Miami Art Week 2023 is upon us. Every year the world’s art and design enthusiasts flock down to the magic city, eccentric migratory birds looking for a sunny warm enclave to end their season. White halls and metaverse worlds overflow with creative expression, dark high-octane lounge rooms blast with excess. So we say, get your AI gear ready, party shoes polished and discerning eyes sharpened, Miami Art Week is not for the faint of heart, but an unmissable feeding ground rich with diverse culture and premier art. Here are our eight highlights, sure to keep you mesmerised all week long.
Miami Art Week 2023: what to see
THE BASS – Anne Duk Hee Jordan’s ‘I Will Always Weather With You’
With her first solo show in the United States, Anne Duk See Jordan’s multisensory exhibition ‘I will always weather with you’ opens at The Bass on 4 December, as part of the museum’s 60th-anniversary season. Titled after what sounds like a turbulent love letter, Jordan’s large-scale interactive space addresses climate change induced by technology, and the increasingly challenging life on Earth.
The immersive installation will consist of three terrestrial zones – land, water, and air – each exploring meteorological adversities endured by the spectrum of living creatures. A sensorial banquet of video projections, sounds, edible landscapes, and odd robotic characters simulates atmospheric conditions, ranging from a gentle breeze to turbulent winds.
Aptly showing in Miami Beach, these spouts of temperamental weather are something the inhabitants of South Florida know all too well. Through humour and playful devices, Jordan reminds us of the power planet Earth has over us, but also of our hand in tipping the balance against our fragile world. A complex and entangled affair increasingly imminent and increasingly explored in this year’s Miami Art Week.
On view through 23 June 2024, thebass.org
FAENA ART – Kelly Breez’s ‘Dirt’s Dive’
In its solid offering, Faena Art will also be presenting an immersive installation by local Floridian artist Kelly Breez. Set at Faena Art’s Project Room, a permanent space for innovative interventions in Miami Beach, Breez’s ‘Dirt’s Dive’ is a nostalgic journey through dive bars. Playing with scale and popular bar motifs, the artist pays homage to the infamous South Florida dive bars with thoughtfully crafted life-sized figures, sculptures, and illustrations often seen in historic bar settings.
‘Creating an installation like Dirt’s is as much about story-telling as it is about art-making,’ says Breez. It is of concern that these ill-famed stomping grounds where people socialise while they drink, share tales, and experience chance encounters are being rapidly replaced by flashy manicured rivals, like fast fashion. Through fantasy and playfulness, the exhibition narrates the importance of these bar spaces in both the artist’s personal memory and as crucial threads in our community and its social history.
PAMM – Gary Simmons’ ‘Public Enemy’
We can always depend on the PAMM (Pérez Art Museum Miami) for delivering exceptional programming during Miami Art Week and one to mark on the calendar is Gary Simmons: ‘Public Enemy’, previewing 5 December. Covering for the first time over three decades of Simmons’ artistic career, the show will feature an expansive collection of sculptures, dynamic installations, plus large scale drawings created at the space.
Predominant in Simmon’s work, are themes of institutional racism and class inequality in popular American culture, particularly cinema, architecture, and urban music. The regular use of pedagogical motifs, such as smeared or partly-erased chalk drawings on blackboards, are quintessential to his approach. An expression of racially-charged stereotypical icons that incite painful memories, as a history that can be blurred and rewritten, but can’t be erased.
Until 28 April 2024, pamm.org
SUPERBLUE – SFER IK Award
At Superblue on 5 December, Antoine Bertin was announced winner of the SFER IK Award 2023 – an AI artwork competition. The artist will receive a two-month residency in SFER IK’s innovative campus in the Mayan jungle. The brief was to create an AI-generated artwork addressing themes of biodiversity, interspecies collaboration, technology, and nature, and Bertin’s winning work, The Bat Cloud, will be showcased at SFER IK’s upcoming open-air museum in Tulum.
