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Post #378 • October 2, 2004, 8:33 AM • 14 Comments

Paula Harper for the Miami Herald: Exhibition lets artistic freedom run wild. Dr. Harper was my teacher back at UM. Dr. Harper was Alfredo Triff's teacher back at UM. We respect Dr. Harper.

Omar Sommereyns for the Street Weekly: Lucky 13: Who says artists don't need money? Check out who scored South Florida Cultural Consortium Fellowships this year.

Alfredo Triff for the Miami New Times: The Unseen Haiti: An exhibit of contemporary sculpture will change your view of Haitian art. MNT hasn't linked their capsule reviews lately. Boo.

The Bitch covers continuing resistance to Museum Park for the New Times.

Michael Mills for the Broward/Palm Beach New Times: Just Like the Rest of Us: "Hispanic heritage" is hard to find at ArtServe and Gallery Six.

Jason Budjinski (et al., possibly) for the Broward/Palm Beach New Times: Artbeat.

UPDATE: Maria Jose Arjona, one of Miami's better talents and one of its best performance artists, got a mention in the New York Times. Except, apparently, we don't call it performance art any more. We call it performative art. That's what Vito Acconci says. Performative, of course, already means something else, and I hope you will join me in continuing to use the original term.

See you there: tonight Dorsch's shows close. Also, tonight the last Surreal Saturday at its present location - on SW 6 Street just east of 11 Avenue - takes place.

Comment

1.

Jack

October 2, 2004, 4:47 PM

Note to Vito: Go play with yourself, again--just leave me out of it. I'm not even remotely interested in masturbative semantics, let alone you.

2.

oldpro

October 2, 2004, 7:44 PM

Right on, Jack.
It is good to see Paula Harper writing for the Herald. The current review is more a report than a critical review, but it would perk things up around there if she were to write regularly.

3.

alesh

October 2, 2004, 9:56 PM

Somebody please please tell me why Marty Margulies is so against the new MAM building. There has got to be rational reason, something about it that is somehow against his interests, something fairly obvious, but i'm missing it.

4.

Franklin

October 2, 2004, 10:04 PM

Alesh: ostensibly, these reasons.

5.

Jack

October 2, 2004, 11:58 PM

Those "Hispanic" shows in Ft. Lauderdale sound seriously depressing, and the pictured works look ghastly. The responsible organizers and/or curators should be told they'll be deported if they ever pull something similar again, even if they were born and raised in Iowa and can trace their ancestry back to the Mayflower. The last thing an artist with real talent needs is to be ghettoized according to ethnic criteria and lumped together with hacks of comparable ethnic background.

Unlike these extremely dubious shows, the one I wrote about at the Spanish Cultural Center is a decidedly higher class affair, as has been the case with most of the shows I've seen there.

6.

alesh

October 3, 2004, 7:23 PM

Franklin~ I know what the *ostensible* reasons are. But I remain convinced that there is another, much more compelling way to explain why Marty feels the way he does. It's not so much that I doubt that Marty means well for Miami, which he probably does, or that the reasons he gives against the museum are not good reasons; in fact his arguments are sound. But i've got to believe there's another set of motivations lurking somewhere, because, on the face of it, the new MAM building would seem to be good for him in at least two major ways.

Jack~ I think the Hispanic shows are kind of an indication of the state of the Broward art scene (wasn't Mike Mills' last piece about the art marketplace?). These "cultural" groups, like Hispanic Unity and Arts United (a gay group) put on art shows which I guess are open to anyone who wants to participate, and they get the main library and ArtServe to show them.

This sort of stuff goes on all over the country in mid-sized cities . . . there is a distinction to be made between art as a creative outlet for folks to express themselves, and art as in the global contemporary arts scene (actually that's not expressing what I mean very well; hopefully you understand what I mean). I think most of us here are looking at the Miami art scene from the latter perspective, and while we may find it lacking, the fact is that Miami does, SOMEHOW, fit into that scene. . .

hmm . . . suddenly i'm not sure i'm making any sense, so i'm just going to stop here...

7.

oldpro

October 3, 2004, 8:14 PM

Alesh:

re your comments:

First, if "Marty's" reasons are sound, his ulterior motives are beside the point.

Second, Jack has a viewpoint which he has made clear over and over again: he only wants to see art which interests him. I think for him all the other stuff may be of interest but is quite secondary.

8.

alesh

October 3, 2004, 9:32 PM

I agree.

Marty's motives are irrelevant. Not uninteresting, though.

I wasn't trying to get into a discussion about Jack's criteria, or his right to have whatever criteria he chooses. I'm sure he doesn't like art at the Coconut Grove arts festival, either.

