NeoHooDoo at Miami Art Museum

A fascinating new exhibit shows both profound symbolism and brutality.

The harrowing acts she willingly endures bring to mind waterboarding and political torture. Galindo's works are not for the faint-hearted. Her discomfiting scenes laser-imprint themselves onto your brain pan and replay endlessly long after you leave the museum.

Doris Salcedo also makes visceral impact with Atrabiliarios, enshrining those who have disappeared amid political violence in her native Colombia. She has used actual shoes worn by victims and inserted them into small niches carved into the gallery walls and covered by opaque stitched animal skins. These little caskets become provocative monuments to the deceased and a chilling reminder of the silenced.

One of the most unusual videos on display is Michael Joo's Salt Transfer Cycle in which the nude artist appears swimming in a ton of MSG, then emerging salt encrusted to ritually express the complex transactions between living things and inanimate elements.

Radcliffe Bailey's Storm at Sea
Radcliffe Bailey's Storm at Sea

Details

"NeoHooDoo: Art for a Forgotten Faith": Through May 24. Miami Art Museum, 101 W Flagler St., Miami; 305-375-3000, miamiartmuseum.org. Tuesday through Friday 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday and Sunday noon to 5 p.m.

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He reappears in a forest clearing where he sits deathly still until a herd of elk approaches and laps at his body as a salt lick. Adding some wit and humor to the mix is Brian Jungen, who has stacked golf bags floor to ceiling to create two colossal columns reminiscent of totem poles. He does so as a critique of the commodification of native imagery.

In his Beer Cooler, Jungen — who is of mixed European and Native American ancestry — carved the sides of a plastic cooler with skulls, flame, an eagle, and a dreamcatcher. By placing beer cans in the cooler and the cooler in a museum, Jungen has stated that he is "giving alcohol back to the Europeans."

At MAM, "NeoHooDoo" includes a mind-jarring range of depictions of spirituality that will bring you back again and again to plumb its enigmatic depths.

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