Art Attack

From Basel to Brazil, the world's high priests of high culture invade Miami this week, and the locals are ready

"Other cities do such great things with their parks, and art there is absolutely so accessible," she says at her Liberty City office in the African Cultural Arts Heritage Center. "And I wanted to get away from confined spaces and confined attitudes."

Risso scouted parks and decided on Tropical -- and the arrival of Art Basel -- as the best place and time to start the process. She picked out artists she thought would work well with the idea of earth and nature, and they all got together and talked. Eventually, she says, the nine installations took seed around the lake. Gretel Garcia put up a tree house, which looks as though it has been there for years, branches breaking out of the worn-looking wood to join the trees crowding it. Kyle Trowbridge thought the whole idea of a park is unnatural -- nature can only exist fenced-off and isolated? He put images on small signs in front of trees, like the arboretum plaques that usually announce the scientific names of individual specimens. But his "announcements" proclaim his unease with a system where "real isn't necessarily natural and natural isn't necessarily right." Hence one image that includes the familiar bomb and fuse that pops up on a computer screen to signal: "system error."

Photos by Steve Satterwhite
Mailbox Bombs and Butts -- considered important pieces by important artists of the Katzenjammers, center
Mailbox Bombs and Butts -- considered important pieces by important artists of the Katzenjammers, center

"Arts to Nature," through January 13 at Tropical Park, Miller entrance, 7900 SW 40th St., West Miami-Dade; 305-226-8315.

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