Some might think that art descends on this city just once a year in December for Art Week. In fact, Miami has a year round cultural life. On our radio show, meet a few of the curators, gallerists and artists who animate South Florida’s year round contemporary art scene. Listen to locals in conversation with host Cathy Byrd about urban development and gentrification, racial and social issues, and experimental music and sound art. Featuring Gustavo Matamoros and Alba Triana (subtropics24/ArtCenter/South Florida), Anthony Spinello and Natalie Alfonso of Spinello Projects and Maria Elena Ortiz, Perez Art Museum Miami.
An Miami field trip gave me the idea for this show’s theme… Four local galleries staged a progressive brunch one Sunday in late June. Mindy Solomon, Spinello Projects, Emerson Dorsch and RedDot welcomed a steady flow of visitors to experience four unique exhibitions in the Little Haiti and Little River Arts Districts. Riffing on the Sunday brunch concept, each gallery offered a special dish simultaneously over from 11am to 3pm. Their goal? To highlight their exhibitions and invite visitors to linger for conversations about art.
One of those conversations will give you an idea of the experience. I recorded with gallerist Anthony Spinello and gallery manager Natalie Alfonso inside the exhibition titled Mere Façade. The word ‘façade’ has a couple of meanings that come into play: one is the face of a building, the side that looks onto a street or open space. Façade also refers to an outward appearance that conceals something unpleasant or insubstantial. From outside Miami looking in, the word might make you think about the superficial side of this city…
Another exhibition that opened this summer invites visitors to play dominoes. Curator Maria Elena Ortiz brought the show about a favorite pastime in Miami—to the Perez Art Museum. In a curatorial collaboration with Arden Sherman of the Hunter College Gallery in New York, Maria Elena shows us that there’s a lot more to dominoes than meets the eye. Also at PAMM, curator Diana Nawi invited London-based artist Haroon Mirza to create an immersive sound experience in the museum’s double-height gallery. You enter a darkened project space to experience A C I D GU E S T. A specialized technical system transmits an electrical current through speakers and light-emitting diodes (LEDs) activated by noise frequencies. sound and light experience based on a concrete poem he wrote. A C I D G E S T takes its name from the phrase “acid test”, (refering to the parties held in the 1960’s where groups of people would come together to legally experiment with LSD).
The last segment of our show features subtropics, the experimental music and sound art biennial at ArtCenter/SouthFlorida organized by sound artist Gustavo Matamoros. Alba Triana tells the story behind her sound and light installation Microcosmos and Gustavo introduces sound art and experimental music performances by David Dunn, Olivia Block, Carles Santos and Abbey Rader.
Contributed by Evelyne Zapata, with Cathy Byrd for Fresh Art International