Critics Pick

Alumnae of Forcefield, the Providence, Rhode Island, artist collective, and of the 2002 Whitney Biennial, artists Jim Drain and Ara Peterson are reunited here by Lawrence Rinder, an adjunct curator at the Whitney. The result is "Wiggin Village," a sprawling, antic installation at the Moore Space consisting of architectural follies, computer-generated projections, and hand-knitted and beaded sculptures. If mind-bending psychedelia, handcrafts from your grandmother's closet, and video-game sounds are your things, Drain and Peterson will not disappoint. -- Michelle Weinberg

"Wiggin Village" Through March 31, the Moore Space, 4040 NE 2nd Ave., second floor, Miami; 305-438-1163.

Art Sound Lounge
From top: Ara Peterson and Jim Drain, “Wiggin Village," Wendy Wischer, “Feeling Blue," Work by Leyden Rodriguez-Casanova
From top: Ara Peterson and Jim Drain, “Wiggin Village," Wendy Wischer, “Feeling Blue," Work by Leyden Rodriguez-Casanova
From top: Painting by Brandon Opalka, Tania Bruguera, “Autobiografia," Patricia Van Dalen, "Picnic Garden"
From top: Painting by Brandon Opalka, Tania Bruguera, “Autobiografia," Patricia Van Dalen, "Picnic Garden"
From top: An installation by Jenny Holzer at the Guggenheim Museum in New York City, Manu Muniategiandikoetxea, “Ikusten Zaitut," Aida Ruilova, “Countdown Miami”
From top: An installation by Jenny Holzer at the Guggenheim Museum in New York City, Manu Muniategiandikoetxea, “Ikusten Zaitut," Aida Ruilova, “Countdown Miami”
From top: Simon Lee “Bus Obscura," A model of Seattle’s public library, Work by Eduoard Duval-Carrié
From top: Simon Lee “Bus Obscura," A model of Seattle’s public library, Work by Eduoard Duval-Carrié
From top: Doug Morris, “ARENA”, Robert Thiele, “A-261-262”, “Art Loves Puppet Rock”
From top: Doug Morris, “ARENA”, Robert Thiele, “A-261-262”, “Art Loves Puppet Rock”

Art Basel Miami Beach already guarantees a healthy dose of strange and wonderful sights, but what about equally daring sounds? One answer, new this year, may well be the Art Sound Lounge launched by Art Basel's own Art Radio (WPS1 art radio at www.live365.com), turning the Delano Hotel's tropical poolside cabanas into a rare place where art lovers can meditate on the relative values of new art and new music while pondering the merits of Speedos versus big pants. In store, among other sounds, are streaming mixes of everyone from John Cale to Malcolm Maclaren and Lou Reed, plus special programs ranging from a megamix of "Classic Cuban Cuts" to an intriguing "Larry Rivers Memorial Music Hour." WPS1, an Internet radio station associated with MoMA, also promises interviews with artists, curators, and assorted visitors from all over the world. -- Octavio Roca

Art Sound Lounge December 2-5, noon to midnight, Delano Hotel poolside, 1685 Collins Ave., Miami Beach.

In this solo show at Diana Lowenstein Fine Arts, Miami artist Wendy Wischer explores light and its intangible nature. "Looking for Home" features several large-scale light installations that probe notions of searching and finding, hope and recognition, or as the artist herself puts it: "When you feel you find something -- whether in science, technology, people, or places -- when it's right for you, you get that sense of being home." Some of the works in the exhibit include Feeling Blue, a giant, watery swirl of thousands of clear glass marbles bathed in blue light. Within the White represents the full color spectrum and is an interactive piece that appears as a light curtain or hologram when engaged by spectators.

Wischer may be one of the busiest artists in town. Her work can also be seen during Art Basel at the Miami Art Museum, the Miami Museum of Science, and the Museum of Art in Fort Lauderdale. -- Carlos Suarez De Jesus

"Looking for Home" Through December 31, Diana Lowenstein Fine Arts, 3080 SW 38th Ct., Coral Gables; 305-774-5969. Opening reception December 3, 7:30 p.m.

Leyden Rodriguez-Casanova

Working with ordinary objects, Leyden Rodriguez-Casanova seduces the viewer into places that are at once eerily familiar yet ineluctably foreign. He has a disconcerting way of revealing the hidden splendor of the mundane, playing deftly with nostalgia and identity, elaborating conceptual memories that bespeak a culture of reinvention, of banal planes of reflection. Home (2004), an architectural rendering of his parents' zero-lot-line house in suburban Kendall, is a clever example of Rodriguez-Casanova's approach to explorations of self, a kind of backyard archaeology.