Great art is really tough to do, and it's really rare. It's absence is the norm, not the exception.

9.

oldpro

October 3, 2004, 10:00 PM

Especially rare around here, unfortunately.

10.

Franklin

October 3, 2004, 10:34 PM

Marty's motives are relevant because the reasons he gives don't add up very well.

Rather than spend much-needed public money on private, elitist organizations, our elected leaders should address the truly pressing concerns of our county: Our schools are falling apart. The public schools were already awful when my folks tried to enroll me into one back in the mid-seventies. Part of the problem may be infrastructure, but a bigger problem lies in the fact that the system is shot full with ineffective teachers, and the reason that exists is because of a wretchedly corrupt teacher's union. Furthermore, our model of public education was lifted from Bismarck-era Germany, insists on an arguable (at best) system of grade level that associates age and skill, ignores discoveries in optimal learning, and on and on.

Thousands of children do not have health insurance. And unless we suddenly become socialist, they will not get any from the General Ordinance Bond, museum or no museum.

Our neighborhood parks are considered the worst in the country. By whom, I don't know. I try in vain to find anything about this.

Community centers and health clinics are non-existent or severely lacking funds. Well, they can't be both. If he means non-existent in some neighborhoods that need them, that's a different story, but I don't see why it's a zero-sum decision between clinics and a museum.

Many public housing units are unlivable. Ditto for this.

Now, the rest of the reasons - in summary, that we have one public funding disaster after another when it comes to projects like this - hold more water with me. I disapprove of public funding for sports events or facilities because I basically don't give a rat's patootie about sports.

But thousands of densely packed new resdients downtown may revitalize our awful, awful downtown area even better than the museum. Problems with the Performing Arts Center originated from ill will between the builder and the architect; the design for Museum Park is much more conservative and straightforward and ought to be a cinch to build. In fact, the building should cost less than than the $67 million overrun on the PAC.

I have suspected, but cannot prove, that diplomatic ties between the major collectors (houses Margulies, de la Cruz, Rubell, & Scholl) and MAM are in a shambles for some reason and part of the problem is personal.

11.

more

October 4, 2004, 12:35 AM

the major collectors travel a lot, they see and contribute to many many museums. Maybe this experience helped them realized that mam sucks.

12.

oldpro

October 4, 2004, 1:35 AM

Sure, Franklin. If his reasons are no good, and they don't look so good as you sent them out (they look more like out-of-left-field college debate answers of the "we can't have this because we don't have" that variety) then his motives become more interesting.

For what it is worth, a while ago i saw a stat that stated Miami is the lowest? one of the lowest? Park-acre-per-resident large city in the US. Just a recollection, but it was there in some compendium of city-quality stats somewhere. I'm sure these things are on the web.

13.

Momoko

October 4, 2004, 7:02 AM

Hello from Japan.

I stay in an ordinary Japanese city where ordinary Japanese people live, for I wanted to be an ordinary Japanese during this short stay in Japan instead of being a tourist from outside. Use of the English language is absolutely of no use here.

The 12 years of not being in Japan and avoiding Japanese people makes me look at Japanese Art in a non-Japanese point of view. Until now I did not know how refine Japanese Art was. I can tell you that only a small fraction (I say 0.000001 percent) of Japanese Art went out of Japan and the rest is here. Art here stays here and only way to experience it is to be here. What amazes me is the degree in which Art is being integrated to people's daily lives. In that sense there is not much boundaries between museums and town.

I will stay in countryside in the next several days and do nothing, and then I will go to Tokyo and stay there for 4 days. Unfortunately my return to Miami is scheduled on 13th.

14.

that guy in the back row

October 4, 2004, 8:52 AM

Momoko, so good to hear from you. I thought you dropped off the face of the earth. When I was in Japan, I enjoyed the art I saw.

More: Maybe it was beneficial for Mr. Margulies. But the major collectors in Miami have bigger problems. They don't strike me as a group that learns much from their mistakes. As I see it, because these collectors globetrot to all the latest openings / biennials their bad taste is reenforced by stellar sales pitches not yet tried out on them in Miami. It becomes cyclical, they buy at second rate galleries, because his wares look closest to the garbage they just consumed in New York. Its a rat-race where the goal is to never get behind the hype. Heaven help you if you are one of the artists who gets swept up in frenzy. If the artist is a bit green around the edges, chances are his art won't last.

The shrewd collector would do well to stay home, analyze what is being offered and tell a dealer his opening looks like a second rate bfa show from new world. Oh wait, that would require a backbone, most miami collectors are invertebrates. I applaud Mr. Margulies for showing what appears to be the first trait of what could be a very long and trying evolutionary struggle.

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