Art Basel Miami Beach

"Auto Body" Takes On Gender Inequality in the Art World (NSFW)

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All the works are ephemeral and cannot be turned into a commodity to be purchased, owned or dealt. Tami Katz-Freiman, an independent curator and the former chief curator of the Haifa Museum of Art, is one of four women who are "Auto Body's" curatorial committee.

"'Auto Body's' mission is to exhibit innovative and alternative work that departs from the object-based driven market highly saturated during Miami Art Week," she notes. "The idea to focus on time-based practices as an alternative to an object-driven market during Basel week fascinated me, and the fact that it's a 100 percent non-commercial project shown during one of the most prominent art fairs in the world, at a time when the underrepresentation of women is still most apparent captured me, as well as the other curators involved."

Through format, principals and content, "Auto Body" will bring attention to issues with art on various levels in what looks to be a far-reaching survey that will prove to be one of Miami Art Week's essential experiences. Though no one will come out with an object or a receipt, the curators and artists hope they will have expanded minds. Brandi Reddick, a co-curator of "Auto Body" and Artists Manager at Miami-Dade County Art in Public Places, says, "I hope the project will be viewed as an examination of the way we think about gender and equality, to equally challenge both male and female viewers to begin thinking about the future of women in power, not just as a concept but in practice."

The exhibition will unfold in the cavernous 7,500 square-foot space that once housed the Giant Motors: Auto Body & Paint Shop (1750 Bay Road, Miami Beach) or "the male domain," as Katz-Freiman likes to refer to it. There's dance, live music, a radio show, performance art, and videos. Thirty-three female artists are participating, and a curatorial platform of 25 women nominated the works, with the final works selected by the curatorial committee including Ximena Caminos (director/chief curator, Faena Art Buenos Aires and Faena Forum Miami Beach) and Chana Budgazad Sheldon (executive director, Locust Projects).

So the men who once ran Giant Motors for decades have moved on and now the women have come to create.

"This multi-generational scope of artists that has been selected to 'Auto Body' bring the gender issues to the front stage and examine a diverse scope of themes characterized as the forth or even fifth wave of feminism," says Katz-Freiman. "Among these issues [are] gender inequalities within the systems of the art world, new identity constructions, sexuality and the male gaze, tensions of border and immigration politics existing on opposite sides of the globe, subversive relations to 'nature/culture' dichotomy, categorization conventions, stereotypes relating division of labor and domesticity, as well as subversive feminist statements about Art History, which was always male-dominant. Works that deal with endurance will also be part of the performance program."

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Hans Morgenstern has contributed to Miami New Times for too many decades, but he's grown to love Miami's arts and culture scene because of it. He is the chair of the Florida Film Critics Circle, and most of his film criticism can be found on Independent Ethos (indieethos.com) if not in New Times.