"Keepsake," his solo show at Leonard Tachmes Gallery, provides the Cuban-born, Miami-based artist a breakout opportunity on the tail of his recent group shows at the Annina Nosei and White Box galleries in New York, and at the Miami Art Museum. -- Carlos Suarez De Jesus

"Keepsake" Through January 3, Leonard Tachmes Gallery, 817 NE 125th St., North Miami; 305-895-1030.

Leyden Rodriguez-Casanova

Working with ordinary objects, Leyden Rodriguez-Casanova seduces the viewer into places that are at once eerily familiar yet ineluctably foreign. He has a disconcerting way of revealing the hidden splendor of the mundane, playing deftly with nostalgia and identity, elaborating conceptual memories that bespeak a culture of reinvention, of banal planes of reflection. Home (2004), an architectural rendering of his parents' zero-lot-line house in suburban Kendall, is a clever example of Rodriguez-Casanova's approach to explorations of self, a kind of backyard archaeology.

"Keepsake," his solo show at Leonard Tachmes Gallery, provides the Cuban-born, Miami-based artist a breakout opportunity on the tail of his recent group shows at the Annina Nosei and White Box galleries in New York, and at the Miami Art Museum. -- Carlos Suarez De Jesus

"Keepsake" Through January 3, Leonard Tachmes Gallery, 817 NE 125th St., North Miami; 305-895-1030.

"Pig to man, man to pig, then pig to man again." The last sentence of George Orwell's Animal Farmis the title of Brandon Opalka's exhibit of paintings and watercolors at Rocket Projects. For his first solo show, Opalka, a native Miamian, has culled figurative elements from Orwell's book -- pigs, donkeys, and horses are prevalent -- to comment on the current political state of America. The self-taught, 26-year-old former graffiti artist has created eye-popping abstract landscapes awash in a utopian color scheme of acid, fluorescent, and muted tones, while weaving a sylvan narrative in which all animals, domestic or wild, might be considered equal. Over the past year, Opalka has been painting aggressively for this show, and his remarkable growth is evident in these works. -- Carlos Suarez De Jesus

"Pig to Man, Man to Pig, Then Pig to Man Again" Through December 30, Rocket Projects, 3440 N. Miami Ave., Miami; 305-576-6082. Opening reception December 4, 7:00 p.m.

Fuck Art, Let's Drink

The closest thing the notoriously conservative residents of Basel have to a Miami blowout is their Fasnacht, a distinctly Swiss version of carnival, where they indulge in well-behaved mayhem and out-of-tune guggenmusik. Well, it appears the Swiss, universally admired for their banking and chocolates, have learned to pack the hangover bromides and loosen their girdles, earning some street cred with this year's happy hour at Art Positions.

Container-village cocktails on the sand and DJs Mark Leventhal and Stephan Luke get the art shaking with a primer on how we transform party into a verb. Baselites can consider this a dress rehearsal for Saturday night, when Miami harlots herself out full throttle in the Design District and Wynwood for Art Bacchanal. -- Carlos Suarez De Jesus

Happy Hour at Art Positions December 2-4, 7:00 to 9:00 p.m., beachfront at Collins Avenue and 21st Street.

The U.S. premiere of Autobiografíaby pioneer interdisciplinary Cuban artist Tania Bruguera takes place Friday night as part of the OmniArt "urban intervention." The work, primarily a sound installation, consists of a solitary microphone dangling over a platform in a spare room. Spectators are invited to step up on the stage and speak into the mike.

On opposing walls, speakers blare excerpts of speeches by Fidel Castro while the spectators' microphone remains turned off. A controller at a soundboard across the room adds to the tension between the fragmented elements, creating an unspoken commentary on the illusory aspects of power.

Brugera, who splits her time between Cuba and Chicago, where she teaches at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, explains that the work elaborates on the idea of autobiography and how political speeches -- on an emotionally visceral level -- have been markers in her life. "It relates to the illusion of democracy," she says, "and how a single person's voice can become diluted by the collective." -- Carlos Suarez De Jesus

Autobiografía December 3, 8:00 p.m. to 2:00 a.m., Warehouse 1, NE 2nd Avenue at 13th Street, Miami. 305-576-2950.

"Art Expressions"

Curator Patricia Risso has worked some magic for the Miami-Dade Parks and Recreation Department, organizing "Art Expressions" at the county's Matheson Hammock Park and Tropical Park, where fifteen local artists have created head-turning works to the delight of the unsuspecting. At Tropical Park check out Patricia Van Dalen's Picnic Garden, evoking a field of tri-colored tulips executed from 15,000 marker flags. Visit Richard Medlock's meditative Zen space or ponder Carolina Sardi's delicate, latticed, beehive-like structures.

