December 3, 2014 - January 4, 2015
For her Swim series, Francine Fleischer photographed recreational swimmers enjoying the refreshing waters of a Mexican cenote. Underground caverns such as this form when the collapse of limestone bedrock exposes the groundwater underneath. It is thought that the Mayans used these sites for sacred rituals, infusing the cenote—and, subsequently, Fleischer’s images of it—with a sense of the magic and mystery of what came before. The artist’s large, Caravaggio-esque photographic prints are also mesmerizing objects in-and-of themselves, as Fleischer transforms scenes from a popular tourist destination into seductive compositions of colorful human forms contrasted against the cenote’s dark waters, enticing viewers into the beautiful, murky depths of each image.
“When I look down on the swimmers in these inky waters, it is a bit like looking down the rabbit hole into another world. Sometimes it is an allegorical scene illustrating my subterranean dreams, other times I am a merely a voyeur, capturing the body politics and random scenarios, the contradictions of light and dark, levity and gravity, reality and revery, tribulations and joy and of course sinking and swimming. Each time I return here, I am drawn in by these contradictions, the human conversations and the random choreography below.”
Francine Fleischer is a photographer based in Sag Harbor and Brooklyn, New York, and holds a BFA in Painting and Photography from SUNY at Purchase. Fleischer began her career in photography as a camera assistant and printer for Annie Liebovitz, Kelly Klein, and Michel Comte, and has since gone on to photograph editorially and commercially for national and international publications and clients. Swim was recently presented in August 2014 at the Mt. Rokko Photo Festival in Kobe, Japan, as well as at the Photo Off festival in Paris and at the Flinn Gallery in Greenwich, Connecticut in November of this year. In 2015, select images from Swim will be exhibited at Catherine Edelman Gallery in Chicago as part of the CTRL+P Project, and Pictura Gallery in Bloomington, Indiana will host a solo show of the series.