SITE-SPECIFIC ART: RETHINKING HOW WE RELATE WITH OUR SURROUNDINGS
This week, Earth Day Week, Arte al Día wants to focus on thought-provoking artworks that raise awareness on the effect of human activities on the ecosystem and call upon a re-contemplation of man’s place in its surroundings.
During the Art Basel show, Art Basel Cities Buenos Aires has presented a series of large-scale sculptures by Argentine artists in Collins Park, Miami Beach. Titled “Disruptions” and based on the curatorial vision of Diana Wechsler and Florencia Battiti, the park became host to sculptural works exploring the concepts of context and site, and its potential to interfere with everyday life.
In the last phase of the partnership with Buenos Aires, Art Basel Cities has sought to bring Argentine artists of different generations, formations, and outputs to an international platform, allowing for new artistic discoveries, highlighting the strength, dynamism and vibrancy of the Argentine art scene.
'Disruptions', as its title suggests, focuses on intervening in an urban landscape enabling the viewer to interact and be confronted with works outside the more traditional exhibition space. More than a merely aesthetic proposition, art in this space can become a tool for encountering, interacting, and questioning potentially overly familiar environment.
"While we appeal to the curiosity of the public, to their capacity of amazement, reflection, complicity, and surprise, 'Disruptions' also necessarily implies a commitment to the unknown, a rupture of the status quo," explain curators Diana Wechsler and Florencia Battiti.
In her work 'The Source’ (2019), Agustina Woodgate acknowledges water as a fundamental building block of the human body and the earth, and considers when its purity is compromised by contamination, blocked access, failed responses to natural disasters and other catastrophes and the impact this can have. This functional, above-ground drinking fountain is set within a facade of coral rock and features an exposed system of pipes that connect, like a puzzle, to four sections containing multiple fountains.
Physical interaction is also key in Marcela Sinclair's 'Derrame (Spill)' (2019), an installation that deconstructs and reimagines Ugo Rondinone’s 'Miami Mountain' (2016) – one of Collins Park's now iconic permanent sculptures. Consisting of thousands of colored stones painted to match the hues of 'Miami Mountain' that will be scattered across the grounds of the park, 'Derrame (Spill)’ will invite the audience to participate in the work, by moving the stones and building their own individual sculptures.