Some might think that art descends on Miami just once a year in December for Art Week. In fact, the city has a year round cultural life. On today’s radio show, you’ll meet a few of the curators, gallerists and artists animating South Florida’s year round contemporary art scene. Listen to locals talk about 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) in the studio, and field recordings with Anthony Spinello and Natalie Alfonso at Spinello Projects and with Maria Elena Ortiz, inside Perez Art Museum Miami.
Sound Editor Guney Ozsan | Special Audio: Courtesy Cara Despain, Sinisa Kukec, Mirza Haroon, Alba Triana and subtropics | Photo credits in gallery
What inspired this story:
A Miami field trip gave us the idea for the 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. Playing on the Sunday brunch concept, galleries invited us to drop by from 11am to 3pm, on a Sunday afternoon, with the promise of brunch fare. 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. We 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, Ortiz shows us that there’s a lot more to dominoes than dots. 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