Just Below the Surface
The spaces in between Michel Varisco’s work force moments of meditative stillness amidst installations that rhythmically engulf the viewer, placing you “Just Below the Surface”.
As a native New Orleanian, Varisco’s work is centered around the human relationship and interaction with the environment, specifically water, and the effects that one has on the other.
After experiencing the destruction of the failed levees during Hurricane Katrina, much of Varisco’s work has focused on the fact that water not only sustains, but also has the ability to devastate communities and their beloved land.
In “Just Below the Surface” Varisco takes the seriousness of environmental and personal themes and creates a whimsical experience she calls “magical realism”. “We’re losing our heritage land. In a desperation to communicate the fix we’re in, I just took everybody under water with me; fast-forwarding into a modern-day Atlantis,” explains Varisco.
The rhythmic repetition of her work is seamlessly presented in polyptychs and installations to parallel the natural patterns of water. The photographs, silk installments, and assemblage of objects come together to reflect the pack-and-go mindset that is so normalized to those living in an evacuation environment.