By John Thomason
By Benjy Caplan
By Artburst Miami
By Carlos Suarez De Jesus
By Daniel Reskin
Definitive Juxt: Curated by Lissette Garcia and co-organized by José Carlos Diaz at the Odegard Building in the Design District, this show challenges viewers to accommodate highly personal visions of a group of Miami artists. Works by the Paper Dolls, Mauricio Espinosa, Sarah Murrie, Brian O'Dell, Jason/Opalka, Bert Rodriguez, Gustavo Roman, and Eugenia Vargas all investigate levels of engagement with popular culture. Overall, the installation of this show is handsome and theatrical. The risk highlighted is whether artistic eccentricity necessarily yields a transcendent experience, or merely devolves into the formulaic, the obscure, and the confusing. -- Michelle Weinberg Through July 8. Odegard Building, 47 NE 36th St; 305-205-8079 (by appointment only).
The Excluded: Robson Oliveira's humanism is apparent in this show. The self-proclaimed "activist" photographer's digital photos of poor people from developing nations focus on symbols of exclusion from the prosperity of industrial consumer culture. Oliveira highlights certain images in each print, reaching hard for a sensation of contrast and urgency. The result is stylistically more akin to advertising or propaganda photos. His avowed plea to the viewer to become aroused by the poverty of his subjects loses much of its impact because it glosses over a potent element in his equation: his own use of privileged technology. -- Michelle Weinberg Through June 25. Tuesday through Friday, 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Solange Rabello Gallery, 180 NE 39th St. #122. 305-571-9302.
Gypsies Curse: José-Carlos Diaz, impresario of the Worm-Hole Laboratory, has struck again. This nonstop independent curator of intelligent contemporary art, manufactured predominantly by young, restless, college-educated culture workers, has scoped out Karen Azoulay, Rachel Foullon, Sally Heller, Aimee Jones, Stella Lai, Cristina Lei Rodriguez, and Mary Elizabeth Yarbrough from slide submissions, online art repositories, and word-of-mouth. Ostensibly an effort to deflect an actual curse, the art in this exhibition works more like a charm, all pink-tinged and fashion-forward, coy and decorative. -- Michelle Weinberg Through July 8. Open Saturdays 2:00 to 5:00 p.m. or by appointment. Buena Vista Building, 180 NE 39th St., second floor. 305-798-6529.
Suspended Objects: Dario Escobar takes symbols of mass consumption and morphs them into aesthetic counterfeits, fake agitprop, or grown-up toys. He describes his mind twists as "modern folly" or "cultural repertoire legitimated by our collective memory." Either way, you feel ambivalently pulled by these pieces as if you could play with them, yet they belong in some ideological space between Terry Eagleton and AdBusters. Escobar's is a timely critique of capitalism, though his wit can, in the end, bite its own tail -- that is, if consumption's representation ends up being consumed. -- Alfredo Triff Through August 30. Karpio-Facchini Gallery, 1929 NW First Ave. 305-576-4454.