Gideon Mendel: Drowning World

August 31, 2018 - December 9, 2018

In 2017, the State of Florida was ravaged by Hurricane Irma, the strongest hurricane on record to exist in the open Atlantic region. Jacksonville and the surrounding areas were profoundly affected not just by the fierce winds and rain, but also specifically by flooding; devastation which is still being felt by our community today. Internationally renowned photographer Gideon Mendel was invited to visit Jacksonville and the region in the immediate aftermath of Irma, and the images he captured at that time are not only a tribute to his ongoing project, Drowning World, but also bear testimony to a shared human tragedy in the wake of natural disasters and a shared culpability in the face of climate change.

On display for the first time in the United States is Mendel's 5-channel video, Deluge, which is a culmination of his ten years of work on the Drowning World project, shooting video and stills in thirteen different countries. It depicts a variety of individual stories, positioned with a synchronous global narrative in a way that is both personally intimate and deeply political. Deluge was produced with support from the Museum of Contemporary Art Jacksonville; Kyotographie 2018; the University of Michigan, Institute for the Humanities Gallery; FotoFest Houston. 

Opening Reception: Thursday August 30, 2018



Gideon Mendel

Photographer Gideon Mendel was born in 1959 in Johannesburg, South Africa. He studied Psychology and African History at the University of Cape Town and began working in photography in 1984 during some of the darkest days of apartheid. His experience helped to define his lifelong approach to photography-engaging creatively with social and political issues. In the early 1990s, he moved to London and continued to create politically charged artwork including his longitudinal project on the impact of HIV/AIDS, Through Positive Eyes. Since 2007, Mendel has been occupied with Drowning World, an art and advocacy project about flooding that is his personal response to climate change.

Photo by Gowhar Fazili.

Hello There

Staff Headshots for Website Caitlin

Caitlín Doherty

Executive Director

Caitlín Doherty has engaged with artists, students, and communities around the world throughout a career that spans Scotland, Ireland, Qatar, and the United States. She joined MOCA Jacksonville as Director in March 2017.

 Prior to taking the helm at MOCA, Doherty served as chief curator and deputy director of curatorial affairs at the Eli and Edythe Broad Art Museum at Michigan State University. Broad MSU - housed in the striking, 46,000 square-foot Zaha Hadid-designed building - serves as both a teaching institution and a cultural hub for the East Lansing region. During her tenure at Broad MSU, Doherty provided leadership and artistic vision, defining the interdisciplinary scope and direction of the institution's exhibitions, collections, education, and public programs, and ensuring that they reflected a commitment to artistic experimentation, excellence, and public access. 

 From 2012 to 2015, she served as exhibitions and speaker curator at Virginia Commonwealth University in Qatar, a branch campus of the VCU School of Arts in Richmond, VA. There she organized major exhibitions of international contemporary art and design.

 From 2005 to 2008, Doherty worked as the inaugural director of Lismore Castle Arts, one of Ireland's leading contemporary art galleries. She taught art history, design history, and museum and gallery studies at Ireland's Waterford Institute of Technology from 2008 to 2010 and has regularly guest lectured at other institutions internationally. During her tenure in Ireland, Doherty also directed the interdisciplinary arts and cultural initiative Artswave, a flagship European Union arts and culture project, and acted as visual arts coordinator for Garter Lane Arts Centre.

 Doherty was born on South Uist, a small island in the Outer Hebrides in Northwest Scotland. She holds master's degrees in art history from the University of Edinburgh and in museum and gallery studies from the University of St. Andrews, both in Scotland.