Over at Matheson Hammock Park, Cesar Trasobares has installed orchids made of dollar bills, Veronica Scharf-Garcia has laced apron poems around palm trees, and Carol Cornelison has created jumbo bird nests. Other artists include Tim Curtis, Corina Maddalozzo, Brian Reedy, Claudia Scalise, Alette Simmons-Jimenez, Daniel Fiorda, Ivan Martinez, Matthew Cox, and Peter Kuentzel. -- Carlos Suarez De Jesus

Art Expressions Through January 7, Matheson Hammock Park, 9610 Old Cutler Rd., Coral Gables; Tropical Park, 7900 Bird Rd., West Miami-Dade; 305-755-7948. Call for park hours.

Preeminent American conceptual artist Jenny Holzer recently debuted her fist public work in more than a decade. Since October Xenon Projectionshas visited the surfaces of buildings in New York City, Washington, D.C., Liverpool, and Berlin. In Miami the Freedom Tower will provide the background screen for Holzer's trademark epigrams. A powerful projector will beam across the tower's faade poems by Walt Whitman and others, text taken from declassified government documents, and appropriated slogans such as "Whatever you are, be a good one," a quote from Abraham Lincoln. Though Holzer's aphorisms can be provocative and bewildering ("Protect me from what I want," "Any surplus is immoral"), the act of viewing her luminous, scrolling texts is oddly soothing, and the reaction of the beholder becomes part of the work. -- Jean Carey

Xenon for Miami December 1-5, 6:00 p.m. to midnight, Freedom Tower, 600 Biscayne Blvd., Miami.

In town installing a project at Aqua, the residential island development of real-estate whiz and art collector Craig Robins, New York artist Richard Tuttle became enamored of the Wolfsonian-FIU Museum's vast holdings of applied arts and propaganda. Tuttle's artistic intervention, commissioned by the museum and funded by the Fernwood Art Foundation and other sponsors, will adorn the building's exterior and penetrate deep into the museum's collection.

Tuttle's project, beauty-in-advertising, translates his signature understated aesthetic into long vertical streamers for the outside of the museum and continues inside to an installation that links more than 60 objects from the collection with print-advertising images that address the concept of beauty. A rooftop pyrotechnics display by Grucci Fireworks of New York will mark the work's 8:00 p.m. unveiling. In the bridge tender's house on the sidewalk in front of the museum, SALT, a Miami/New York collective of artists, presents In Advance of a Broken Heart. -- Michelle Weinberg

beauty-in-advertising December 3 through January, Wolfsonian -FIU Museum, 1001 Washington Ave., Miami Beach; 305-535-2622.

Espacio Minimo

One of Spain's leading young galleries, Espacio Minimo of Madrid, unpacks Orain, Berriz, Gulliver, a site-specific project by Basque artist Manu Muniategiandikoetxea, which utterly transforms the gallery's cargo container at Art Positions. Caja tumbada, a large central piece made of wood, iron, and acrylic, obstructs the viewer's entry "like a stopper, like a boat built inside a bottle," say gallery owners José Martinez Calvo and Luis Valverde Espejo.

Painted constructions or constructed painting, Muniategiandikoetxea adds a mirror to disconcert further and to intensify the illusion, and he digs deep into the interaction between the human form and pure geometry. This exhibition combines techniques of cabinet-making and construction with image-making to confound viewers' expectations and understanding of scale, solids, space, volume, and proportion. -- Michelle Weinberg

Espacio Minimo December 2-4, noon to 8:00 p.m.; December 5, noon to 6:00 p.m., container 11, Art Positions, beachfront at 21st Street, Miami Beach.

Art Video Lounge

This year's Art Video Lounge opens with a new design by New York-based architects LO/TEK and new curators -- Bolivian Sandra Antelo-Suarez, editorial director of TRANS> magazine, and freelance Mexican curator Guillermo Santamarina. They've come up with four programs featuring more than 30 international artists. Content is roughly themed around the concept of melancholy. It's time to give video art a chance (last year's video lounge was sparsely attended), and there is no better opportunity than this to see some of the world's best -- Bas Jan Ader, Jacques Brel, Mircea Cantor, Serge Clément, Bruce Conner, Yang Fudong, Ori Gersht, Anthony Goicolea, Félix Gonzalez-Torres, Jorge Macchi, Raymond Pettibon, Aida Ruilova, Jordan Wolfson, and Erwin Wurm. -- Alfredo Triff

Art Video Lounge December 2-4, 2:00 p.m. to 10:00 p.m; December 5, 2:00 to 6:00 p.m.Miami Beach Public Library rotunda, 2100 Collins Ave., Miami Beach.

