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Second Saturday Art Walk Guide: Robot Brawls, Teddy Bear Pelts, and Identity Crises

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This weekend's Second Saturday Art Walk boasts robot death matches, art made from bodily waste, stuffed toy animal pelts, an exhibit inspired by Bolivian flea markets, and another featuring the works of an artist inspired by her ideas of family and home.

You'll also find a mysterious couple pledging their eternal love from across time and distance. There's even a tongue-in-cheek institutional critique emanating from the Magic City's newest and smallest gallery space. There's something for even the most jaded arts trawler to smack those lips over. And contrary to the rumors, Wynwood has not gone as dry as a Baptist preacher's Adam's apple. You can still find enough complimentary hooch to gargle down the food truck vittles. Here are our top-shelf openings on tap this weekend. Keep those peepers peeled.

Borscht Film Festival's Robot Death Matches: The robot carnage gets underway at 7 p.m. (2201 NW Second Ave., Miami) when the Borscht Film Festival unleashes some mechanical mayhem to kick off the indie-flick fest's seventh edition. Robot Thunderdome Arena will pit remote-controlled armed and armored machines in elimination battles. Don't expect your dad's Rock'em Sock'em robots. These feisty tin heaps range from three pounds, or the size of a Starbucks coffee cup, to 15 pounds, or the size of a loaf of bread and will be fighting behind a steel and Plexiglas cage.

The event is part of a promotion for the opening of Bots High later at 10 p.m. at O Cinema (90 NW 29th St., Miami), where the demolished carcasses of the night's robot combatants will be exhibited.

Borsch@Dorsch: An additional component of the evening's high jinx, "Borscht@Dorsch" will display some amazing props from the film fest's movies. At the Dorsch Art Gallery, you can discover everything from a latex eel used in the short film "Glitch" -- Borscht's collaboration with Waverly Films and DJ Otto von Schirach -- to installation boards from "The Life and Freaky Times of Uncle Luke," a collaboration among Borscht, Rakontur, Jillian Mayer, and Luther Campbell. Dorsch Gallery 151 NW 24th Street, Miami. Call 305-576-1278 or visit dorschgallery.com.


Agustina Woodgate's "Collectivism": The Spinello Gallery celebrates its fifth anniversary with "Collectivism," featuring the work of Agustina Woodgate who has been with the Spinello stable since its inception. On view is one of Woodgate's recent monumental pieces, which swallows an entire wall and measures a whopping 10 by 16 feet. For No Rain No Rainbows, the artist collected hundreds of stuffed animals, stripped them of their fur, and then used the multicolored pelts to fashion an eye-popping tapestry of abstract patterns and what appears to be a Buddhist mandala with a blue spider at its center. Spinello Gallery 155 NE 38th Street, Miami. Call 786-271-4223 or visit spinellogallery.com.


"Miamicito" at Dot Fiftyone: Dot Fiftyone Gallery is hosting "Miamicito," an intriguing exhibit featuring a big-name contingent of Bolivia's contemporary artists. Organized in collaboration with Kiosko Galeria (Santa Cruz de la Sierra, Bolivia) and seamlessly curated by Raquel Schwartz, the show boasts a stunning collection of paintings, videos, photography, and installations that offer a multisensory glimpse into the country's top-drawer talent. The show's name isn't a stab at the Magic City, but rather refers to the flea markets in Bolivia and the juxtaposition of ancestral ways of life and global culture. Dot Fiftyone Gallery 51 NW 36th Street, Miami. Call 305-573-9994 or visit dotfiftyone.com.


Kevin Arrow's "amor infinitus": The De La Cruz Collection Contemporary Art Space is featuring new works by Miami's own Kevin Arrow whose "amor infinitus" in the project room, captures the travels of a mysterious couple. Arrow, who typically works with appropriated 35mm slides in his projects, has created two giant light boxes of an unknown husband and wife as they wave to each other from a distance while traveling to exotic climes such as the Great Wall of China and the pyramids of Giza. Arrow's evocative images speak to issues of memory, impermanence and the enduring nature of love across time and distance. De La Cruz Collection 23 NE 41st Street, Miami. Call 305-576-6112 or visit delacruzcollection.org.




Jillian Mayer's "Family Matters": Her first solo show, Jillian Mayer's "Family Matters" incorporates elements of performance, sculpture, video and drawing to create episodic fables reminiscent of Saturday morning cartoons, popular sitcoms, and even Pee Wee's Playhouse. Anthropomorphic figures, youthful angst, the relationships between people and domestic animals, explorations of love and the conflict arising between a search for identity and contemporary displacement, as well as an insatiable curiosity to explore the margins of imagination are part of the realms Mayer navigates in her quixotic show at Castillo. David Castillo Gallery 2234 NW Second Avenue, Miami. Call 305-573-8110 or visit davidcastillogallery.com. 

Funner Projects: The brain trust behind Miami's Funner Projects is known to traffic in the weird and wacky. Their last nomadic exhibit featured homemade weapons of mass distraction including crossbows and cannons. Now they are opening a new spot in the tony Design District that---at about the size of an old-fangled phone booth---isn't big enough to shoehorn much art into.

But that isn't deterring the shockmeisters from hosting Ian Arenas's ridiculously long-named "Debut Miami Exhibition: Entitled, #UNTITLED_POLYPTYCH (and: Drink All Day, Play All Night, Let's Get it Poppin')" into the 108 cubic feet of space in what must officially be Miami's smallest gallery. Arenas is offering his institutional critique on the contemporary art world and is part of the organizer's efforts to bring "fresh meat" to our city. More Funner Projects Buena Vista Building First Floor lobby, 180 NE 39th Street, Miami. Call 786-512-4130 or contact morefunnerprojects@gmail.com.

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