(July 10, 2019) MIAMI BEACH –In Oolite Arts’ newest exhibition, eight artists with ties to both the United States and the global south use sculpture, photography, sound and film to explore how their heritage shapes their identity.
Whether they feel a close, distant or conflicted connection to their ancestral homeland, the artists mine the complexity in their personal stories to examine the intersections of their cultural heritage.
Curated by Angelica Arbelaez, the featured artists of “It will never be quite familiar to you,” are Cristine Brache, Amanda Bradley, Jesse Chun, Paloma Izquierdo, Natalia Lassalle-Morillo, Michelle Lisa Polissaint, Jamilah Sabur and Agustina Woodgate.
An opening reception will take place at 7 p.m. July 17th, 2019 at Oolite Arts, 924 Lincoln Rd.
“The artists’ each start from unique and personal perspectives. Together, though, these works take on a collective meaning rooted in diasporic narratives that are deeply resonant in Miami,” said Arbelaez, a Miami native who conceived of the exhibition while exploring her own relationship to her family’s native Colombia.
The works include:
• Morillo’s video installation, “Holguin, Hialeah,” exploring the emotional journey of a woman who migrates to Florida at age 81, after her husband died in Cuba.
• Woodgate’s “Simplified World,” presenting a bold proposition: Can we imagine a world where the dividing lines of our homelands did not exist? The artist attempts to answer this question by displaying a map that has been sanded down to produce a new landscape that is blurred and indecipherable.
• Sabur’s “Mnemonic alphabet (S/Saudade),” part of a series exploring the limits of language by culling a collection of words in different languages that articulate indescribable feelings, words that don’t often translate. This piece features the word Saudade, Portugese for a feeling of profound longing, and is accompanied by one of Sabur’s photographs.
• Polissaint’s “Mom’s Feet (River)” and “Buying Lobster” taking the viewer to rural Haiti, where she chronicles in photos the life of her parents’ hometown. Since 2014 the artist has been photographing her trips to Haiti as a way to familiarize herself and build a relationship with a homeland she’s felt distant from.
The title of the exhibition comes from “Walden,” Henry David Thoreau’s memoir, where the author describes the daily walks he takes in the woods. Though he follows the same path each time, he manages to encounter things that are unfamiliar to him. The exhibition posits that the same can be said about a person’s journey to discover their heritage, positing it as an ongoing dialogue that grows richer and more nuanced as their stories are shared.
ABOUT OOLITE ARTS
Established in 1984, Oolite Arts advances the knowledge and practice of contemporary visual arts and culture. Oolite Arts creates opportunities for experimentation and encourages the critical exchange of ideas through residencies, exhibitions, public programs, education and outreach. The residency programs include a Studio Residency Program, an International Exchange Program, a PRINTshop Residency Program, a Fellowship Program, a Cinematic Arts Residency and Art in Public Life Residency. Exhibitions and programs at Oolite Arts are made possible with the support of the Miami-Dade County Department of Cultural Affairs and the Cultural Affairs Council; the Miami-Dade County Mayor and Board of County Commissioners; the Miami Beach Mayor and City Commissioners; the State of Florida, Florida Department of State, Division of Cultural Affairs; the Florida Arts Council; the National Endowment for the Arts; and the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation. For more information, visit oolitearts.org.