THE MIAMI REPORT: Day 6
The Rubell Collection; The Fair. Fair
We woke up yesterday on a mission for two free exhibitions: the private Rubell Collection, and Fair., an all-female artist installation at the Brickell City Centre. It was pouring, and I had forgotten my umbrella in LA, which is so unlike my type-A self. Seattle-based artist Amanda Manitach—one of my roomies this trip—had the idea of covering her hair with a plastic grocery bag (they still have those here). I followed suit. It was a sight to see.
When we arrived, I was reminded of the Marciano Art Foundation back in Los Angeles in the sense that we were about to view a family’s private collection. The difference being that the Rubell Collection is so very contemporary. Because of its proximity to the front entrance, I naturally began my visit with a viewing of “Poor Magic,” an animated video by Jon Rafman.
Creepy. Disturbing. Unsettling. Wonderful. And it really was a viewing “experience,” made so by the re-upholstered movie theater seats that Rafman designed for his audience to sit in. It was like settling into and getting comfortable with the grossness that lives inside us all.
We spent a good 90 minutes at the Rubell: the work was so varied in content and form. Video installations, kinetic sculptures, photographs, paintings. It was pretty amazing.
After we had our fill, we headed over to Fair., an exhibition that describes themselves as “an alternative noncommercial art fair that addresses gender inequality in the art world and beyond… .” Sited at super-fancy Brickell City Center—a mall that succeeds in reminding me of how I’ll need to marry rich if I’ll ever own clothes that don’t get holes in them—this exhibition is bold and assertive in taking a stand against the sexism and patriarchy that still plagues the art world.
Banners by Cheryl Pope hang from the rafters as you make your way to the main entrance of the exhibition.
We felt the presence of the Guerilla Girls—iconic billboards that I’d never had the privilege of seeing in person until now. All of the work presented was very activist in nature without being preachy or annoying—no killjoy feminism here. Especially damning was what I referred to as a “callout wall”: rows and columns, floor to ceiling, of posters naming galleries across the United States and Europe, listing the ratio of male-to-female artists on their respective rosters. The numbers are damning.
Just in case you are still dumbfounded as to how a buffoon (putting it politely) like Trump could be elected to the highest office in the land, here you go: patriarchy laid bare, infused in every level of every industry in the world. All told, Fair. is a powerful exhibition.
No parties to report on—I tried to rally the crew and myself, but something about the rain and temperature-drop (it’s frickin’ cold right now) made us crave the comfort of our beds and some girl talk.
One more day to go. Today.