The Killing Machine: Art, or WTF?

Whispered to the guard: “Do you have nightmares?” The buzzing contraption, The Killing Machine, looks part dentist chair, part kitschy, dreamy death sentence experience with the disco ball that flicks lights across the walls. Tiny TV screens blink in grey and white.

Him: What did you get from that?

Me: Death. This feels like part of some adult surreal funhouse where they know what makes me scared. What about you?

Him: Weird.

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Opera plays on record players and a soprano’s voice makes the shabby yet regal chandelier at the center of Opera for a Small Room rattle and glow. Stacks of records spill like clothes strewn in the cramped room.

Him: What did you get from that?

Me: It shows how we can find meaning in our lives through obsessions or passions that other people may not understand.

Him: Weird.

One’s nightmares and obsessions and another’s deepened distaste for surreal installations are part of The Killing Machine and Other Stories, an exposition running through Jan. 20 at the Miami Art Museum. --Janine Zeitlin

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