Sex, Drugs, and Surveillance Collide in Emerson Dorsch Installation

Sex, Drugs, and Surveillance Collide in Emerson Dorsch Installation

Emerson Dorsch's ambitious eight-week programming series, thisishappening has seen a number of abstract and provocative works already, like Franky Cruz's savage poem of isolation and electronic renouncement, The Last Tiger and Carol Adrianza Ferdinand's three-day exploration of spiritual purification through shamanistic and historical ritual.

Joining this tapestry of diverse artistic musings is the local collective, Southernmost Situations. Based in Miami but inspired by a trip to Key West and the spontaneous shenanigans that occurred while there, Southernmost Situations has already accumulated an impressive dossier of happenings.

Which, of course, makes for a perfect fit with thisishappening without requiring the aid of Fred "Rerun" Berry.

See also: Spectual Sextrum: An A/V Queer Lecture Inspired by Gender Identity and Feminist Theory

Sex, Drugs, and Surveillance Collide in Emerson Dorsch Installation

As a "social catalyst challenging boundaries between contemporary art, performance and the traditional curatorial model," Southernmost Situations' piece, Redacted Love, embraces the full gamut of the collective's ideals with its hybrid of the performative and installation. Taking the stylized corniness of '50s teen dramas with the sci-fi paranoid bent of big government surveillance, Redacted Love plays out as a love story in Miami at the tail end of the "War on Drugs."

The inherent significance being that at this point, the realities of the crime waves and bloodshed seen by the Magic City are beginning to be replaced by the romanticized memories celebrated currently in popular culture and the nostalgia of Miami Vice and the phenomenon of Cocaine Cowboys. Caught in this and narrated through interpretative performance, audio, appropriated video footage, slide photography, and re-contextualized government materials are the son of a drug dealer and his girlfriend.

Dorsch's thisishappening multidisciplinary series has dedicated itself to exploring the critical roles of experience and accessibility. Redacted Love will offer a collision of analog and digital media that will occupy the entire expanse of the gallery proper as a fully immersive media installation. The piece has been a Southernmost Situations collaboration between lead agitator Liz Ferrer and local artists Kevin Arrow, Barron Sherer, Stefanie Del Papa, Tara Long, Misael Soto, Gabriela Serra, Monica Uszerowicz and Schematic Records impresario Romulo Del Castillo.

Sex, Drugs, and Surveillance Collide in Emerson Dorsch Installation

Their attempt to navigate their "turbulent existence" should come off as a Paul Verhoeven lysergic dream of Barry Gifford/David Lynch's Sailor and Lula fucking atop a croqueta preparada in a snow globe of pura. Or at least that's what the star-crossed loving of dreamlike adolescence sounds like to us.

Ferrer calls it "a part of the history of Miami" as "the drug trade reconstructed and changed our city. Our story is a love story, under surveillance; the NSA has made us all aware that surveillance isn't just for 'the others.'"

Redacted Love at 7:30 p.m. on Tuesday, October 28, at Emerson Dorsch Gallery. Call 305-576-1278 or visit

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Emerson Dorsch

5900 NW 2nd Ave.
Miami, FL 33127


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