New Work Miami 2010

Miami Art Museum. Miami

New Work Miami 2010, “was conceived as an exuberant salute to Miami’s artistic community, and it will provide a partial snapshot of the Miami art scene at this moment,” according to the press release issued by the Miami Art Museum to promote the exhibit. I highlight the term partial because it is the key word in the sentence, and we are aware of the fact that every selection is partial, but this is even more so when it is not intended to be a survey and is satisfied with being a snapshot; a very convenient approach if the aim is to include only those who are nearby at the moment of pressing the camera’s shutter release button, which will result in a perfect family photograph.

By Rafael López-Ramos
Viking Funeral (Carlos Ascurra and Juan Gonzalez) Temporary Arts, 2008/2010. Mixed media and sound. Variable. Installation view. Courtesy of the Artists. Photo by Sid Hoeltzell. Técnica mixta y sonido. Dimensiones variables. Vista de la instalación. Cortesía de los artistas. Foto: Sid Hoeltzell.

The event comprised an exhibition that occupied the entire museum’s Plaza Level Gallery and a multidisciplinary program of activities that included music and performance during the summer. Exhibiting artists included Maria José Arjona, Kevin Arrow, Beings, Jenny Brillhart, Felecia Chizuko Carlisle, Jim Drain, Flash Orchestra, Frozen Music, Oscar Fuentes & the Gipsy Catz, Lynne Golob Gelfman, Michael Genovese, Jacin Giordano, Guerra de la Paz, Adler Guerrier, Jacuzzi Boys, Don Lambert, Gustavo Matamoros, Ana Méndez (with Aja Albertson & Richard Vergez), Beatriz Monteavaro, Gean Moreno/Ernesto Oroza, Peggy Nolan, Fabián Peña, Christina Pettersson, Poem Depot, Vickie Pierre, Manny Prieres, Bert Rodríguez, Christopher Stetser, Talking Head Transmitters, Robert Thiele, Mette Tommerup, Humberto Torres, Frances Trombly, Tatiana Vahan, Marcos Valella, Michael Vásquez, Viking Funeral and Michelle Weinberg. The installation by Viking Funeral (art collective composed by Juan González and Carlos Ascurra) ironically calls the art mar- ket into question through a live-size, black and white photo- graph (laminated, on a rigid support) of Simon de Pury, president of the contemporary art auction house Phillips de Pury & Company, with headquarters in New York; the figure that repre- sents him appears to observe another element, portrayed as a ready-made: a series of catalogues of the mentioned auction sales firmly held together by means of those canvas straps that secure loads for road transport on lorries.

Fabián Peña occupies three walls of a booth with an installation drawing collage in which he has used the bodies and wings of flies, featuring a reflection on life and death which would allude, in a first level of interpretation, to the laborious execution pro- cess of the on-site work. Guerra de la Paz’s soft sculpture perfectly parodies a Greco Latin torso that appears to be carved in pink marble although it is really made from used clothes. Lastly, Manny Prieres’s two-dimensional work, overflowing with potent images and symbols, poetically evokes the conflicts and tensions emanating from the current state of global culture.