By John Thomason
By Benjy Caplan
By Artburst Miami
By Carlos Suarez De Jesus
By Daniel Reskin
The Frost also has on view a pair of other shows that deal with impermanence and the human condition.
"En Vista" is a new exhibit by husband and wife photographers Eduardo de Valle and Mirta Gomez. The conceptual team traveled to the bone orchards of the Yucatan to photograph the transformation of human remains in Mexico's rural cemeteries.
Their probing examination features 18 lavish C-prints that are gorgeously lit and make the subject matter palatable. In these backwoods graveyards, bodies are typically not embalmed before burial and are allowed to rot naturally for several years before being unearthed, bundled in rags, and deposited in makeshift ossuaries where they remain in plain sight for all to view.
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One of the searing pictures shows a skull caked with crusty, soiled hair swathed in what appears to be a diaper. Another shot reveals a grinning mandible peeking through a crease in a rumpled bed sheet. Two pictures of what appear to be sun-kissed strips of parchment turn out to be beef jerky-like shreds of human skin.
The exhibit is enhanced by a 15-minute documentary-style video of the couple's hair-raising journey to Mexico's flimsy funerary grounds.
India's Navjot Altaf delves deeper into the human condition in her brain-blistering video installation, Lacuna in Testimony. She explores the burning questions of civil, social, and political strife and seeks to expose the injustice and cruelty that have plagued her homeland.
Her piece is inspired by the Hindu-Muslim riots that took place on an unprecedented scale in the state of Gujarat, India, in 2002. She interviewed victims of the riots housed in relief camps and documented their harrowing tales. Her three video projections unfold in a fragmented fashion, opening with a scene of the Arabian Sea sweeping across the three screens. Upon the waves breaking on the shore, a grid of windows appears, revealing the riot survivors relating their stories juxtaposed against scenes of war and the collapse of the Twin Towers.
Beneath those images, the artist has placed 72 mirrors that refract the terror developing above. As the images slowly disappear, the sea turns blood red and the sounds of children chanting nursery rhymes rend the air.
It's a chilling reminder that we live during troubled times in a world where peace and the value of life are transitory at best. And like many of the other mournful works at the Frost, it's a convincing argument why those with the power to make life-and-death decisions across our planet can benefit from seeing this kind of show.