At Miami Art Museum, a new high-wattage exhibit conjures up the magic and mystery of cosmic influences often eschewed by modern artists who have distanced themselves from otherworldly concerns. Instead, NeoHooDoo: Art for a Forgotten Faith corrals an intergenerational group of artists that addresses ritual in the artistic process and the wider implications of spirituality in contemporary art. The term hoodoo originated in 19th-century America to describe religion and ritual from precolonial West Africa. In the 1970s, African-American poet Ishmael Reed explored what he called neo-hoodoo as a spiritual practice outside any definable faith or creed. The sprawling show, inspired by Reeds work, encompasses 50 works by 33 artists in a variety of media including sculpture, photography, assemblage, video, and performance. The provocative works use everyday objects that resonate both within the walls of a gallery or museum and among the artists communities. They include José Bedia, William Cordova, Ana Mendieta, and Felix Gonzalez-Torres, who have lived or worked in Miami, as well as Jean-Michel Basquiat, John Cage, Jimmie Durham, Regina José Galindo, Robert Gober, David Hammons, and Gary Simmons, among others. Check out the exhibit through May 24.
Feb. 25-May 29, 2009