Each December since 2007,1 my buddy Jason and I have met up for Miami Art Week. We’ve learned a lot in the past 10 years about how to ‘do’ art fairs (perimeter first, then the middle). And, although the bazaar atmosphere can be overwhelming, the week is as a chance for us to quickly take the pulse of all things aesthetic and critical. We’ve never really set an agenda. One year he’ll wander over to DesignMiami, another year I’ll make a point of going to as many boutique fairs as possible, and still other years we’ll spend more time chatting over good food than doing anything else. It’s a circus, to be sure, one that it is increasingly popular to ridicule, but it happens here in South Florida and it’s directly related to things that are important to us, so we go.
In 2015, Trevor Paglen and Jenny Holzer in conversation was the highlight of the week for me. Their dialogue remains incredibly relevant – especially given the FCC Network Neutrality vote that is scheduled for December 14, 2017, the week after Miami Art Week‘s festivities.
Among my most prized possessions are my notes from last year’s Hans-Ulrich Obrist-moderated conversation between Claudia Rankin and Glenn Ligon about their respective poetry and visual art practices. On the heels of the election, their perspectives on – especially – the role of art in the community in times of turmoil were heartening, strengthening, if not necessarily reassuring.2 If the inclination strikes, do read Rankin‘s Citizen and, after spending some time with his artwork, read Ligon‘s Yourself in the World. Both are thoughtful, erudite, enriching texts, much like this discussion:
This year, I plan to attend the following Art Basel Miami Beach Conversations (I’ve underlined the names of the speakers who most interests me):
Thursday, December 7, 2017
Saturday, December 9, 2017
I have no set plan for the Film sector, I’m just going to go and watch. I really enjoyed all that I saw last year, particularly Liao Li‘s Art Is Vacuum, 2015, Rashid Johnson‘s The New Black Yoga, 2011, and Edgardo Aragón‘s La encomienda, Perú, 2013.
The, of course, is the fair itself, row after row of mind-blowing art.3 Like everyone else, it seems, I am super-interested in the Los Angeles galleries, so I’ll be giving the following a longer look:
- Anat Ebgi
- Gemini G.E.L. on view – John Baldessari
- Regen Projects on view – Theaster Gates, Wolfgang Tillmans and Catherine Opie
- Susanne Vielmetter Los Angeles Projects on view – Pope.L
- David Castillo Gallery on view – Kalup Linzy and Xaviera Simmons
I’ll also be on the lookout for Fluxus artists and Performance art.
(Next up: Miami Art Week ’17: Go See… Satellite Fairs)
- except when I was in grad school
- I wrote at greater length about this Conversation on my own website.
- Last year, I had the pleasure of seeing Roy De Carava’s work at Jenkins Johnson Gallery‘s booth.