Interviews

Fringe Projects Curator Amanda Sanfilippo Talks the Future of Public Art in Miami

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New Times: Tell us about the relationship between the Miami Downtown Development Authority (DDA) and Miami-Dade County Art in Public Places (AIPP) and how their vision for revamping the area coincides with Fringe Projects.

Amanda Sanfilippo: This is the first year that Art in Public Places has partnered with the DDA. It's an exciting evolution and trailblazing move for a government-based public art agency to take on, and proves that the city is embracing cultural advancement in a meaningful way that is on par with the most sophisticated cities in the world in terms of the production and support of contemporary art. AIPP has historically commissioned permanent public art with funds that are a percentage of new construction, this is a new direction.

You work with exhibitions and "dialogue-based programming and development for contemporary art institutions." How important is dialogue in engaging downtown Miami's current renaissance?

My work in this realm, most prominently with the Locust Roundtables which are open format discussions on topics in contemporary art proposed and moderated by the Miami art community and beyond, connects to these downtown projects by fostering criticality and legibility. The Fringe are challenging projects that can be understood on many levels, with or without academic equipment since they are in the public realm, but their deeper conceptual and contextual read is so much richer when there is a current of dialogue that opens them up.

It's exciting to think about Domingo Castillo's practice as reacting or moving beyond artists' work such as Jeremy Deller or Tino Sehgal, or Thomas Hirschhorn, or the Situationist International. It's exciting to contextualize Nicolas Lobo's work in Decadent Literature and discuss phenomenology.

It's great to connect to wider concerns and threads within contemporary art on a global scale, see how work is relevant or groundbreaking, which some of these pieces really are. To a degree, it's even about thinking about these kinds of site-determined, temporary public realm practices as a genre of work, with examples such as Francis Alys and Superflex, and Bik Van der Pol. It's also about considering the kinds of impacts of commissioning agencies for these practices, such as Artangel and Creative Time, have in the trajectory of contemporary art.

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