Art during Basel

Don’t even think of trying to see everything in one night or day. The easiest way to get optimal sensory exposure may be to carve the county into geographical chunks. For instance, try out a southern slice on Friday. You could catch the solo show of rising star Hernan Bas at Fred Snitzer’s gallery in Coral Gables; see works from Miami artists who first started to shine more than a decade ago at Miami-Dade Community College’s Kendall Campus Art Gallery in a show called “Art Trends: Miami’s Trek III, the ’80s”; and immerse yourself in a mini-art fair spotlighting Latin artists in “Erased Borders” at the Coconut Grove Convention Center. Today, Thursday, you’ll want to head to the midtown Design District, where visual art, music, performance, and video will have a field night of openings and events. Then circle its environs and see what goodies Damien B., Diaspora Vibe, and Dorsch galleries are serving. Saturday could be a good day to go north for Ambrosino, Grappa, Tachmes, and other galleries in the neighborhood of the Museum of Contemporary Art. But save some room for downtown, where local art is the star of Miami Art Museum’s exhibit as well as one in the gallery of the New World School of the Arts. Of course you’ll need to travel east to Miami Beach and official Art Basel. Still a little confused? Don’t worry. That’s what this page is for.

"Enrun" and "Going Out On a Limb"

Multiples of multimedia. That's the subtext for events at the Buena Vista Building, epicenter of the Dacra company-sponsored Art Loves Design shows that start tonight, December 5. The artists in "Enrun" call their exhibit a "dissipating installation," and so in order to facilitate such dissipation, stock in the work will be sold to the public. Vicenta Casan, Nina Ferre, and Josefina Posch have included sounds, sculpture, and lighting in their IPO installation. "Going Out on a Limb" seems an apt title, as what the trio known as FeCuOp (Jason Ferguson, Christian Curiel, and Brandon Opalka) will actually produce tonight remains a mystery, maybe even to them. We do know it will be a four-hour performance incorporating "volunteers" who explore "relationships among people," but the viewer (you) won't necessarily know what's going on. Whatever, that's why they call it a "hidden installation."

"Smack Your Bit Up"

Digi vidi atari, it's all Nintendo to you. But when a young man's fancy turns from video games to fine arts, it's the work of Matt Rush. Not so long ago bit-mapping and polygon-modeling were confined to the loudly bleeping world of the computer screen. But as Rush deftly shows, digital renderings are being rendered themselves, back on canvas. If Rush and other emerging artists grew up seeing life through the video-game lens, it was that image which became a form of expression. You don't have to look too closely to see what role-playing, Doom, Quake, and the like have done to contemporary artistic landscapes.

"Stickin’ It to the Man!"

What does lowbrow mean? At the new Objex Artspace in Wynwood it means art more influenced by "hedonism," "urban decay," and "skaters" than by collectors' collections. Oh wait, it also means affordable art -- visualize that! Dustin Orlando is inaugurating this alternative space with "lowbrow" (and relatively unexposed) artists such as Skot Olsen, Lebo LeBatard, and Sas Christian. What you'll see is Pop-infused references to today's youth culture, such as obsessions with Japanese anime, the glorified outlaw, and of course technology.

Robert Thiele

The local-artist-gone-New York is back -- at several locations in Miami. But mostly at Barbara Gillman Gallery, which has mounted a one-man exhibition of his new works on its walls. He's known to compose sculptures so the small pieces he arranges look at once geometric and patterned, but also strangely random -- they can resemble remnants from a geological dig, or an early life form. Thiele is also showing at the Lowe Art Museum and as part of Miami Art Museum's "Miami Currents: Linking Collection and Community," which includes offerings from many Miami locals. That museum highlighted Thiele last year in its popular New Work series -- the latest installment of which is a trio of pieces from another celebrated Miami New Yorker, Teresita Fernandez.

"Crowning Perspectives"

Almost three years ago the Espirito Santo bank was turned into an electric impromptu museum with a short-term show called "Departing Perspectives," after which the building was demolished. It made Miami wake up to the vibrant emerging-artists scene we're now celebrating. So it's fitting that those behind the first show, the New World School of the Arts and gallery owner Fred Snitzer, have come up with "Crowning Perspectives" for Basel days. The new show also plays with the idea of construction and demolition -- and in the title with the idea of Miami achievement. Fifty hard hats have been painted by local celebrities, including Dave Barry, Michael Tilson Thomas, and Miami Mayor Manny Diaz, and will be auctioned off in honor of the completion of the new bank. Oh, and the New World gallery will highlight works from those kids who changed our perspectives.

"Neutral Ground"

It's midnight and you'll be hanging under the I-395 underpass in Overtown. Yes you will, if you know what's cool for you. George Sanchez has rebuilt his almost-full-scale model of one of the most famous Modern designs, the Le Corbusier Villa Savoye, which he lights up and has called The Blessing. This time the building does not stand alone. Local artists such as Burt Rodriguez, Ivan Toth-Dependa, and Carlos Betancourt will project images of their art; Gen Art will unspool an artistic video installation; Josh Levine will act out; and DJ Le Spam (who else) will spin. The evening is meant to "illuminate" an otherwise dark area of our troubled inner city.

Christian Marclay: The Sounds of Christmas

Papa turntablist, yes, but Marclay has also more than scratched the surface of video, installation, sculpture, and performance art in his lifetime. Now he is sampling more than 1000 Christmas ditties from throughout the ages (including 30 versions of "The Little Drummer Boy") as a collage of album covers is projected onto the walls of the Museum of Contemporary Art. Hard copies -- the LPs from which Marclay collected his samples -- are also on hand if you want to feel the real things known as albums. Add to the sound local DJs, who are spinning their own renditions of a Christmas mix. And then see how you interpret Yoko Ono, the main exhibit at MoCA.


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