Artist’s First Major Museum Exhibition in the United States Highlights the Ecological and Cultural Diversity of South Florida in Collaboration with the Miccosukee Tribe of Indians of Florida
Opening May 20, 2021
(MIAMI, FL — April 1, 2021) — Pérez Art Museum Miami (PAMM) is pleased to announce Felipe Mujica: The Swaying Motion on the Bank of the River Falls, the first major museum exhibition in the United States by Chilean artist Felipe Mujica. The exhibition features an installation of over 20 new fabric panels, or “curtains,” that spatially interact with the museum as well as function as visual, tactile and conceptual surfaces of inclusion, dialogue, specifically with the tradition of Patchwork of the Miccosukee Tribe. The project is the result of a years-long collaboration between the artist and Khadijah Cypress, a Miccosukee artisan.
Inspired by the rich ecological and cultural diversity of South Florida, the exhibition represents a collaborative effort between Mujica and Cypress, who founded the Miccosukee Creativity Center, a community center that fosters the traditional craftwork of the Miccosukee tribe while offering a space for community members to learn patchwork, beadwork, basket-making and more. The patchwork designs created by Cypress for Mujica’s fabric panels incorporate traditional Miccosukee designs that include symbols and patterns of abstractions of the natural world of South Florida, such as animals, lightning, rain, river, and wind.
“We are thrilled to present Felipe Mujica’s work, in particular how his collaborations build relationships and dialogue with other communities,” said PAMM Associate Curator Jennifer Inacio. “This site-specific installation not only showcases Mujica’s interest in geometric abstraction and the Miccosukee’s abstracted designs of their surrounding environment, but also builds a bridge between contemporary art and traditions. I hope this provides an opportunity for our audience to reflect and educate themselves on the traditions and culture of the Miccosukee tribe, our well-respected neighbors, as they navigate through Mujica’s abstractions.”
The installation also serves as an extension of the local environment through the collaboration with the Miccosukee and through the mutating and changing physical placement of the works. As visitors move throughout the installation, the air will slowly shift the curtains and activate the space with each visitor, who in a way, will become collaborators themselves. In addition, there will be an interactive element in which visitors can move specific panels within the exhibition, creating an ever-changing experience. The exhibition seeks to inspire adaptation, transformation, and exploration, while also fostering connection and relationships with the Indigenous communities of South Florida.
“This group of curtains at PAMM adds a new dimension to my work as well as serve as a platform for the study and promotion of Native American culture. I am excited to see this combination, because even if it's done in a minimal and abstract way, the technique of Miccosukee Patchwork is placed in a completely new context, in a different scale, in dialogue with architecture, space, the viewer, the elements, and also in dialogue with forms and colors while simultaneously maintaining its traditional character,” said Felipe Mujica. “Each curtain’s title will have the name of its patchwork: Big Storm, Fire, Snake Skin, Steps, Worm, Turtle, Frog, Bird, Diamond, Man on Horse, Pyramid, Lighting, and so on. Finally, most of the color combinations were decided by Khadijah, which brings into the project both her personal and cultural self.”
The exhibition space will also serve as a platform to engage with the public through programming that will share important aspects of Miccosukee culture and traditions—providing a space for our audiences to learn about some of the earliest inhabitants of Florida while increasing awareness of the modern environmental decisions that affect these communities. The title of the exhibition directly references the flow of water, a crucial factor in the Everglades ecosystem that is a very present subject in the Miccosukee culture, as it is in numerous Indigenous contexts.
Felipe Mujica: The Swaying Motion on the Bank of the River Falls is organized by PAMM Associate Curator Jennifer Inacio.
ABOUT FELIPE MUJICA
Felipe Mujica (b. 1974, Santiago, Chile) studied art at the Universidad Católica de Chile. After art school he co-founded the artist-run space Galería Chilena (with Joe Villablanca and Diego Fernández), which operated from 1997 to 2005, first as a nomadic and commercial art gallery and later as a collaborative art project, a curatorial “experiment.” In early 2000 Mujica moved to New York City where he currently lives and works. Parallel and interrelated to his own work, Mujica has organized and produced numerous collaborative projects, including exhibitions and books. Mujica has has had solo shows at Museo de Arte Moderno de Medellín; Casa Triângulo, São Paulo; Galerie von Bartha, Basel/S-chanf, Museo Experimental El Eco, México D.F.; Proyectos Ultravioleta, Ciudad de Guatemala; Sindicato, Las Terrenas, República Dominicana; Die Ecke Arte Contemporáneo, Santiago; and Galería Gabriela Mistral, Santiago. Group shows include Senderos transversales, Galería Gabriela Mistral, Santiago de Chile (2020); Nunca fuimos contemporaneos, Bienal Femsa, Zacatecas (2018); Incerteza viva, 32a Bienal de São Paulo (2016); Ir para volver, 12 Bienal de Cuenca (2014); Ways of Working: The Incidental Object, Fondazione Merz, Turín (2013); Contaminaciones Contemporaneas, Museo de Arte Contemporáneo Universidad de Chile, Santiago (2012); and Museu de Arte Contemporãnea da Universidade de São Paulo (2011); and 3rd Guangzhou Triennial, Guangdong Museum of Art, Guangzhou (2009); amongst others.
Pérez Art Museum Miami (PAMM), led by Director Franklin Sirmans, promotes artistic expression and the exchange of ideas, advancing public knowledge and appreciation of art, architecture, and design, and reflecting the diverse community of its pivotal geographic location at the crossroads of the Americas. The 36-year-old South Florida institution, formerly known as Miami Art Museum (MAM), opened a new building, designed by world-renowned architects Herzog & de Meuron, on December 4, 2013 in Downtown Miami’s Maurice A. Ferré Park. The facility is a state-of-the-art model for sustainable museum design and progressive programming and features 200,000 square feet of indoor and outdoor program space with flexible galleries; shaded outdoor verandas; a waterfront restaurant and bar; a museum shop; and an education center with a library, media lab, and classroom spaces.
Accredited by the American Alliance of Museums, Pérez Art Museum Miami (PAMM) is sponsored in part by the State of Florida, Department of State, Division of Cultural Affairs, and the Florida Council on Arts and Culture. Support is provided by the Miami-Dade County Department of Cultural Affairs and the Cultural Affairs Council, the Miami-Dade County Mayor and Board of County Commissioners. Additional support is provided by the City of Miami and the Miami OMNI Community Redevelopment Agency (OMNI CRA). Pérez Art Museum Miami is an accessible facility. All contents ©Pérez Art Museum Miami. All rights reserved.