Bus Obscura

Pierogi 2000, the artist-run gallery that was a pioneer of the bustling art activity in Williamsburg, Brooklyn, is spearheaded by the indefatigable Joe Amrhein. From Pierogi's Art Basel base of operations in its cargo container at Art Positions, artist Simon Lee will take passengers on a trip in a moving, multiple-aperture camera obscura. As this Bus Obscura moves down the street, images of outside scenery are translated into a real-time, first-generation animated projection -- albeit inverted -- on the darkened interior windows of the bus. The bus is the camera, the projector, and the theater. The images will flow into one another, creating a 360-degree visual panorama.

Lee's vehicle captures the fugitive nature of images and their fleeting impressions on the psyche. Poetry and physics in motion. Pierogi's off-the-wall programming includes nightly barbecue and a rooftop installation by artist (and former Miami resident) Ward Shelley. -- Michelle Weinberg

Bus Obscura December 2-5, container 20, Art Positions, beachfront at 21st Street, Miami Beach. Bus schedule: 11:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. round trip to Design District and Miami Museum of Science; 2:00 to 6:00 p.m. twenty-minute loops through Miami Beach.

NADA

The New Art Dealers Alliance (NADA) is in town for the second year -- and not the last, say organizers. NADA was a favorite in 2003 as it brought to Miami Beach 45 contemporary art galleries and nonprofit groups from around the country and from Europe. The sense of camaraderie and optimism was palpable and contagious (no wonder, with a motto like this: "Encouraging nonadversarial approaches to exhibiting and dealing art"). This year the gathering has expanded to 60 galleries and has moved to a new location, downtown's Ice Palace, a venue with open floors, high ceilings, and an outdoor garden. Just two local galleries will be showing: Miami's Rocket Projects and Kevin Bruk Gallery. -- Alfredo Triff

New Art Dealers Alliance December 2-5, 1:00 to 9:00 p.m. Thursday, noon to 9:00 p.m. Friday and Saturday, 11:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. Sunday, Ice Palace Studios, 59 NW 14th St., Miami.

"The Limits of Art and Architecture"

Lovers of architecture must not miss the Art Basel conversations program entitled "Architecture for Art: The Limits of Art and Architecture." The star of the day is Rem Koolhaas, one of the most important designers alive. A theorist with many books to his credit, Koolhaas's Delirious New York: A Retroactive Manifesto for Manhattan is a classic. The museum world is becoming an ever-expanding shopping mall, and Koolhaas is struggling with the idea (he just finished the Guggenheim Museum in Las Vegas). These are some of the questions to be debated by the panel: What are the opportunities and risks of museum architecture? When do architecture and art limit each other? Will architecture be a defining factor for the future of the museum? Panelists include Kathy Halbreich, director of the Walker Art Museum, and Hans Ulrich Obrist, curator of the Museum of Modern Art in Paris. Terence Riley, curator for architecture at MoMA, moderates the event. -- Alfredo Triff

"Architecture for Art: The Limits of Art and Architecture." December 4, 10:30 a.m., Art Collectors' Lounge, Miami Beach Convention Center, entrance D.

OmniArt

Described as a "large-scale urban intervention" OmniArt redefines the idea of the neighborhood as a "work of art." Warehouse spaces, vacant lots, and streets along NE Second Avenue just west of the Performing Arts Center (under construction) are being transformed into sculpture and performance sites. This is a collaborative effort among the Miart Foundation, Florida International University, the University of Miami, and the City of Miami's Community Redevelopment Agency. Nearly 60 artists and curators will occupy three warehouses and smaller venues to present a full range of art, from performance to installations to paintings and photographs. Among the Miami artists participating are Carlos Betancourt, Edouard Duval-Carrié, and Tina Spiro. Betancourt's installation En la Arena Sabrosa continues his use of sand and the ephemeral. Don't miss Cuba's Tania Bruguera and her dramatic piece Autobiografía (for details, see page 13). Also look for the work of MacArthur "genius grant" recipient Iñigo Manglano-Ovalle. A professor of architecture and a multidisciplinary artist, Manglano-Ovalle is known internationally for his elegant installations dealing with personal identity and community. -- Alfredo Triff

OmniArt December 3, 9:00 p.m. to 2:00 a.m., NE 2nd Avenue at 13th Street, Miami.

