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Post #383 • October 8, 2004, 9:53 AM • 23 Comments

Before we get into the roundup this week, I just want to say that my decision to leave Rocket Projects has to do with the fact that I feel I am more of a creative person and want to concentrate on my vision as an independent curator and no longer wish to represent artists... wait... that wasn't me.

I don't even want to devote a full post to this. Godspeed, Nina. As for the article, it has at least two iterations of the kind of language that people use when they're trying not to tell you the truth. Arias has been criticised as being more adept at promoting parties than selling art... By whom? [Erstwhile partner Nick Cindric] adds that Arias' exit was involuntary, characterizing it as a business decision based on the need to keep the gallery afloat... Involuntary? Involuntary means she had a seizure and threw herself through the display window. Somebody removed her, and said somebody ought to find the courage to identify himself. (I'd willingly consider that somebody did, but the statement got lost in the effort to sound polite for the article.)

But frankly, none of this bothers me as much as the author's citation of an anonymous e-mail alleging all kinds of iniquity, and going on to say that Cindric "neither confirmed nor denied the allegations," a maneuver of journalistic judo that damns Cindric by implication without coming out and accusing him of anything. This e-mail fell into my hands over a week ago, and I found it an amusing piece of histrionic rumormongering. But on principle and for the sake of my credibility, I don't use Artblog.net to spread rumors. Street seems to harbor no such compunctions.

Chris Kirkham for the Miami Herald: Museum displays relics from life of Diana: The museum of art displays relics of the short, storybook life of Diana, Princess of Wales. "This gown really began the idea of this fairy-tale romance wedding, [Museum of Art, Ft. Lauderdale executive director Irvin Lippman] said." I include this item in the roundup with hesitation. Swallow your coffee completely before reading.

Alfredo Triff for the Miami New Times: Two Postmodern Nightmares: Grotesque sculpture for one, problematic videos for another.

Michael Mills for the Broward/Palm Beach New Times: Artbeat.

Gary Schwan for the Palm Beach Post: Storm-caused cancellations seem to have no ceiling. Ouch.

My article just appeared in the current issue of RISD Views. I recommend downloading the issue (4.3 MB pdf) - William Van Roden did a beautiful job laying it out. You can also view a short piece I wrote about Miami artist Carlos de Villasante (RISD '93). (Page 21 of the pdf, page 39 of the document.)

Update: go fill out Todd Gibson's art blog survey. He's taking it down on Sunday.

See you there: Tonight, Guerra de la Paz at the Art and Culture Center of Hollywood. On Saturday, my show along with those of Dan Weihnacht and Tim Walker at Dorsch, Bhakti Baxter at Snitzer, group show at Art Vitam, Peter Sarkisian at Steinbaum.

Comment

1.

Mary Agnes

October 8, 2004, 5:25 PM

Having a "vision" as an "independent curator" who does not wish to "represent artists" is the same as having an agenda that is more important than that of the artists. I think that basis for curating is questionable.

2.

oldpro

October 8, 2004, 5:28 PM

Well, thanks for not devoting the post to the Rockets business. Seems like a tempest in a teapot to me, but your remarks about the article seem quite appropriate.

And thanks for the warning about the Diana "relics" story. My God, will they be playing Elton John, too? My enemies could do no worse than to chain me to a post in the middle of that exhibit.

3.

eddie

October 8, 2004, 5:33 PM

wow, that Rocket Projects story is crazy. I did think they had too many little punks running around those shows. More of a party than anything else, but thinking back on it, the place wouldn't have gained the same kind of recognition otherwise. Oh well, Nina has great vision and I'm sure she'll be fine in whatever she decides to take up next.

4.

Jack

October 8, 2004, 5:49 PM

Mr. Lippman would seem to be wasting himself. He sounds like a natural for a PR job, or better yet, a political spin specialist. Still, how could one possibly pass up seeing the original handwritten lyrics of Elton John's "Candle in the Wind", let alone the "commanding" wedding dress? This guy needs to run the Universal Studios gig in Orlando. Do not walk, run to this show. Bring Kleenex, $19.50 to get in, and allot plenty of time to the gift shop for officially sanctioned Diana memorabilia. I know it's a very easy target, but Lippman and company are begging to be hit. Unfortunately, if they make enough money, they won't care much.

5.

Jack

October 8, 2004, 5:56 PM

Oldpro, in case you missed it in the prior thread, here's my reply again:

I expect that for the Nina Arias story to make "sense" you'd need to be more familiar with both her and Rocket Projects, as well as the whole Design District-Wynwood scene. The gallery has been largely a social club for kids playing the art game. The taxidermy show, which I only saw as I drove by, the way I'd look at roadkill, may have been the last straw. The money guy in the outfit probably got tired of paying for parties at a space nobody took seriously. It drew big crowds, but the demographics were not productive--the pronounced youth angle and party dynamics probably put off and kept away the "right" people, i.e. the ones with hefty art budgets. No doubt we'll see considerably more "seriousness" there henceforth; whether we'll see considerably better art is another question.

6.

Franklin

October 8, 2004, 6:17 PM

I forgot to mention that alert reader Kathleen e-mailed me this review on Artnet about that Miami show at White Box in NY.

7.

oldpro

October 8, 2004, 6:20 PM

Your analysis is undoubtedly sound, Jack.

By the way,taxidermy is big in pomo circles these days. If you want to be innovative, go find some stuffed animals, like everyone else is doing.

8.

T.G.I.F.

