Art Chat: September 4th, 6:30 PM
|Image courtesy: Hunter Barnes and the Opa Locka Community Development Corporation|
Art enthusiasts have just five days to see some of the world's leading exhibitions during Art Basel Miami. With over 22 art fairs and hundreds of featured exhibitions visitors can take in the best of the best as recommended by Claire Breukel, curator for Unscripted Bal Harbour, a public art initiative launched in 2012 that provides artists with a platform to pursue their creativity and features a popular Art Chat series featuring public art experts from around the world. Breukel's Top Ten list features a varied mix, from performances and sculpture exhibits to photography and includes world-renowned Tracy Emin's exhibit at MOCA and a show at the Rubell Collection.
Bal Harbour guests and locals get a special treat through the destinations' new Museum Access program that provides exclusive entry to the area's leading museums. This includes free admission to the Wolfsonian Museum and the Bass Museum of Art, and full membership to the Museum of Contemporary Art and the Miami Art Museum (that reopens in December as the new Pérez Art Museum Miami), allowing Bal Harbour guests to be among the first to get a peek at the new space.
Top Ten shows not to be missed this season
#1 Ai Weiwei:According to What? at the Perez Art museum Miami (PAMM)
As a social, policital and artistic hero, Chinese artist Ai WeiWei is known for his audacious performances and creative provocations. Experience this at the Herzog and De Meuron-designed museum.
#2 CasaLin Hosts Hot Bed; Reverence in collaboration with Wet Heat Projects
Each year CasaLin hosts a curated 'backyard' exhibition. This year Miami filmmakers Wet Heat Project bring "Hot Bed" to the yard--a project that features exciting performances by promising New World School students.
#3 Contender, New Works from Kenton Parker at Primary Projects
Each year a line of people stand outside Primary Projects for an awe-inspiring artist collective show. Focused on street art and alternative practice, Parker will undoubtedly offer an LA-inspired rebellious, site-specific installation.
#4 França at Fairchild curated by Cristina Grajales at Fairchild Tropical Gardens
Experiencing the sculptural designs of Brazilian artist Hugo Franca within lush gardens is the perfect moment of calm in an otherwise busy art fair.
#5 Hunter Barnes photography installation in the City of Opa Locka
Barnes ambitiously lends his expertise with the concept of street photography by placing human-sized billboards in the city. The installation results from a two-week residency during which Barnes sensitively documented Opa Locka residents: it's a slice of the city's contemporary history that promises to be fascinating.
#6 Nicholas Hlobo’s Intethe (A Sketch For An Opera) at Locust Projects
Having a fellow South African showing in Miami’s premiere non-profit arts space where I was formerly Director makes this exhibition a personal highlight. Internationally renowned, Hlobo’s poetic installations are made of an unexpected combination of materials.
#7 Ping Pong 2013 curated by Sue Irion
Featuring artists from Basel Miami and Los Angeles Ping Pong is an annual cross-cultural exchange exhibition that offers witty artwork, upbeat displays and clever cross-city dialogue.
#8 Piotr Uklański: ESL at the Bass Museum of Art
The moment I stood on Uklanski’s neon floor at the Pinault Collection, Venice, surrounded by constructed images of Nazi officers (titled “Dancing Nazi’s”), I was intrigued. Uklański’s work never fails to challenge and ESL (English as a Second Language) is certain to provoke on the subjects of immigration to America and acceptance of cultural norms.
#9 Tracey Emin: Angel Without You at MOCA, Miami
Known for her public confessions and enigmatic one-liners, this is Emin’s first solo exhibition in the US. Focusing on her large body of neon works, it will add significant depth to Miami’s already neon allure.
#10 28 Chinese at the Rubell Family Collection
After the success of 30 Americans, this show will be just as interesting—even with two less artists! Housing one of Miami’s most dynamic private collections, the Rubell’s and Director Juan Valadez will undoubtedly curate another defining show.
Christy Gast creates Unscripted’s latest installation inspired by the history of South Florida
|Photo credit: Simon Hare, courtesy Unscripted Bal Harbour and Christy Gast|
Bal Harbour, Fla. – May 15, 2013
As the next iteration of its ongoing support for the arts in South Florida, Bal Harbour has unveiled “Self Portrait As a Barefoot Mailman,” by artist Christy Gast as part of the destination’s public art program, “Unscripted.” Gast’s 12-foot high sculptural installation, will be showcased in the center of Collins Avenue, on Bal Harbour’s Founder Circle through the summer. Installed headfirst in the ground, as if blown-over, the faux bronze sculpture made of fiberglass is a testament to the area's legendary barefoot mailman, a real historic figure who delivered mail on the first U.S. mail route between Palm Beach and Miami in the 1880's before there were major roads. Drawing on the history of South Florida as well as Miami Dade’s history of public sculpture, Gast has created a playful alternative to the traditionally overstated and masculinized civic monument.
Past artworks by sculptor and video artist Christy Gast often feature herself in costume as the central character, making it natural for Gast to transform this mailman figure into her likeness. Gast had a laser scan taken of herself dressed up as the legendary mailman assuming a monument-like posture, and used this as the basis for the sculpture. In doing so, she presents a subterfuge – an impersonation of the character of the mailman, infused with her female persona. Gast also adds another dimension of humor and unexpected subversion by having “Self Portrait As A Barefoot Mailman” upside-down and partially buried as if having been blown over by a strong storm and landing head-first, a witty gesture to having one’s head quite literally “buried in the sand.”
The program is supported by the Unscripted Art Chat series that features two chats this season. The first, on Thursday, May 16 is entitled “Christy Gast in conversation with Thom Collins.” Thom Collins, Director of the Miami Art Museum talks to Christy about her public art installation, her per-formative practice and the support of public art by artists living and working in Miami. On Thursday, July 11, Unscripted will feature “The Economics of Public Art: A conversation with Christine Y. Kim, and Michael Spring”. Public Art Commissions are notoriously expensive and logistically difficult but the art world views these public projects as important. Ms. Kim, the Associate Curator of Contemporary Art at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art and Mr. Spring, director of the Department of Cultural Affairs for Miami-Dade County will discuss their public art partnerships and how they have ensured the economic viability and sustainability of their projects.
Art enthusiasts can take home a piece of Unscripted, Bal Harbour’s art installation by purchasing a one-off limited-edition print created Christy Gast for this project. This special edition of 50 prints is available through artsy.net, the premier online platform for discovering, discussing and collecting art. Profits from all sales will go directly back to fund future “Unscripted” commissions.
Gast has exhibited her past work in the U.S. and internationally, including at the Miami Art Museum in Miami, MoMA PS1 in New York, Los Angeles Contemporary Exhibitions in California, Cabaret Voltaire in Zurich and Centro Cultural Matucana 100 in Santiago, Chile.
Created to support and challenge the artistic talents in South Florida, “Unscripted” was launched in November 2012 with “Pax Americana” by first winning artist George Sanchez-Calderon. His two iconic art installations, “Americana” and “Levittown House” were also inspired by Bal Harbour’s storied history, both as one of the first planned communities in South Florida as well as home of the original Americana hotel that hosted many presidents and political events.
“Unscripted” is curated by Claire Breukel, who consulted with contemporary art and public art experts including Yvonne Force Villareal, President and Co-Founder of the Art Production Fund; Solita Mishaan, a Bal Harbour resident, collector and member of the International Council for TATE London; and celebrated artists Hernan Bas and Hank Willis Thomas on the selection of the winning artists.