Since its inception, Untitled Art has produced a dynamic range of artist-focused special projects and programming that have included installations, performances, discussions, and interventions that reinforce its dedication to presenting a diverse selection of the most compelling contemporary art.
Special projects are selected by Untitled Art’s Artistic Director Omar Lopez-Chahoud, along with guest curator AGUAS and are presented in collaboration with exhibitors. This year’s special projects explore themes such as collectiveness, displacement, migration, and precarious presence, transpiring from the artists and artworks presented by exhibitors.
Presented by guest curator AGUAS – the artist-run curatorial platform – A Group of People Walking Through the Space consists of three sculptural installations gathering artists from Mexico City, Miami, Paris, Brussels and Buenos Aires. Situated within the fair’s layout and on the terrace overlooking the beach, this project deploys time-based works using mundane materials to reflect on aspects of collectiveness, presence and migration. Artists include...Martin Belou, Julie Escoffier, Juan Gugger & Néphéli, Valentina Jager, Yeni Mao, Jillian Mayer, Rodrigue Mouchez, and Ben Van den Berghe & Alexey Shlyk.
Integrating text and portraits of a range of figures from music, film and art, to politics, Tomas Vu and Rirkrit Tiravanija’s ongoing project Do We Dream Under the Same Sky? returns to Untitled Art, Miami Beach. This ongoing series of performances and installations deal with the current environmental and political landscape that will include a live t-shirt printing performance. In this new iteration entitled THE REVOLUTION WILL COME IN EVERY DIRECTION, instead of printing with ink, performers will be silk-screening with modified ceramic clay sourced from four highly charged landscapes; Hiroshima, and Nagasaki, Japan, Santurce, Puerto Rico, and Juárez, México. The text will include: “LESS OIL MORE COURAGE,” “TOMORROW IS THE QUESTION,” “THE TYRANNY OF COMMON SENSE HAS REACHED ITS FINAL STAGE,” “THE INFAMOUS PRODUCT OF WESTERN CULTURE,” and others. Woven throughout the work, the theme of defiance presents both a call to action and perhaps an offering of peace. REVOLUTION WILL COME IN EVERY DIRECTION is presented by LeRoy Neiman Center for Print Studies, Columbia University.
Claudia Peña Salinas manages to synthesize and re-contextualize Mesoamerican knowledge in conjunction with recent art, and in turn, exercises a decolonization theory to art history. Teotihuacan I, presented by CURRO, juxtaposes modernist and contemporary structures with ancestral wisdom – Aztec and Teotihuacan mythology. Consisting of a group of hanging objects whose colors gradient between blue-green and white, glass bottle fragments, plastic caps, and other discarded artifacts are a contemporary take on the role of materials such as jade that indigenous people used to worship the deities of water and fertility.
Also presented by LeRoy Neiman Center for Print Studies, Columbia University will be Michael Joo’s Huff Wall for Single Breath Transfer. The work consists of a wall, partially clad in glass, that contains units of perforated cinder block upon which a series of glass sculptures sit. The sculptures are created by the artist breathing into discarded paper and plastic bags that become ceramic molds for clear and colored molten glass. The sculptures’ placement suggests the use of broken glass vessels as obstructions atop property dividing wall, and the bags themselves are the same non- descript size and material as those used for “huffing”. These objects together with the visually perforated mid-century baffle are presented as a dissected vitrine that stands as an objectification of place.
Pep Duran’s Backlot Constructions, presented by RocioSantaCruz, is a site-specific installation comprised of objects of various nature that creates a personal map. The artist alters both personal and found objects and stacks them together to give them a new life and the means to create multiple narratives. The objects, consisting of materials such as wood, cardboard, ceramics, bronze, and aluminum, are fragments assembled in order to create a new personal landscape. Duran’s project is supported with help from the Institut Ramon Llull.
Miami-based artist Felice Grodin’s Mezzbug is a virtual interactive, digital project that employs the immersive technology of augmented reality (AR), and is accessible to visitors using iOS devices. Influenced by geophilosophy, Grodin draws on her training as an architect to explore the mutable within landscape, architecture, and her urban surroundings. Grodin’s Mezzbug is presented by the Perez Art Museum (PAMM) and will interact with the exterior entrance of Untitled Art, Miami Beach’s temporary pavilion.