October 8, 2004, 8:23 PM

In regards to Nina Arias:
I admire her passion and drive.
These fall-outs happen all the time. what ever.
Miami has so many boring galleries and untalented artists.
In my opinion, Miami writers and critics are so jaded with a "been there, done that" attitude.
It makes me tired!
Everyone wants to be a "Hater".
We need more young driving forces in Miami.
Good luck Nina!

9.

comment

October 8, 2004, 8:24 PM

http://www.artnet.com/Magazine/reviews/davis/davis10-6-04.asp

10.

oldpro

October 8, 2004, 11:49 PM

Franklin: Maybe there is something wrong with me or my computer, but I got no info or pix on current shows at the links you gave for Dorsch, Snitzer, Vitam or Steinbaum. I got their pages, but no current show info. Dorsch's "current show" goes back to July.

11.

eddie

October 9, 2004, 12:08 AM

There's nothing wrong with your computer.

12.

oldpro

October 9, 2004, 1:42 AM

Well, Eddie, if that is the case, I gotta say these people are dropping the ball. Everyone goes to the web to check things out. Dorsch is not even open most of the time. Snitzer's site does Dorsch one better: his last exhibit info goes back to June.

13.

beWare

October 9, 2004, 7:43 PM

Yes! The ball has been dropping. No wonder a lot of these galleries and Miami in general are not going to be taken seriously. It's Playland here!

14.

Jack

October 9, 2004, 11:59 PM

A gallery that has a website and does not keep it up to date is missing the point and annoying anyone who visits the site. This makes a very poor impression, and if the gallery can't or won't keep the site current, it is better off not having one. I don't understand why this problem is so prevalent; if nothing else, it's lousy business practice.

15.

Sarah Mills

October 10, 2004, 8:16 PM

Rocket projects was missing money. Nina Arias barely had enough money to pay her bills. Nina shows up with a brand new boob job. She'd been fired from two [previous jobs for money turning up "missing." You do the math. She can throw one hell of a big party, but she can't run a gallery.

16.

oldpro

October 10, 2004, 8:27 PM

This postings on this page seem to indicate that the art business in this town is on a par with the art: absolute bottom of the barrel.

17.

that guy in the back row

October 11, 2004, 3:14 AM

Lets be honest here. Nina looks better than ever.

18.

Jack

October 11, 2004, 3:45 AM

Yes, well, let's try to get back on track here, difficult though it may be.

I went to MAM today to see the 2004 Cultural Consortium Fellowship winners, despite Franklin's lukewarm review (I know; I'm weak). By the way, Franklin, you needn't have bothered applying for the thing; your work is neither trendy nor gimmicky and you have no apparent "issues," at least none currently considered relevant by the establishment. If you should develop transgender tendencies or take up taxidermy, try again.

The only thing in the show I found of significant interest was Martin Oppel's "Monument," an installation based on Vladimir Tatlin's 1920 "Monument to the Third International Communist Congress" (a grandiose but impracticable design for a structure intended to be much bigger than the Eiffel Tower that never got beyond the model stage, like Tatlin's later design for a plane that didn't fly).

I was struck by Oppel's work not so much for itself, but for what it could be interpreted to signify (which may or may not be what he intended). The piece involves a conical spiral tower made from plastic orange mesh hanging from a rickety skeleton of wooden sticks and hollow aluminum bars, resting on a large crude wooden crate as pedestal. Lying on the floor around this are three collapsed traffic cones made of gray concrete.

The contraption is both ambitious and ridiculous, even garish; blatantly shoddy and flimsy despite the pretensions behind the original concept. The traffic control devices strewn on the floor, both limp and petrified, add to the sense of failure, futility, hubris and/or utopian folly. The piece is a potently apt metaphor for the philosophical-political system that initially inspired it and, in fact, commissioned it. At least for those with firsthand knowledge of the beast, this is a resonant, meaningful work. If I were Rosa de la Cruz or another local big shot, I might well buy it.

Unfortunately, predictably enough, I couldn't leave MAM without being mortified. I noticed the Jac Leirner show was STILL there, still embarrassing, and still annoying. After the Oppel piece, I found Leirner's nonsense insufferably silly.

19.

r

October 11, 2004, 5:15 PM

So if this is all true, why wasn't Nina listed as participating in the last show? She did get her girls stuffed after all.

20.

that guy in the back row

October 11, 2004, 6:54 PM

r: good call. truer things have rarely been so well expressed. There is a strong trend of exhibitionism at rocket which should be ignored. Its like a bad rash, you just shouldn't itch it.

21.

vbhug fbisgdjsancjk

October 11, 2004, 7:31 PM

you guys are terrible! you are providing the one thing that franklin didn't want on this Blog. GOSSIP!

you are constantly insulting Rocket Projects and Nina. They have only done good things for our small Arts community. Rocket projects may not focus on "PAINTING" and may not be the style of work you are inspired by but they are providing an additional venue other than the Snitzer monopoly. And as for Nina...she has amazing spirit she will go far with whatever she decides to do.

22.

Franklin

October 11, 2004, 10:13 PM

Well, I guess Artblog.net is now a big enough deal to become the target of bogus, off-topic multiple postings like the one of Joe D. above. I'll remove them in a few hours. Yesterday I took off the post of someone who was promoting an artist site, for the second time. When the comment spams arrive, the golden age will be behind us, and the age of moderated comments will arrive. (sighs)

23.

oldpro

October 12, 2004, 2:55 AM

Yes, I think we should just let unsubstantiated rumor & accusation pass by. I'm sorry I reacted to them.

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