George Sanchez-Calderon is no stranger to Basel headlines. He made news during an early incarnation of ABMB installing a carnival midway at the Buena Vista rail yard replete with a soaring 60-foot Ferris wheel. Shit, long before the Swiss arrived in the Big Mango, homeboy George was craning the 305's collective neck with projects that included once filling the old Pan American Airline hangar in Coconut Grove with giant floating swine.
That's why we can almost hear his lament of "Que tu esperas chico, la tipa got naked y se metio en la ventana con un lechon!" over Miru Kim who has snatched all the Basel thunder with her performance/installation opening tonight at Primary Projects from 7:00 to 10:00 p.m.
Kim, Calderon and thirteen other artists are exhibiting works in "Here Lies Georges Wildenstein," arguably Basel's most anticipated and talked about homegrown show this year.
And, although, Calderon's nifty crack pipe sculpture is a witty metaphor for how art addicted our town has become, the Cuban-American talent has been upstaged by Korean artist Miru Kim, who has built a pig pen in Primary Project's storefront window and will be wallowing in the mud naked with two hogs starting today and all weekend long.
Kim, a New York based artist, has been working on a photographic series called "The Pig That Therefore I Am," the past two years in which she visits "factory farms," in New York, Missouri and Iowa, strips nude and photographs herself with herds of pigs inside their pens. The documentation of her work with the animals is later displayed in a more traditional setting.
Her performance tonight titled "I Like Pigs and Pigs Like Me (104 hours)" marks the first time the 30-year-old Kim will go hog wild inside a gallery space rather than on a farm.
The artist says she first became attracted to swine as a pre-med student at Columbia University where she had to dissect fetal pigs as part of a class.
"That's when I noticed that their anatomy and skin color is close to ours," Kim says. "Pigs are sensitive, intelligent creatures and when I enter the pen with them on these farms they react with fear or curiosity at first," she adds. Yeah, sort of like the average mook reacts to Kim on a first date we guess.
Don't expect to find Kim larding it up with Midwestern, industrial-sized oinkers here though. Instead she's plucked two sweet-looking suckling roasters from a Hialeah matadero likely to end up a fine meal during Noche Buena.
Before you start with the "We hope she shaves so we don't have to pull her pubes from our chicharrones after we cook those babies in a caja China" cracks, you're plumb out of luck.
Kim says she plans to save her squealing cochinitos from a trip back to the slaughterhouse.
"They will lead a very happy life and are already better off than where we found them," Kim says. "We are looking to place them as pets with a family or at a community farm after the show."
While Kim may be responsible for bringing home the bacon at Primary Projects during Basel, the exhibit, named after an un-kosher Parisian art dealer of Jewish descent who was stripped of his French nationality in 1940 and later accused of trafficking art with the Nazis, also boasts compelling stuff by participant talent.
In addition to Kim and Calderon the show features new works from: Marc Bijl, Retna, Michael Vasquez, Cleon Peterson, Manny Prieres, Andrew Nigon, Scott Shannon, Christina Pettersson, Shelter Serra, How & Nosm, Kenton Parker, Cole Sternberg, Jel Martinez and Edouard Nardon.
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"Here Lies Georges Wildenstein" at Primary Projects, 4141 NE Second Ave., Ste. 104, Miami. Opening reception tonight from 7 to 10 p.m. Call 954-296-1675 or visit primaryflight.com/projects.)