October 24th, 2009
Opening reception Friday September 18th 6-8 pm
Leo Koenig Inc. is delighted to present a solo exhibition by Naomi Fisher entitled “The Brave Keep Undefiled Wisdom of Their Own.“ With this exhibition, Fisher strives to explore the reciprocal relationship between the force of nature and its tendency towards chaos as it stands in opposition to the order and structure of civilization and culture. It is an investigation through movement, landscape costume and adornment.
Figuring most significantly in this new series of photographs, videos and drawings, are the women depicted in the images. Some of these women have been photographed by the artist for over a decade, and are all trained dancers and performers whose personal visions parallel those of Ms. Fisher’s. Other intrinsic elements of inspiration for the exhibition came from the location (Oleta State Park), and a chance happening of what can only be described as the “Garage Sale of a Lifetime” where the artist stumbled upon the sale of the contents of an unpaid storage unit in Miami. There, Fisher amassed 3 garbage bags full of clothes that ended up containing vintage Versace.
“Camp Primitivo” was the name which was given to Fisher’s “bubble world,” and leopard print was their uniform. Oleta State Park, is on an island in Biscayne Bay between North Miami Beach and the City of Miami. Truly hidden in plain site, the park has miles of mangroves, forests and beaches nestled between metropolis and ocean. Life there was basic, food, beach, insect repellent, sleep, cook dinner over a campfire, drink, dance, thunderstorm, scream, repeat. The resulting images convey an atmosphere of spontaneous expression tinged with just a bit of mystery. The women, clad in their leopard-print and sequined outfits, exude an impulsive and unguarded playfulness, while at the same time leaving the viewer with the feeling that they might never really know the whole story.
Growing up in Miami and traveling abroad while her botanist father collected and studied tropical plants has given Ms. Fisher a unique perspective to recontextualize the modernist fascination with the tropics and the “wild” women for whom the jungle is their natural habitat. The images in this exhibition are a culmination of a project where the artist invited four women to camp with her and shoot for 9 days straight. The intimacy is apparent in the images. For the duration of the project each performer was able to tap into a reservoir of darkness and emotion which was effortlessly communicated with humor and abandon. Likewise, the artist’s direction became an intuitive, and organic process. This seamless reciprocal gesture could only be the result of years of familiarity and collaboration.
Naomi Fisher is an artist born and raised in Miami. Fisher has exhibited internationally in such venues as the Palais de Tokyo, Paris; Pinchuk Art Center, Kiev; Halle fur Kunst, Luneburg; Kemper Museum, Kansas City; Kunsthalle Wein, Vienna; Kunsthaus Baselland, Basel; Deste Foundation, Athens; and the New Museum, NY. Fisher graduated summa cum laude with a BFA in Photography from the Maryland Institute College of Art in 1998, and is a recipient of a 2008 Knight Arts Challenge Grant from the John and James L. Knight Foundation. She also co-founded and jointly runs the Bas Fisher Invitational, an artist run alternative art space in Miami.
The artist would like to thank Jacqueline Fritz, Nancy Garcia, Jessie Gold, Elizabeth Hart, and Nikki Rollason for their inspiring performances.
Special thanks to Knight Arts Challenge Grant from the John and James L. Knight Foundation.