By Nancy Nesvet
Miami South Beach, FL – It’s a beautiful day in the neighborhoods of Miami and Miami Beach, with the sun shining, waves mild, murals in Wynwood overwhelming and the Bass Contemporary Art Museum no longer under construction, showing off the Leo Rondicone colors in the totem outside. Striped flag garlands are hung high over Collins Park, marking the territory that Philipp Kaiser, Public’s curator, alludes to. There is a sense of unpredictability that dictates we’d better enjoy the moment because we don’t know what tomorrow or even the next turn in the road will bring.
There is also a sense of ominousness, leading to a heightened awareness of all around us. Granted, the artists at Art Basel Miami Beach 2017 are saying something about what they personally see and feel, but the viewer also seems aware of what is around them. Apparently, the hurricanes in Miami and Puerto Rico earlier this fall have shown us that global warming is wreaking havoc now. I look around and wonder if those I see are personally affected and feel bad for them, but also wonder if I am next. Better ignore my image and indulge in the godiva now.
At Survey, we’re back to Politics after yesterday’s short break with multiculturalism. Political statements reign, showing environmental threats to each nation and questioning the presence of democracy, in the USA and all over the world, past and present. The Drawing Center leads off with Judith Bernstein’s drawings in Response to Trump’s antics, while Chilean artist Carlos Leppe (Espaivisor) shows work created during Pinochet’s reign, when democratic reactionaries led to a takeover by the opposition. Argentinean Edgardo Antonio Vigo (Richard Saltoun) condemns capitalist culture in the West as well as illustrates the dictatorship of the Dirty War in his native land.
The significance of showing work of Brazilian artist Cicero Dias (Simoes de Assis Galeria de Arte), who moved to Paris in the 1960s at the heart of the university takeover and who was influenced by Calder, Leger, Picasso and Miro, is not lost on me. That would-be Picasso who reacted with the creation of Guernica, as well as Calder’s infatuation with the circus, used two ways to express the remembrance of violence and death and life as a never-ending circus.
As if we’re not hyper enough by now, Brazilian artist Serulo Esmeraldo (Galeria Raquel Arnaud) shows his kinetic sculptures, called Excitables, that are constantly moving and making us pay attention and move our eyes to keep up with them. For more excitation, I need look only at Brian O’Doherty’s electrocardiograms of Marcel Duchamp’s heartbeat recorded by the artist, (Simon Subal), leading to his kinetic sculpture reanimating Duchamp’s heartbeat. On that note, reanimating the heartbeat of an artist who so well read the pulse of between the wars society with Dada’s emphasis on fun and nonsense and reinterpreted objects around him to make statements about his world, I end this day, happy to go find the beach and some release in the Film sector.
(Artscope Magazine will be reporting live from Art Basel Miami Beach throughout the week of December 4-10 on its Facebook, Instagram and Twitter pages as well as ArtscopeMagazine.com. You can see all of our reports in one place on the Artscope Magazine app, downloadable at itunes.apple.com/us/app/artscope-magazine/id659051872.).