Off the Basel Path 2019
Written By Elisa Turner, BT Contributor
SOME RECOMMENDED STOPS ON THE MAD DASH THROUGH MIAMI’S ART WEEK
It’s that time once again for the sassy, brassy, subtropic winter days and lingering nights of Miami Art Week. We’ve looked way beyond the big-bucks market madness brought on by international collectors, galleries, artists, and dealers converging here, snarling traffic worse than ever, to discover lively choices to pique your curiosity, possibly even sparking your own creativity.
Plus, these choices won’t make over-the-top demands on your bank account. The best strategy for navigating Miami Art Week is to plan ahead but remain open to the serendipitous, so-Miami encounters along the way. Mark your calendar for these prime events.
“KILOMBO,” Maria Daniel Balcazar, Iris PhotoCollective ArtSpace.
This exhibit is located in the ambitious multidisciplinary Iris PhotoCollective ArtSpace recently opened by its founder, prize-winning photojournalist Carl Juste. On view are stunning black-and-white photographs by Maria Daniel Balcazar. With a superb eye for telling details, she documents the cultural and historic richness of kilombos, Brazil’s autonomous Afro-Brazilian communities. A book accompanies this exhibit, which has traveled to Brazil, Chile, and Argentina. Balcazar captures distinctive moments of beauty, hope, and struggle, rendering traditional rituals with grace and clarity, witnessing their adaptation to the present day.
Balcazar will be present at the opening reception December 3, 7:00 p.m. There will be a salon conversation and book signing on Friday, December 6, at 5:00 p.m., and free admission to a youth workshop on Saturday, December 7, from 9:00 to 11:00 a.m. A master workshop will be held on Sunday, December 8, from 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Early registration is encouraged via irisphotocollective.com.
“KILOMBO: A Photographic Journey Through a Mystical Universe,” photography by Maria Daniel Balcazar
December 4-7 1:00 to 9:00 p.m.
225 NE 59th St., Miami
Faena Festival: Mobile video installation; sky-writing image by Jillian Mayer.
Some might wish for guidance from above to handle Miami Art Week, but no worries, Faena Festival presents Jillian Meyer’s audaciously clever mobile video installations, featuring this message in skywriting: YOU’LL BE OKAY. It’s teamed with video installations by late legendary Cuban-born artist Ana Mendieta; together they appear on an LED billboard boat cruising Miami waterways.
Faena Festival’s “The Last Supper” promises an abundant array of film, art, and communal meals, radiant with themes evoking spirituality and sacrifice. There are new commissions by Myrlande Constant, Jamilah Sabur, and others. Gabriel Chaile of Argentina offers large adobe totems inspired by indigenous talismans, including one with a functional oven for baking bread. Bread-baking ceremonies in the Faena Hotel Public Space TBA. Collective rituals like going to the movies are encouraged by films screened on Faena Beach and in the hotel’s screening room. Dates and times to be announced.
Faena Festival: The Last Supper
December 2- 8
3201 Collins Ave., Miami Beach
“Black Power Naps/Siesta Negras,” Navild Acosta and Fannie Sosa.
Black Power Naps/Siesta Negras, installation by Navild Acosta and Fannie Sosa
In luminous colors and appealing textures, this multi-sensory and interactive installation at Miami Dade College Museum of Art and Design offers a safe and quiet space for rest and dreams. The lights are low; gauzy canopies float above some of the fanciful, pillowy beds. Yes, it sounds gimmicky, but spend time absorbing the gentle vibrations here, and you’ll most likely be seduced by its relaxing sensations. The artists were inspired to counter exhausting tactics used to subdue slaves, considering those debilitating effects parallel to our current, fatiguing systems of inequality. Their response is to create a space for restoring the overwhelmed spirit with soul-pleasing relief.
From 12:00 to 2:00 p.m. on December 4, the artists invite visitors to a midday break within the installation, where they’ll perform guided nap meditations and DJ soundscapes from bed. From 5:00 to 8:00 p.m. on December 5, the artists provide a Platonic Play Party workshop, exploring the virtues of platonic touch, which they believe will ultimately encourage better rest.
Black Power Naps/Siesta Negras by Navild Acosta and Fannie Sosa.
Admission free during Miami Art Week.
December 4, 10:00 a.m.-6:00 p.m.; December 5, 10:00 a.m.-8:00 p.m.; December 6, 10:00 a.m.-6:00 p.m.; December 7, 10:00 a.m.-6:00 p.m.; December 8, 10:00 a.m.-6:00 p.m.
Miami Dade College Museum of Art and Design
600 Biscayne Blvd., Miami
Artists in Residence in Everglades (AIRIE)
Emerging from the Swamp, 2014, Dana Levy, Artists in Residence in Everglades.
For nearly two decades, Artists in Residence in Everglades (AIRIE) has raised a unique, activist voice to honor South Florida’s fragile and threatened natural resource, the famed River of Grass. Over the years, AIRIE has brought more than 185 artists, writers, composers, and choreographers to Everglades National Park to live and work in the park for one month, engaging with park rangers and other environmental professionals. The result has often been extraordinary, tapping into the park’s too often overlooked history and culture, interpreting and recording this legacy for new generations.
In its debut art fair appearance, AIRIE presents Dana Levy’s immersive photographic mural of a verdant cypress dome, as well as paintings, drawings, prints, and videos by AIRIE Fellows, including Harumi Abe and Christina Pettersson.
Artists in Residence in Everglades (AIRIE), Booth A39
Ocean Drive and 12th Street, Miami Beach.
December 4-7, 11:00 a.m.- 7:00 p.m.; December 8, 11:00 a.m.-5:00 p.m.
Guest curator Jordan Stein moderates a discussion with AIRIE artists December 7 at 2:00 p.m.
I Made a Mound City in Miami-Dade County by Trenton Doyle Hancock
Step into Trenton Doyle Hancock’s storytelling installation, reinventing the entrance and main gallery of Locust Projects, to get chummy with his zany comic-book characters waging classic battles of good vs. evil. His valiant but flawed superhero, Torpedo Boy, defends the gentle Mounds, described as hybrid plantlike creatures, against their sworn enemies, the blood-thirsty and mutant Vegans.
Hancock spins his cheeky, spooky narratives via a site-specific mix of sculpture, drawings, prints, and video, inserting sly references to issues of race and class.
At the entrance is a special homage to childhood, from which these stories initially spring, mimicking toy store shelves. They’re stocked with his custom-designed dolls, the Moundverse Infants. There’s also a pop-up comic book store and early hand-drawn pages from the prolific artist’s forthcoming 400-page graphic novel, The Moundverse. Hancock’s seriously wry art has appeared in two Whitney Biennials and other museum exhibitions, most recently at MASS MoCA, the Massachusetts Museum of Contemporary Art.
I Made a Mound City in Miami-Dade County by Trenton Doyle Hancock
December 3-7, 11:00 a.m.-5:00 p.m.
Reception with the artist December 3, 7:00-9:00 p.m.
3852 N. Miami Ave., Miami
“Bat Basel” by Phlebotomy
Billed as the largest presentation to date by Phlebotomy, “Bat Basel” takes over Churchill’s Pub, that stalwart institution in Little Haiti for 40 years. Performers include alternative/dark-wave band Astari Nite and Rat Bastard, the storied “Noise King” of Miami’s underground music and noise scene.
Dress code: vampire/goth/post-punk. For ages 18 plus. Cover $10, or $13 if not in dress code.
December 7, 9:00 p.m. to 3:00 a.m.
5501 NE 2nd Ave., Miami