President Reagan had his picture snapped at Vizcaya, as did Pope John Paul II. The grand old manse has made cameo appearances in movies such as Ace Ventura: Pet Detective and The Money Pit and in the photo albums of giddy newlyweds and quinceañeras. When people seek a theatrical setting in Miami for pictures, they always think of Vizcaya first, says artist Ernesto Oroza, whose Archetype Vizcaya is on view as part of the museums Contemporary Art Project. Oroza studied the decorative elements and objects housed at Vizcaya, creating a map for visitors to discover the unseen or overlooked motifs tucked into the nooks and crannies of the historic building that has beguiled visitors throughout the years. One of the things that interested me most was how the original interior designer, Paul Chalfin, created a theatrical setting that in essence has been a perfect setting for a photo op, Oroza says. I wanted to reflect how the building has lent itself to being appropriated by different people since it opened its doors. Oroza has also collected YouTube videos shot at the stately digs. There are some videos shot by drunks with their cell phones and a Japanese visitor who used it to promote tourism in Florida after returning back home.
Mondays, Wednesdays-Sundays, 9:30 a.m. Starts: March 20. Continues through May 29, 2011