Chloe Dewe Mathews presents ‘Caspian: The Elements’, the culmination of five years spent roaming the borderlands of the Caspian Sea.
In 2010, Chloe travelled overland from China to the U.K. When she arrived on the shores of the Caspian Sea, she began documenting scenes that intrigued her: stonemasons with their faces covered, building elaborate mausoleums in Kazakhstan for the oil-rich middle class, or health tourists in Azerbaijan, bathing in crude oil for its therapeutic benefits. As she returned to the region repeatedly over the following five years, she sought out stories that raised questions about the human relationship with natural resources in a much-coveted territory.
Positioned between the two great continents of Asia and Europe, the Caspian is described as both an inland sea and the world’s largest saltwater lake. Since the dissolution of the Soviet Union in 1991, it has remained outside the territorial boundary of any country, although Kazakhstan, Azerbaijan, Turkmenistan, Iran, and Russia have all laid claim to it, each vying for the maximum share of its mineral-rich seabed and the strategic access it provides to international waters. Twenty-seven years later, in August 2018, a deal between the five countries was reached, but its consequences remain to be seen.
Caspian: The Elements offers a series of powerful visual narratives, a portrait of this beguiling and elusive land.
This exhibition coincides with the publication of the book Caspian: The Elements, by Chloe Dewe Mathews, which is co-published by Aperture and Peabody Museum Press. A larger exhibition of work from Caspian: The Elements will open at the Peabody Museum in April 2019.
Genesis are proud to have supported Chloe with this exciting exhibition by producing prints using our Lambda C-Type Printing service.
Caspian: The Elements
25 October – 30 November 2018
547 West 27th Street, 4th Floor
New York, N.Y. 10001