Fernández’s third solo exhibition with the gallery features a new body of work including video, large-scale paintings, and drawings examining the Greek-Macedonian border the artist describes as “the most dangerous border in the world.” Thousands of migrants risk the illegal journey across the Mediterranean from Turkey to Greece to flee war and poverty. Countless perish at sea, or if caught, are transferred to makeshift camps with deplorable living conditions. Once saturating the news, this crisis has now receded to the periphery of our awareness.
Fernádez’s artistic practice addresses socio-political concerns of both individual and global importance, often using her own body in potentially dangerous and physically arduous performances. The documentation of her performance – hyperrealist paintings and drawings—serve to further challenge the viewer’s perception of issues concerning gender, race, sexuality, inequality, and oppression.
Filmed in several locations around the island of Poros, Fernández’s video footage depicts her wearing her signature cocktail dress and stilettos while cloaked in a white bed sheet. With 13 lbs fastened to her waist, she struggles with the cloth as it envelops her entire body. The documentary paintings illustrate her frozen in mid-action: swimming, floating, and plummeting into a dark, eerie abyss. These meticulous renderings employ exquisite color and brushwork to emphasize the tension between water, cloth, and the artist’s body. Fernández’s identity is eventually erased, only recognized by bodily fragments.
This exhibition observes what exists within liminal spaces, seeking what is lost in the margins, between light and shadow, positive and negative space, heavy and buoyant, seen and unseen. Ultimately, Fernández champions what is invisible, unrecognized, unvalued, and in danger of sinking into oblivion.