A Year Focused on the Ethical and Technical Entanglements of Water

with New Commissions by

Fred Schmidt-Arenales, Imani Jacqueline Brown, and Gala Porras-Kim


SWAMPLANDS, a yearlong research and exhibition series at Storefront for Art and Architecture focused on the ethical and technical entanglements of water. This program takes the murky soil and unstable grounds of swamps as a conceptual framework to highlight the ecological and socioeconomic intricacies that lie at the threshold between bodies of water and land.

Presenting newly commissioned works and exhibitions that are anchored alongside the coast of the Gulf of Mexico by artists Imani Jacqueline Brown, Gala Porras-Kim, and Fred Schmidt-Arenales, Swamplands explores unique social, political, and economic conditions in the tidelands of Louisiana, Yucatan, and Texas respectively. In addition to the three exhibitions, this multi-sited project will also unfold through public programs, radio broadcasts, a research fellowship, an open call, and a thematic reader that will aid in connecting with other geographies dealing with the increasing complexities of wetlands. Individually and collectively, these artistic expressions challenge perceptions of swamps as unstable environments, portraying them instead as sites of inherent duality and hybridity, both of emergence and transformation, of care and kinship, as well as of violence and neglect. 


Photos: Yvonne Venegas

The different projects and dialogues hosted throughout the year aim to uncover the emergence of diverse life forms amidst the dynamic interplay of weather, water, land, and the coexistence of human and non-human elements. The intrinsic ambiguity of mud becomes a poignant locus of resistance, defying conventional capitalist interpretations of climate dynamics and environmental health. Swamplands thus becomes a platform for reimagining our relationship with these ecologically rich yet often misunderstood landscapes, inviting a reevaluation towards notions of environmental stewardship and cultural engagement.


Serving as a prelude to Swamplands, the Swamp Summit was a field trip and learning summit which took place in February 2024, and brought together a multidisciplinary group of artists, curators, anthropologists, biologists, environmental activists, and poets to collectively think on the social, political, and material presence of water in the Yucatán peninsula. It was organized in collaboration with Fundación Transformación, Arte y Educación, and artist Jorge Pardo.


Courtesy of Fred Schmidt-Arenales

Opening: March 13, 2024 6 PM

March 13 – June 1, 2024

IT IS A GOOD PROJECT AND SHOULD BE BUILT focuses on a proposed $57 billion water development infrastructure project called the Texas Coastal Barrier Project, colloquially known as the Ike Dike. Employing documentary and narrative filmmaking strategies, this three channel video installation explores the symbolic and unconscious projections underpinning this colossal project.



GALA PORRAS-KIM: September 2024





The Swamplands: Open Call in collaboration with frieze Magazine will be launched this Spring and invites proposal submissions for a month long exhibition to be presented at Storefront’s gallery in January 2025. The selected application will receive institutional support, a budget, and a fee to develop and realize the project.


Throughout the year, Storefront will be collaborating with the independent online radio Montez Press Radio to release Swamplands: Broadcasts, a series of radio programs that further explore the subject through staged conversations, interviews, readings, etc. These broadcasts provide another platform to disseminate our ongoing generative research. These four radio broadcasts will collage case studies, conversations, and field recordings to weave our findings together. 


During the last week of each month Storefront will open the gallery for Swamplands: Open Sessions, inviting a different guest to curate and host the evening. These informal gatherings will open a space for collective learning where critical issues surrounding ecological and socioeconomic intricacies that lie at the threshold between bodies of water and land are shared and discussed. 


The Swamplands: Researcher in Residence will spend the year thinking through ideas of borders and ambiguous land and water terrains as it pertains to Florida and Cuba, with an emphasis on investigating marginalized histories and ecological narratives.  


A publication with excerpts from the cumulative research, new commissions, and archival materials will be published at the end of this year-long program. 


Additional public programs will take place in conjunction with the exhibitions. For more information, follow us on Instagram, or sign up for our newsletter on our website.


Storefront for Art and Architecture

Storefront for Art and Architecture amplifies the understanding of the built environment through artistic practice. Founded in 1982 by artists and architects in downtown New York, Storefront has chronicled the changing urban landscape of the city and remains committed to producing and presenting work that addresses diverse notions of place and public life. 


Swamplands is conceived and organized by the Storefront Team

Graphic design by Estudio Herrera

Photography by Yvonne Venegas 

97 Kenmare Street, New York, NY 10012

Hours: Wednesday – Saturday, 12 pm – 6 pm




Storefront’s Swamplands  program is made possible through the support of the Mellon Foundation, the Ruth Foundation for the Arts, the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Kathy Hochul and the New York State Legislature; public funds from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council; with invaluable support from Storefront’s Board of Directors, the Storefront Circle, Storefront members, and individual donors. Storefront is a proud member of CANNY (Collaborative Arts Network New York), currently supported by the Mellon Foundation, Helen Frankenthaler Foundation, Arison Arts Foundation, Imperfect Family Foundation, and Jay DeFeo Foundation. Storefront extends to a special thanks to our Swamp Summit partners, Fundación TAE and Jorge Pardo.

Storefront for Art and Architecture | 97 Kenmare StreetNew York, NY 10012



AAQ / Resource: Riverhead Toyota