Cristobal Cea’s project “Flood Followers” project arose from a habit he turned into an artistic practice some years ago: Instead of just watching the news, he began archiving, observing and analyzing news, taking time to investigate what all of these images hace in common.
Winner of the 2016 MAVI/BHP Contemporary Art Award, Cea has for years compiled news footage about floods, climatic events whose recurrence put the traditional news narrative in crisis.
Today, thanks to the Internet and global communications, it is easier than ever to notice that floods happen practically every day of the year. It forces us to consider the global nature of these types of events and in a wider sense, forces us to wonder about what constitutes a catastrophe in this new global context and how it should be narrated.
An unfathomable playlist of news about floods compiled since 2015, mixed with digital recreations. Anonymous protagonists turned into ghosts, water transformed into digital simulations, all of this sharing the exhibition space with tiny Youtubers, thirsty for attention. We behold the digital reconstruction of a child (the artist himself) trying to remember what it was like to be a teenager in Chile in the early 1990´s. During an extended moment of transition where he conflated elements like the visit of the Halley comet and the Pope, the arrival of fast food, the dictatorship, the referendum and the flood of consumption that defined our return to democracy.
“Flood Followers” is an exhibition based on these questions, and suggests thinking about memory, oblivion and the possibility of inhabiting the distance that divides subjective experience from climatic and social events, that appear to mirror one another on a global scale.