In this self-sustained creative centre, named Azulik Uh May, Bertin will have access to local artisans, digital fabrication facility FabLab, and a hefty $100k budget to work with. Also known as ‘The City of the Arts’, the ten-acre estate, founded by architect, ecologist and entrepreneur Roth, is also home to an architecture and interior design studio, a media production company, and a cluster of workshop pods, all built from locally sourced and sustainable materials. It’s a unique context Roth believes will allow the artist to marry traditional tools with avant-garde design to understand and better serve our natural world.
ICA Miami – Sasha Gordon
Tucked between rows of couture window displays in the Miami Design District (where you might admire installations such as Samuel Ross’ new benches, and Lara Bohinc’s ‘Utopia’), the ICA Miami is another must on the list. Its Miami Art Week programme includes up-and-comer artist Sasha Gordon, whose new series of hyperreal paintings, mostly self-portraits, depict dark fantastical scenes, exploring the complexities of feminine identity through unconventional transformations of the artist’s own body. As a queer Asian-American woman, Gordon dissects societal preconceptions of gender and race, with personal experiences, and portrays emotions of vulnerability, prejudice, and empowerment in a humorous and exquisitely surreal setting.
Also debuting is Anne Collier’s Unraveling (Are You Out Of Your Mind), a large-scale photographic installation of an unspooled cassette player, which takes over the museum’s central staircase.
‘Sasha Gordon: Surrogate Self’, until 10 March 2024. Anne Collier, Unraveling (Are You Out Of Your Mind), until 16 October 2024, icamiami.org
Art Basel Miami Beach 2023 – Positions
Coming up to its 21st year edition, Art Basel Miami Beach (8 – 10 December 2023) will host 277 outstanding international galleries, with 25 newcomers joining this prime list. The Positions section of the fair will showcase a superb roster of young Latin American talents.
Amongst the 16 individual presentations are:
– Allan Weber, a Brazilian artist, displays new sculptural objects and Tamo junto não é gorjeta, a photo-series referencing class inequalities, developed whilst the artist was delivering food during the pandemic.
– Mexican artist Andrew Roberts debuts four works, including a video piece on aquatic humanoid creatures. Roberts explores topics of war technology and the ocean as a geopolitical space of violence through fantastical installations.
– Esaí Alfredo, from Puerto Rico, exhibits Noches Que Nunca Acaban / Nights That Never Ended, a collection of cinematic, dream-like paintings portraying mysterious predominantly male rural scenes of nocturnal life in the tropical oasis.
Art Basel Miami Beach – Meridians
Also not to be missed are the 19 large-scale heavy-hitters featured in the Meridians sector of Art Basel Miami Beach, focusing this year on themes ‘that speak to nature, to the land, and to various cultural and spiritual geographies in a world of changing boundaries and shifting identities’, says Meridians’ curator, Magalí Arriola, director of Museo Tamayo Arte Contemporaneo in Mexico City.
– Paula Cooper will be representing Ja’Tovia Gary’s debut installation and film collage Quiet As It’s Kept. Drawing on Toni Morrison’s 1970 novel The Bluest Eye as a starting thread, Gary challenges objectivity in nonfiction genres and reinserts her own visual memory to repair often-skewed representations of Black life.
– Private Collection, by Libyan-Yurok artist Saif Azzuz comments on land boundaries determined by privilege and colonisation, with a 16ft x 16ft fenced yard installation housing sculptures and paintings only visible through small gaps in the enclosure.
– Finally, the site-specific 60-minute music composition, The Keys, performed by Stefan Tcherepnin, embodies through electric cartographic tracks the perilous geography of Key Largo, where the artist’s grandmother lived.
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Originally hailing from Puerto Rico, Maria Sobrino spent seven years with Wallpaper* as an interiors stylist. These days you can find her enjoying a dinner al fresco at her Miami MiMo apartment on Biscayne Bay, or riding her scooter around Miami in search of beautiful things, both exterior and interior.
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