Miami Art Museum's Afterhours: Tripping Out on Light, Sound, and Poetry

Upon first entering the plaza on our way to the Miami Art Museum for Afterhours, we encountered the smell of burnt barbeque chicken, the sound of nasal country twang, and found ourselves unwittingly surrounded by a crowd donning cowboy hats and lassos. Alas, we'd wandered into the wrong celebration--a Cattle Ranching exhibit party at the history museum next door.

But MAM had its own version of a Weird Wild West last night replete with electro-analog acoustics, space cowboys dishing balladry on demand, and artists sharing visions of futuristic frontiers.

After downing a glass of wine and taking the last piece of the really-good-unidentified-cheese (sorry everyone who arrived after 7 p.m.), we joined the chat on the first floor gallery. "New Work Miami 2010" artist Adler Guerrier discussed his piece "Untitled (Shadow & Act)," an installation of geometric shapes and found objects, mainly campaign signs and guerilla advertising. Guerrier discussed his wanderings through the urban landscape and how "we don't notice signs for a street we know or a fallen hero...there's sort of a deafness to these signs."

Mette Tommerup discussed her series of paintings depicting dogs in Halloween costumes, women stuck in caves, and a squatting woman holding a dog in between her legs. She described her work as voyeuristic questioning, satirizing feminism while drawing attention to it at the same time.

She was drawn to create the work after viewing The Celebration, a film that explores family dynamic and incest, and is part of the Danish Dogme 95 resistance to Hollywood.

Talking Head Transmitters and the PDMP Ensemble provided the art noise soundtrack, a mix of synthesizers, found sounds, and instruments that reminded us of every Brooklyn warehouse party we've ever been to.

Back in the lobby, sat the Poem Depot, a collective that creates poetry on demand for a dollar. They were conveniently set up next to the auditorium where Flash Orquestra was synchronizing geometric projections with trippy audio. Heads could have exploded from the literary-auditory-visual intensity.

The collective, comfortably positioned amongst their typewriters, beers, and cups of chex mix, were inspired by Cultist's manifest destiny explorations and penned this ode to our followers, er, readers:


THIS is the salon of Koresh.
The Heaven's Gate Gazette.
Here ye NOW M O R T A L S,
this GOD showers golden mortar. 

It was such a boost to our ego, we attempted to lead the masses through the multi-chromatic labyrinth of paintings, video installations, sculptures, and photography that compose "New Work Miami 2010" but finally ended up alone on the second floor gallery playing with interactive pieces at the beckoning of a security guard. We didn't pine for the nearby Cattle Ranching party one bit.

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Gabriela Garcia