Miami Made Weekend's Here & Now Brings Noise and Nudity to Arsht

We like to think of Here & Now as a blind date with select Miami artists and their latest work. Sure, we agreed to go, but we were a little anxious about what we'd find at Arsht's Carnival Theater. But matchmaker Miami Light Project hooked us up with interesting company for the night. There was a Slovakian sound installation, plenty of nudity (but why it is always the women baring all?), and a smart satire on marriage.

The night started with sound/performance piece "Neraissance" by Juraj Kojs. Originally from Slovakia, he's the director of music and multimedia programs over at Wynwood's Harold Golen Gallery. (He's also a postdoctoral associate at Yale's Department of music.) In what turned out to be the night's most avant-garde piece, Kojs sat stage right making tweaks on his laptop and mixing board as a surreal mix of characters shared the stage. If energy could be seen and heard, it would look and sound like those 20 minutes.

Two stationary bikers huffed, puffed, and pedaled to a clamor of atmospheric noise. A post-punk, fetish fairy emerged from silver wings. A bride wrapped in Christmas lights slowly crept by on kid's bike before standing to shed her wedding gown. It was dizzying, a little bit frightening, but oh so refreshing.

As the house lights came back on, an elderly gentleman to our left

summed it up best: "That was some production, what just happened on that

stage." It was like a performance amuse bouche, something to on knock

you off kilter and help you transition from a week of office drudgery

to an evening of art.

Yet, the audience seemed relieved when upbeat Rudi Goblen took the

stage next in "Fair Welling." Although his performance meditated on

sickness and death, it was sprinkled with witticisms, even dancing girls.

Next up was "Mrs. Ms" by Jillian Mayer, a reaction to society's

obsession with marriage. A giant engagement ring hung from

the rafters just out of reach. Mayer tries to marry her Chihuahua but

soon finds out that he too is an adulterer. So she takes herself on a

honeymoon, presented as a projected slideshow where a naked Mayer poses in

front of world landmarks. Hello, Grand Canyon.

(All photos by Robert Harbour.)

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Amanda McCorquodale