The earliest installation on view is The Dark Pool, in which a door leads to an unimaginable room bursting with furniture, carpets, books, dirty dishes, a filthy bed, racks of moth-eaten clothes, and mechanical gadgets in a mess that would put Fred Sanford to shame.
An alky still has booze trickling into an old bottle through amber rubber tubes. A battered suitcase on a sawhorse is cracked open, revealing a diorama of people parked at what appear to be the La Brea Tar Pits. Wires snake from the ceiling in a dense thicket, and motion sensors are triggered when people walk by. Heavy footsteps and mumbling voices follow spectators through the wacky scene.
The Killing Machine: We knew there was a reason we hated going to the dentist
Through January 20. Miami Art Museum, 101 W Flagler St, Miami, and the Freedom Tower, 600 Biscayne Blvd, Miami; 305-375-3000, www.miamiartmuseum.org.
Another work, The Paradise Institute (originally produced for the Canadian pavilion at the 2001 Venice Biennale), captures the sights and sounds of the cinematic experience in a relatable way for anyone familiar with a lousy night at the local megaplex.
The artists' perspective-warping, old-school movie palace, complete with two rows of red velvet seats, unspools a film mixing thriller, crime, science fiction, and experimental genres. Meanwhile cell phones ring, the voice of an annoying audience member whines that she "left her oven burners on in the kitchen," and other obnoxious intrusions annoy. You turn your head to quiet the noise, only to realize you're all alone.
Long after you've experienced Cardiff and Bures Miller's riveting exhibit, you might find yourself trying to slap away the voices and images they've left marinating your brain.