Within the next century, sea levels are expected to rise at least six feet, threatening coastal communities locally and globally. Ana Teresa Fernández’s installation—comprising 16 cylindrical pillars, each measuring six-feet tall and filled with water from the Pacific Ocean—translates these projections into an experience both visceral and immediate. On the Horizon was originally conceived as a temporary installation and performance piece at nearby Ocean Beach, created with the help of volunteers and passersby. The collaborative nature of the work highlights the social dimensions and time-based nature of Fernández’s practice. The San Francisco–based artist describes On the Horizon as a collective endeavor, meant to inspire and evoke change. “How do you arise beauty in this situation that is incredibly frightening,” Fernández asks, “and how do you make people empathize with the unknown, so they can meet this threat and start moving into a direction where they can do something about it?”
On the Horizon, 2021; acrylic resin cylinders filled with sea water; courtesy the artist and Catharine Clark Gallery, San Francisco
Through time-based actions and social gestures, Ana Teresa Fernández creates paintings, installations, and videos that explore 21st-century feminism, postcolonial landscapes, and the psychological barriers to empathy. Born in Tampico and based in San Francisco, she earned an MFA from the San Francisco Art Institute; her work is held in the collections of the Denver Art Museum, Nevada Museum of Art, and Kadist Art Foundation, among other organizations.