I'm So Much Better than You: Magnus Sigurdarson's installation features four tons of Miami New Times papers interlocked like bricks to form a curving hip-high wall. It houses a DVD player and monitor where the artist is seen performing a puppet show in Xiamen, China. Sigurdarson, who was born in Iceland, filmed the performance during a three-month residency there last autumn. Ironically Sigurdarson's installation at Javogue's space, with its imposing mass and volume, evokes a sense of the wall erected to separate China from the rest of the world. The work shares a relevancy with plans for a wall cutting off the United States from its neighbors to the south. Carlos Suarez De Jesus Ongoing; by appointment only. Emmanuel Javogue Fine Arts, 123 NW 23rd St., Miami; 305-573-3904, www.ejfa.net.
New Orleans Artists in Exile: Nearly eight months after Hurricane Katrina mauled New Orleans, Steve Martin fussily tidied the entrance of his eponymously named space in the Design District, preparing for the opening of his breakout Miami show as the first named storm of 2006 brewed in the gulf. Organized by New Orleans's Jonathan Ferrara Gallery, the exhibit features the work of a dozen Big Easy talents whose lives were altered by Katrina. And, despite the deluge of news media that saturated us in the wake of Katrina, nothing prepares us for Charlie Varley's disturbing postcards from the front line. The mesmerizing computerized slide show of photographs snapped by the British photojournalist during Katrina and its aftermath leaves a lump in the throat. Carlos Suarez De Jesus Through July 10. Steve Martin Studio, 66 NE 40th St., Miami; 305-576-9221, www.jonathanferraragallery.com.
Various Exhibits at the Bass Museum of Art: With a bushel of blue-ribbon shows, the Bass has embarked on perhaps its busiest programming season. For art lovers accustomed to a lull in activity during the dog days of summer, deciding on which shows to see among the museum's expansive menu might be as slippery as handling a hog in a greased-pig contest. But that is bell-clanging news. The Bass is featuring everything from Haitian art to Renaissance altarpieces to embroidered silk robes from the Chinese Imperial court and, not unlike a country fair, boasting a little something for everyone. Through the end of July, the museum celebrates Haitian culture via three exhibits. Although there was too much to sink the teeth into during a recent visit, I left thinking. Carlos Suarez De Jesus Ongoing. Bass Museum of Art, 2121 Park Ave., Miami Beach; 305-673-7530, www.bassmuseum.org.
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