by Eddie Arroyo

Stepping into the JOIN exhibition at the Wynwood Lofts, a collection of artists inspired by Félix González-Torres’ sculpture “Untitled” (Join), one gets the sense that Spinello Projects is making great use of the space. An initiative for artists/curators to occupy alternative spaces to show works in various forms and materials to present a compelling idea.

Recently, it has been a project for Spinello. He does it well and this is no easy task because site specific exhibitions don’t always lend themselves to presenting art. BLACK SUNDAY was a good example, thought out given its location – an abandoned branch of a local Christian family and social services center.

Needless to say this is not a conventional venue to present art. It is that very fact that makes it intriguing. When walking into the school one is forced to really question the purpose of the art rather than view it as an object. The location transcends the object because it is placed in context. Essentially, that exhibition felt more like a giant collaborative installation. This is good.

Spinello stated,

“Inspired by a collaborative work between celebrated Cuban-born American artist Félix González-Torres and photographer Michael Jenkins (comprised of an ‘endless’ stack of offset prints with a come-hither image of a male sailor), JOIN is an investigation into concepts of invitations, gifts and cooperative act.

As the trigger for the show’s curatorial core, González-Torres and Jenkins’ work was received as a ‘gift’ and remnant to director Anthony Spinello from the collection of Donald and Mera Rubell. The work “Untitled” (Join), 1990, was recently exhibited in American Exuberance held at the Rubell Family Collection in Miami. According to the wishes of Gonzalez-Torres, who died of AIDS-related complications in 1996, the sheets of printed paper that comprise the work are intended to be taken by anyone. ‘Value’ or ‘price’ is rendered mute in this context, while free imagery and unfettered social commentary experiences a release.

In response to this collaboration between González-Torres and Jenkins, a group of rising contemporaries also consider facets of unbounded expression and the turbulent dynamics between sale and gift, positive and negative, artist and audience, object and gesture. Erasure and resurrection play important roles in their practices at large, with the mode of production focused on the replication of the singular image.”

JOIN lends itself to the space. The work is good and there is ease in its presentation. Tomorrow is another day and it will be exciting to see what new venues are to come.

Artists Nicholas Arehart, Abby Double, Sinisa Kukec, Federico Nessi, Manny Prieres, George Sánchez-Caldéron and Agustina Woodgate participate in this special presentation, JOIN, curated by Anthony Spinello.