Frisbee Art Fair

FRISBEE is a free-flying, fledgling art fair organized by New York curator Anat Ebgi to "challenge the constitution of an art fair." Emphasizing overlap among creative disciplines, FRISBEE features artist performances, collaborative projects, and activities that engage participation by the public. Look for the Self-Esteem Salon, perpetrated by New York artist Cheri Nevers, various documentation of New York artists Chris Verene and Christian Holstad's performance hilarity, a site-specific audio-visual extravaganza by Brian Belott, and the release of a FRISBEE limited-edition artist's book by New York/Miami artist Jen DeNike. Painter Elizabeth Huey, a grown-up, Yale-finished Henry Darger, shows her manic, narrative collage paintings. Alexandre Singh's performance of An Instructional Lecture on Economix, will take place at 5:00 p.m. Saturday, December 4, in the hotel's conference room. In addition to Ebgi, other FRISBEE participants include ARENA (New York), Byron Cohen Gallery (Kansas City), and Capsule Gallery (New York). Curators include Miami's José-Carlos Diaz (Worm-Hole Laboratory). -- Michelle Weinberg

FRISBEE Art Fair December 2-5, Thursday through Saturday 3:00 to 9:00 p.m, Sunday 2:00 to 8:00 p.m., Cavalier Hotel, 1320 Ocean Dr., Miami Beach; 646-281-1112.

A veteran Miami artist and a great sculptor, Robert Thiele's work deals with the essence of matter: weight, history, and geometry coagulating matter into abstract, basaltic monuments. The pieces are delicate and serene, though they also seem crushed and layered by the forces of prehistoric millennia. In keeping with this is Thiele's practice of titling his works by number, as if they were the result of a dig in sedimentary strata. The surfaces and shapes are appealing, often showing fickle traces of all that has been wiped out and ends up inside the object's core. The indentations and crevices on the pieces' surfaces are like trauma on delicately colored minerals. Thiele usually arranges his series meticulously, suggesting the tacit beauty of both sameness and divergence. This art presents our human time as traces deposited, buried, and squeezed into bitumen. -- Alfredo Triff

"Six-Eight" Through December 31, Barbara Gillman Gallery, 3814 NE Miami Ct., Miami; 305-573-1920.

-scope/Miami

Within the rooms of the Townhouse Hotel on South Beach, -scope/Miami presents more than 70 exhibitors offering one-person shows organized by emerging galleries (national and international), curators, and art institutions. Built in 1939, the six-story hotel has been creatively redefined by acclaimed young Paris-based designer India Mahdavi. Experience performance art throughout the hotel and at various locations in and around Miami.

Check out two of Miami's best performers: Maria José Arjona in Nomad Territory and IPO with performer Octavio Campos in collaboration with film/video artist Dinorah de Jesus Rodriguez and visual artist (and New Times contributor) Michelle Weinberg. Miami artist Mark Koven will perform Cream, which -scope describes this way: "Incorporates 3-D photography and a parked ice cream cart emitting eerie sounds from which a vendor indifferently dispenses product." Additional artist projects can be found in the hotel's lobby, elevators, hallways, and rooftop, as well as off-site. -- Alfredo Triff

-scope/Miami December 2-5, 10:00 a.m. to midnight, 150 20th St. (at Collins Avenue), Miami Beach; 305-534-3800.

Don't Trust Anybody Over 30

Billed as "Art Loves Puppet Rock," a live puppet rock opera, on the Art Basel schedule, Don't Trust Anybody Over 30 is an example of the ambitious, interdisciplinary projects commissioned by TRANS> magazine. Sculptor Dan Graham leads a creative dream team: seminal video artists Paul McCarthy and Tony Oursler, marionettes made by Phillip Hubert of Being John Malkovich fame, and music written by Rodney Graham and Sonic Youth. Sixty minutes in length, Don't Trust Anybody Over 30 will be performed with live musical accompaniment by the Brooklyn-based band Japanther. Already booked into international art fairs and museums, Don't Trustsends up the youth-obsessed, protest-happy, counterculture of the Sixties and examines how the flawed ideals of that era have morphed into a more ambivalent response by a generation grown older in today's political environment. Known for performances, installations, and architectural sculpture that transgress staid boundaries of artistic production, Graham began his career as a rock-music critic. Also on view is Don't Trust Anybody Over 30: The Story Board, a wall installation of drawings, LCD screens, and framed artworks that document the creative process and various stages of the multimedia piece during its development. -- Michelle Weinberg

Don't Trust Anybody Over 30 December 2-5, 5:00 p.m., Miami Beach Botanical Garden, 2000 Convention Center Dr., Miami Beach. Limited seating. Check the TRANS> booth at Art Basel for ticket availability (convention center M1; 646-486-0252).

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