Kelley Johnson’s Slow Dance, presented by Upfor, is an immersive installation that will merge two and three dimensions through line and color. The installation will also be the location for the live broadcast of Untitled Art, Podcast, the fair’s innovative take on the traditional model of an art fair “talks” program (formally known as Untitled, Radio). Slow Dance’s mapping of line, color, and repeated geometric patterns will build a visual idea of waves and antennas. Rhythm is created and simultaneously broken up within this architectural space, enabling a kaleidoscope of interactions with Untitled Art, Podcast’s live programming. The full schedule for Untitled Art, Podcast at the fair will be announced shortly.
Programming for the seventh edition of Untitled Art, Miami Beach is organized by Programming Director, Amanda Schmitt. Working with this year’s non-profit and cultural collaborators, and exhibitors, programming continues to address ideas of migration and collectiveness, as well as societal pressures and workplace ethics.
Presented in partnership with ArtCenter/SouthFlorida and curated by Larry Ossei- Mensah, Liziana Cruz’s We the News is a mobile newsstand that carries snacks and beverages from Caribbean and African countries, as well as artist designed “zines” that re-tell the stories of New York-based Black immigrants and first-generation Black Americans. We the News aims to amplify these unique stories via a physical newsstand sharing immigrants’ stories in a way that is reflective and representative of their complexity and humanity.
The Miami Girls Foundation presents a project and durational performance consisting of a collection of red aprons that read: NEVER NOT WORKING. Created by the foundation’s founder, Ekaterina Juskowski, the apron stands as a symbol of Feminist Solidarity and invites spectators to assess their privilege by evaluating the concept of “Never Not Working” in the context of workplace exploitation through wage theft, pay equity issues, and, in particular, the trafficking of individuals brought to the United States as part of the B1 domestic service workers visa program. The booth for the Miami Girls Foundation will be stocked with the red #NeverNotWorking aprons as well as attendants wearing the aprons and explaining the initiative. The act of wearing the apron is in itself the performance.
Additionally, the Foundation has invited 94 individuals from the Miami community to commit 30 minutes of labor during the fair as part of a durational performance that will take place in Lummus Park, at the entrance of the Untitled Art fair pavilion. The individuals will volunteer their labor by hanging white sheets on a clothes lines, a symbolic gesture to bring attention to undocumented and/or underpaid laborers throughout the Miami Area.
Lifelong Affirmations During Childhood Acts of Faggotry (L.A.D.C.A.F), by Sheldon Scott is an activation of gender performance, correction ceremonies, transactional identity, and value propositions. Informed by performances made by the artist as a child, this performance conjures the mythic space of gender, conformity, through spoken-word, choreography, and direct audience engagements. Lifelong Affirmations During Childhood Acts of Faggotry (L.A.D.C.A.F) is presented by CONNERSMITH. and will take place at their booth (A15) Tuesday, Dec. 4th - 3-6pm, Thursday, Dec. 6th - 12- 3pm and Saturday, Dec. 8 - 12-3pm.
Changing Room is an installation and performance presented by the Miami Area organization, Girls’ Club, featuring dancer and choreographer Jenny Larsson in collaboration with visual artists Lucinda Linderman, Michelle Weinberg and Natalie Zlamalova. The project addresses the pressures on women to attract and/or repel based on their appearance, as well as the uninhibited, unregulated self vs. the promoted, branded public self. In the booth, artworks and garments by the three artists will be animated by Larsson in a “changing room”. Spectators will be able to observe her movement via a live feed from the room's security camera. When she emerges, she will move throughout the space of the fair, dressing, and undressing in each of the outfits, ending with a finale outside on the beach. Performances will take place Tuesday, Dec. 4, 6:30pm; Thursday, Dec. 6, 5:30pm; and Saturday, Dec. 8, 5:30pm. Each performance will begin at the Girls Club booth (B21) and will end on the beach at the closing of the fair.