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  • Writer's pictureLaziza Rakhimova

Focus Art Fair

In my work with oysters, I used the ethereal medium of infrared light to capture the Governor’s island's landscape. Through this lens, I strive to convey not just the fragile beauty of the natural world but also its profound resilience, underscoring the urgent need for restoration.


Along the bustling waterfronts of New York City, artificial oyster reefs stretch, a testament to the ambitious Billion Oyster Project. These reefs serve as a dual purpose: to re-wild the urban waters and to shield the city from the relentless surges of floods.


The 'Resilient Wall’, embodies the very essence of wave attenuation, waterfront fortification, erosion mitigation, and the nurturing of a rich, diverse marine life. It stands as a beacon of hope, signaling the restoration of New York Harbor's natural protective embrace.


For millennia, the Indigenous peoples of this land practiced sustainable oyster harvesting, sourcing these bivalves exclusively from the shallow waters. Their wisdom echoes through time, reminding us of the sacred and potent nature of the oyster shell. These shells serve as guardians of our shorelines, agents of water purification, and vital players in the re-wilding of New York."


"Drawing inspiration from Robert Smithson's iconic work 'Mirror and Crushed Shells,' my installation seeks to create a dialogue between nature and artifice, reflecting on our relationship with the natural world and the impact of human intervention.


In this installation, a square mirror is positioned on the ground, reflecting the oyster midden. Surrounding the mirror oyster shells, meticulously arranged to form concentric patterns, reminiscent of midden formation.


The use of oyster shells not only pays homage to their importance in marine ecosystems but also serves as a metaphor for resilience and regeneration. Just as the oyster shell protects and nurtures life within, the installation symbolizes our duty to protect and restore our natural environment.



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