Miami—December 4, 2013—In October 2012, the Pérez Art Museum Miami (PAMM) invited Israeli artist Yael Bartana, Moroccan artist Bouchra Khalili, British artist Hew Locke, and Polish artist Monika Sosnowska to engage in a year-long process designed to stimulate cultural exchange, public interaction with the artists and Museum, and the creation of new work.
The collaborations culminate with the opening of the artists’ installations in the Museum’s new Herzog & de Meuron-designed facility on December 4. Bartana, Khalili, and Sosnowska were commissioned to create new works to inaugurate the building, and Locke’s recent piece, For Those in Peril on the Sea, 2011, was acquired by the Museum for its permanent collection and will be installed in PAMM’s lobby.
“Our collaborations with Yael, Bouchra, Hew, and Monika exemplify PAMM’s vision of connecting the local community with the global one, bringing new ideas in to Miami, and shaping the experiences of artists during their time in our city,” said Thom Collins, PAMM’s Director. “This type of program is an essential part of the Museum’s commitment to serving as a civic convener for artists, creators, and thinkers from around the globe. We are excited to share these new and recent works with our community for the first time.”
About the Artists and Installations:
Yael Bartana works in film, photography, and installation. Her work challenges the accepted national consciousness of her native country of Israel. She explores national identity through investigations of ceremonies, public rituals, and social occurrences and subverts them through her aesthetic interventions. Questions relating to home, belonging, and return are central to her work. Throughout the last year, Bartana researched and shot an elaborate three-part film, Inferno, in Sao Paulo. Her film begins with the construction of the third Temple of Solomon (Templo de Salmao) by a Brazilian Neo-Pentecostal church. The temple is meant to be a replica, to Biblical specifications, of the first Jewish temple in Jerusalem, which was destroyed, rebuilt, and destroyed again. Bartana shot and edited Inferno with stylistic references to Hollywood action epics, resulting in what she refers to as “historical preenactment,” a methodology commingling fact, fiction, prophesy, and history. Ultimately, Inferno asks, does the construction of the Temple of Solomon necessarily foreshadow its destruction?
Bouchra Khalili is a video artist, working in both single channel and installation formats. Her work blurs the lines between documentary and the experimental, and takes advantage of the impurities of video as a medium. Her videos frequently focus on the Mediterranean and the nomadic experience. She creates images of the places she visits and the images those views conjure. For her installation at PAMM, she created the third and final chapter of The Speeches Series. A video trilogy. In these videos, individuals deliver powerful, moving speeches that express their complicated statuses in their adopted and native homelands. This last chapter was produced in New York and focuses on immigrants who live and work in the city. These subjects reveal their personal experiences amid larger political and economic spheres. The video creates a meaningful and urgent discourse on the contemporary, immigrant working class.
Monika Sosnowska is one of the most celebrated Eastern European artists of her generation. Her work explores the politics and poetics of the built environment, engaging and transforming the architecture of the exhibition space, often in implausible ways. She is best known for large, site-specific sculptures made of industrial materials such as steel and concrete, as well as surreal, tableau-like installations. For PAMM, Sosnowska created a sculpture that consists of over 1,100 pounds of bent steel, referencing the skeletal structures that are used as kiosks in Warsaw’s marketplaces. The sculpture is inspired by the spontaneous, street-level commercial activity that contributes to the city’s personality. This activity changes the urban landscape significantly, and Sosnowska’s sculpture transports these social forces into the gallery space. Making dramatic use of the double-height Project Gallery that it was commissioned for, the work transforms spontaneous, street-market activity into an impactful aesthetic encounter.
Hew Locke is a visual artist working in a range of media, including painting, drawing, photography, sculpture, textile, and collage. While his work deals with a diverse subject matter, recurrent themes include visual expressions of power, trophy, globalization, migration, ships and boats, and the creation of culture. For his installation at PAMM, Locke was inspired by his 2011 installation for the Folkstone Triennial, in an old church of a seaside British town. For Those in Peril on the Sea consists of dozens of scaled-down replicas of ships suspended from the ceiling, creating the impression of a massive exodus taking place throughout the architectural space above the viewer. It features a broad range of vessel types, from cigarette boats, catamarans and cruise liners to ragged fishing skiffs and timeworn cargo ships. In light of Miami’s history as the site for numerous waves of immigration—particularly from the Caribbean, and specifically by sea—the installation will have a particular resonance for the Museum’s audiences.
While the artists work in diverse media with highly varied subject matter, all of their work is concerned with movement and adaptability—a theme that remains relevant to Miami’s culturally diverse community. From the cultural and social dynamics explored in Sosnowska’s installation to the expression of the sea’s importance to the flow of people and objects across the globe, each of the artist’s pushes their creative interests by engaging with topics that are particularly resonant in Miami.
About Pérez Art Museum Miami
Pérez Art Museum Miami, formerly Miami Art Museum, is a vital cultural and educational center in one of the fastest growing regions in the country, where a confluence of Caribbean, North American, and South American cultures adds vibrancy and variety to civic activity. With the opening of its Herzog & de Meuron-designed building in downtown Miami in December 2014, the Museum serves as a resource commensurate with Miami’s thriving community of artists, designers, and collectors, its art-engaged public, and the location of some of the world’s most important art and design fairs. PAMM is committed to collecting art of the 20th and 21st centuries and that represents and responds to Miami’s cultural diversity. The Museum’s new facility has enabled the Museum to expand its exhibition, public, and progressive education programs, and to provide its community with innovative and exciting cultural experiences.