As on the second saturday of every month, thousands of Miamians will converge on Wynwood and the Design District this Saturday to get their fill of art they can’t afford and to fill up on all-too-affordable fish tacos. Here’s a list of five shan’t miss exhibits/performances to help you plan your Art Walk. Feel free to add to it in the comment section.
1. Series 5 by Marcos Vallela @ Dimensions Variable
Perhaps Miami’s best painter — at least the city’s foremost painters’ painter — Marcos Vallela is taking over Dimensions Variable throughout May and June. Although a takeover makes it sound as if Vallela is going to drastically alter the space, on the contrary, his subtle, washed out, gesso-covered canvases will seemingly blend into the walls (see below). While his brand of minimal, conceptualist painting isn’t for everyone (four of his paintings were vandalized at Arte Americas in March), they are certainly worth a close look.
Learn more about Series 5 on Dimensions Variable’s website.
2. Intuitive Collaborative Dance Performance with Matthew Ronay and Nathan Carter @ Locust Projects
Brooklyn-based artists Matthew Ronay and Nathan Carter will present a dance performance and didgeridoo revue specifically devised for Locust Projects that, with its obscure references and influences, promises to go over plenty of heads. To be honest, this seems like it’s going to be a train wreck, but as with any collision one can’t help but stare. Performances will be ongoing throughout Saturday night.
3. Myakka by Naomi Fisher @ Fredric Snitzer Gallery
A comeback for Naomi Fisher, absent in artist production for some time now, and perhaps a return for Fredric Snitzer, whose gallery has been consistently disappointing this art lover for more than a year now, Myakka is a can’t miss exhibition, if only for Fisher’s enveloping video piece. Here’s a description from snitzer.com:
The artist’s recent single-channel video Myakka, 2011 is the result of a 13-day long outing and collaboration with artists and friends at the Myakka State Park in Florida, where the Florida Wild and Scenic Myakka River (its real name) flows through wetlands, woodlands and prairies. Over the course of the excursion, the group lived in a community of log cabins made from felled palms, and collaborated to create and record a series of rituals, choreographies and events. The video suggests only the loosest of narratives – self-sufficiency, a movement-based practice, and group-initiations among them — while the figures in it traverse lines between being scripted characters, and just being themselves. Overlaid with a selection of witchy soundtracks of cackling voices and cracking synth by the group SKINT, the video intentionally avoids narrative conclusion, in favor of sharing with viewers a sense of the process, investigation, and exploration by which the work came into being.
The video is accompanied by a grouping of well-executed but unnecessary paintings that end up serving more as movie posters advertising the video than stand-alone works. My recommendation: Watch the film and leave.
Learn more about Myakka on Snitzer’s website.
4. Performance by Xavier Cha @ De La Cruz Collection
As I admitted in my Top Five May Art Events list earlier this month, I don’t understand what Cha is up to with this performance, but it doesn’t sound like anything I’ve seen before in Miami. Here’s the description:
In February of 2011, artist-in-residence Xavier Cha created an open casting call for actors. After receiving more than 50 head shots within one week, she narrowed down the selection to 20 actors to audition for 3 parts.
The three parts of the audition are based on familiar cinematic conventions with no dialogue. Although the subtle gestures listed on the casting call are open to personal interpretation, they are mostly mimetic of something one has already seen on screen. The first part of the auditions were open to a public audience on the second floor of the Collection during the Second Saturday Art Walk in February. With the actors Cha has selected from these auditions, she, with the assistance of a crew and professional film apparatus, will attempt through multiple takes to capture a ‘close’ representation of these familiar shots during the three hours of Art Walk on May 14.
Learn more about Cha’s performance on the Collection’s website.
5. Cowboy Mouth @ O Cinema
After Art Walk, head around the corner to O Cinema for a bit of late-night theater. Liz Ferrer, Jeffrey Winthrop, and Shaun Disco present Cowboy Mouth, a one-act play written and originally performed in 1971 by Sam Shepard and Patti Smith. The play is a semi-autobiographical chronicle of Shepard and Smith’s short relationship and delves into “a higher state of what we could know”. Whatever that means, I have faith in Shepard and Smith, despite their description of the play as “A rock and roll love story with mystical horseshit”. In any case, it’s free! Doors open at 11 p.m and the play starts at midnight.
Learn more about the performance on Facebook.
Misael Soto is a South Florida artist who works at the Art and Culture Center of Hollywood and blogs at misaelsoto.tumblr.