| Art |

Southernmost Situation's "Free Key West": Tropical, Recession-Fueled Thievery

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Hello, all you boys and girls. We'd like to take you to the inside world. It's quite an irregular place to be. But never fear -- you're safe with me. Well, maybe.

[Insert Les Claypool's bass onomatopoeia]

Didn't grasp the lead? Don't fret. No need to know about the frizzle or the fry, just recognize the conch and Mile Marker Zero. These are two of the many interesting facets of tropical life to be explored at the exhibit "Free Key West" this Saturday night. The pop-up installation in the Design District's SwampSpace is curated by Southernmost Situations, a freshly formed Miami art collective. The premise of the show: the debauchery of four anonymous victims of our recession as they plunder around Key West during a 48-hour rampage. Mixing "found" objects, video and photography, the twisted tale of those sordid and deplorable hours are told in a new and fresh context: the exhibit "Free Key West."

We caught up with Liz Ferrer and Alan Gutierrez, two founding members of

Southernmost Situations, for a playful chat about Saturday's event and

their vision for the new co-op.

New Times: Talk about "Free Key West."  Why would someone want to go to the show?

It's a charming conch-tastic show! We're having many fun surprises

throughout the night. We're giving away yummy, homemade key lime pie. The

magnificent Carlos Rigau is spinning some sweaty-sexy tropical dance

music in the side lot, and there's a special surprise


Alan: We really want to get the message across that, even though times are

tough and the news is bleak, we can't forget to take a chance on

ourselves and follow our intuition because you never know what

adventure you'll find yourself in. Trust in good friends, follow your

intuition, and invest in your spirit, and everything will just seem


What's so cool about Key West?
: Rules don't seem to reach the Southernmost Point.
Liz: There are no rules! And locals call themselves "conchs." Enough said.

Is it a place to be free, or does it need to be freed?
Liz: A place to be free for sure.
Alan: It is a place for free.

Mile Marker Zero is sort of an abstraction. What does it mean to you?
: A triumphant shot and the Southernmost Urination.
Liz:  Hopefully I'll see some balseros (Cuban rafters) next time!

Why are the victims/artists anonymous?
: Our legal adviser has recommended we keep it that way.

Very gonzo. Can you reveal a few of the found objects?
: Mostly hotel goods. Although the "victims" never stayed at a hotel....
Liz:  My favorite is a big conch. I love conch. Don't you?

Um, why yes, especially the way you keep saying it.  Can you tease any video?     
: I will only say Yedie Chicken might be one of the video stars. Oh, and Purple Rain.

The cooperative, Southernmost Situations -- why was it created?


To host events and offer opportunities to the creative community. We

intend to host workshops that will allow for creative development,

expression, and meaningful interaction.

How does it fit into Miami 2012?       

We are adding another art-related initiative into our community, and

hopefully keeping more talented artists here in Miami, at least

seasonally. I already see that trend happening. 

Describe SwampSpace.

: Swamp Space is run by the talented Cubanito Oliver Sanchez. I love

the creative oasis he has created. The gallery itself is relatively

small, yet very workable. Behind the gallery lies his studio,

filled with many gems and treasures he's made and collected throughout

who knows how long.  

Is SwampSpace your permanent home?
: No, SwampSpace is just the venue for "Free Key West."

Can you tease the surprise performance? Does it involve calendar men?
: Why? If it did, would you want to be one of the calendar men?

Depends on the month, and if there is conch involved.
: Depends on what calendar you use.

What time should we arrive?
: The gallery opens at 6 p.m. If you wanna party and see the performance I'd be there at 10 p.m.
Alan: Miami-time: 8p.m.; Key West-time: 10 p.m.

For more info on this event, visit its Facebook page.

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