Off the Basel Path 2017 Print
Written by Melissa Wallen, BT Contributor   
December 2017

A short list for getting weird during Art Basel Miami Beach Week 2017

As we slowly recover from our collective Thanksgiving food coma, the manic creative energy of Miami Art Week tugs the city in the direction of its many curiosities. It’s a frenetic time -- oversaturated, even by art fair standards -- but if you focus on separating the signals from the noise, you may be lucky enough to find a marvelously singular experience hidden in plain sight. Here are some suggestions for creative spaces, events, and exhibitions worth keeping both eyes open for.


ArtFeature_1“The Everywhere Studio” with various artists, organized by ICA Miami and curated by Alex Gartenfeld, Gean Moreno, and Stephanie Seidel

From the omnipresent plume of construction dust over the Design District emerges the eagerly anticipated new home of the Institute of Contemporary Art, Miami. After two years in development, ICA joins its neighboring institution, the de la Cruz Collection, in fostering a hub of exceptional contemporary art, educational programming, and resources at no cost to the community.

Encompassing a hundred works spanning five decades, ICA Miami’s debut exhibition, “The Everywhere Studio,” investigates the concepts that bind the artist’s space and practice to overarching themes associated with labor, performance, and identity. “The Everywhere Studio” chronicles the work of an encyclopedic laundry list of postwar pioneers, including Pablo Picasso, Roy Lichtenstein, Bruce Nauman, Carolee Schneemann, Jason Rhoades, Martin Kippenberger, Elaine Sturtevant, Anna Oppermann, Tetsumi Kudo, and Andrea Zittel, among others -- 50 in all. A recent history of social and economic conditions contextualizes works of painting, sculpture, video, and installation, actively encouraging viewers to take into consideration the means by which artists have influenced visual culture.

“The Everywhere Studio” with various artists

December 1 through February 26: Special Art Basel hours: December 1, noon to 8:00 p.m.; December 2, 7:00 to 11:00 p.m.; December 3, noon to 6:00 p.m.; December 5, 6:00 to 11:00 p.m.; December 6 through 10, 9:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m.; regular hours Tuesday through Sunday, 11:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. Free admission.
ICA Miami
61 NE 41st St., Miami


The Rinse Cycle by Jim Shaw

Cozy up in SoundScape park as Art Basel’s Public Sector program opens with the “prog rock opera” The Rinse Cycle by artist and former co-founder of proto-punk band Destroy All Monsters, Jim Shaw. Shaw will perform his magnum opus, a decade in the making, with D’red D’warf the first two movements of his four-movement opera. Explicating the mythology of his fictional religion, Oism, the work revolves around two births and four apocalypses, combining spoken word, “prehistoric” chants, and more. A sonic journey for “truth” at the core of self-exploration, Shaw draws inspiration for this composition from a complex anthology of popular and religious motifs, as well as the genius of avant-garde icons such as Sun Ra, Captain Beefheart, Amon Duul, Magma, and Frank Zappa’s Mothers of Invention. Shaw is a stylistic shape-shifter, and his 30-year output is as adventurous as it is surreal, drawing his audience into a bizarre realism lifted from the pulp of pop culture, art history, and salvaged thrift-store gems. Site-specific visuals influenced by the traditions of 1970s album art will accompany this performance. The opera is free.

The Rinse Cycle by Jim Shaw and the D’red D’warf, Wednesday, December 6, 8:00 p.m.
SoundScape Park
400 17th Street at Washington Avenue, Miami Beach


LArtFeature_5ook Alive Fest featuring Royal Trux, Wolf Eyes, Ono, Drew McDowell, Wastelands, and Siamese Pearl

Now in its sixth year of burning the midnight snake oil, Look Alive Fest is gearing up to deliver on its stellar promise of bringing the most uncompromising rockers to Churchill’s Pub. Reuniting after a 13-year hiatus, the notoriously unpredictable Royal Trux heads the bill. Oozing cool since 1987, Royal Trux is an influential indie force formed by Neil Hagerty, formerly of Pussy Galore, and partner Jennifer Herrema. Psycho-jazz enthusiasts Wolf Eyes will be serve up avant-stoner-trip-metal for the masses, accompanied by Chicago avant-gospel group Ono, Drew McDowell of Coil, and locals Wastelands and Siamese Pearl. Hypnotic visuals provided courtesy of Florida artists Tachyons + and Secret Celluloid Society.

Look Alive Fest, December 8, 8:00 p.m. to 3:00 a.m.
Churchill’s Pub
5501 NE 2nd Ave., Miami


ArtFeature_2Fair. with various artists

“Fair market, fair play, and fair trade.” The mantra of Fair. is a rallying cry for femme artists whose voices demand equal recognition and value in the art market. In an effort to amplify this message, an alternative non-commercial art fair has been developed by curators Zoe Lukov, director of exhibitions at Faena Art; and Anthony Spinello, curator and founder of Spinello Projects.

Primarily concentrated in a 5000-square-foot raw storefront space in downtown Miami’s financial district, Brickell City Centre will host a series of interventions, serving as a platform for a diverse and multigenerational group of artists addressing issues of identity and gender inequality.

A few site-specific works worth noting include four monumental billboards by the Guerrilla Girls, Yoko Ono’s Wish Tree, and a performance by Nathalie Alfonso in which the artist compulsively washes away her own mark making. Additionally, the Fair Play. video sector will feature the Femmes’ Video Art Festival, curated by Micol Hebron and presented in partnership with CMX Cinema.

Fair., December 7 through 10, 11:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m.
Brickell City Centre
701 S. Miami Ave., Miami


ArtFeature_3p e r Sway by Nancy Davidson

Inspired by Russian literary critic Mikhail Bakhtin’s theory of the grotesque body, Nancy Davidson’s mouse trap of twisted helixes, pink light, bulging soft sculptures, and biometric forms set the stage for a stroll into an uncanny valley. Fascinated with the mysterious and adaptive quirks revealed in cellular adaptability, the allusion to the human body serves as a figuration for personal resiliency and mutation during politically tumultuous times. Carnivalesque and strange sculptures take on shapes reminiscent of cancerous tumors, marionettes, and Victorian marquees. For the artist, the exhibition is a space of ritual in which to explore parodies of power and the transformative nature of feminized space.

p e r Sway by Nancy Davidson. through January 20, Tuesday through Saturday, 11:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.
Locust Projects
3852 N. Miami Ave., Miami


ArtFeature_4Garbage Wall presented by the Estate of Gordon Matta-Clark and David Zwirner Gallery

Take a look at all your garbage, you animals. Originally created in 1970, Gordon Matta-Clark’s Garbage Wall was constructed in direct response to New York City’s homeless crisis. A cautionary presence at this year’s Untitled art fair, the estate of Gordon Matta-Clark, David Zwirner Gallery, and the students of Florida International University’s Honors College have teamed up to re-create this work using marine debris collected off the coast of the Deering Estate.

Also on view will be Matta-Clark’s films Fire Child (1970) and Day’s End (1975). Particularly apropos as our city’s fascination with consumption and materiality flares during art season, it doesn’t get much realer than Garbage Wall.

Garbage Wall presented by the estate of Gordon Matta-Clark and David Zwirner Gallery, December 6 through 9, 11:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m.; December 10, 11:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.
12th Street and Ocean Drive
Miami Beach


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