The recent resolution by Miami-Dade officials against upholding the denomination of Miami as sanctuary for illegal immigrants has already made its way into the artworks of ArtCenter’s residents. Laura Marsh’s text embroidered chairs, for example, suggest sanctuary for a subject positioned to wait for some resolution beyond her or his control. The chairs ironically speak to the coercive environment in which ideas of Nationalism and racial supremacy are implemented and promoted by excluding the rights of others. The fragile place designated to immigrants in the country’s current climate is also explored in Elite Kedan’s videos documenting falafel street vendors in NYC using LED displays to proclaim their allegiance to US nationalism.
South Florida’s status as a “Natural Sanctuary” can no longer be found in the form of a pristine natural environment. Instead, this “sanctuary” is on the verge of being lost to pollution, overdevelopment and looming EPA deregulations. The normalization of environmental degradation and the effects of climate change are disclosed in Laurencia Strauss’ videos documenting the effects of high tides around the city. Adler Guerrier’s imagery explores the intersection of tropical nature as a paradigm of exuberance in contrast with the domestic environment of Miami’s neighborhoods, mapping the often-disjointed sites where the imaginary overlaps with daily life.
A specific form of theatricality seems to take place in the environment of South Beach, one in which the idea of Miami as a tropical construct sets the guidelines and expectations of social behavior, physical appearance and forms of display. Located on Lincoln Road, ArtCenter sits at the heart of this theater of self-exposure, a sort of consumerist sanctuary of artificiality and fashionability. In their staging of uneventful events, the theatricality of public spaces is critically explored by Alan Gutierrez’s filmed performance and Joshua Veasey sculptural display of urban debris.
The work of the above mentioned artists will be featured along with recent prints by Loren Abbate, sculptures by Juan Pablo Garza, a video installation by GeoVanna Gonzalez, paintings and live performance by Jessica Martin, artists’ books and zines by Portable Editions (Juana Meneses and Leila A. Leder Kremer), and live performances by John Henry Dale and by The Inertials (a consortium of artists, broadcasters and theorists).