FAIR WEATHER: The Containers

Miami Art Fairs, Art Basel Miami, Aqua, Art Miami, Bridge, Pulse, Red Dot, Scope, Rubell Collection
Already posted:
Despite being part of the Art Basel Miami Beach franchise, the Containers located in Collins Park, right next to the beach, are the opposite in every way of the big show at the Convention Center: cramped, conceptual and free. Each box, about 10x18 feet, is occupied by a gallery. While you’ll pay $35 for the day to enter the big fair; here at the containers, open from 6-10 pm, it doesn’t cost a dime.

In some ways, you get what you pay for. One container, for instance, featured a wall of small stretchers. Just stretchers. You have to wonder—I certainly did—why a gallery would come all the way from somewhere in Europe only to offer so much of nothing. Ya, ya, conceptual.

The spaces I liked were the ones that had, well, something in them. And the ones I liked best had clearly been conceived and constructed specifically for the space, such as the ones you see below:

Above: Galerie Iris Kadel, Karlsruhe, Germany, with installation by Matthias Bitzer

Below: David Castillo Gallery, Miami, with installation by Quisqueya Henriquez

Pattern against color against reflection: Newman Popiashvili Gallery, New York, with installation by Raul Denieves/Mikilandia Productions

I was moved by the installation of half a dozen vitrines in the Galeria Salvador Diaz, Madrid. At first I thought I was looking at gold jewelry with green stones, ho hum. Then I started to read the Spanish descriptions: “Man of 34 killed by hit men in a car-to-car shooting in Tierra Blanca [Mexico]. . .” Each of the bracelets in the cases had been made using broken glass set as stones, the glass coming from automobile windows and windshields that had been shattered by gunfire. This was score settling over drugs, and the victims were young men of 18 and 19 sitting in their vehicle, a female bystander, a commander of the tactical police force and others. It was the circumstances and stories that made this jewelry memorable, but that was more than enough.

Galeria Salvador Diaz, Madrid, with jewelry by Teresa Margolies

Not to end this post on a heartbreaking note, below are a few pics of the nighttime Lunar Lounge in Collins Park. The mountainous topography, made from sheets of expanded white plastic foam, was great! But I think you needed to be a carnivore and a smoker to get into the scene, which included videos, thumping house music, barbeque, and plenty of cigarettes and other burning substances.

Looking into the Lunar Lounge, with DJ booth in the distance;
a closeup of the sculpture, below

Videos projected on the corrugated walls of yet more containers

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