Whistle While You Work Pairs Aesthetics With Booze
Art Basel mania would seemingly prove that Miami loves art. At the very least, it loves the art of partying. Visual artists and bartenders, Autumn Casey and Laura Duran, detected some resonance between the closely aligned worlds of aesthetics and booze and created tomorrow's one-night-only installation Whistle While You Work.
The show is the third in a series of wholly immersive, location-based installations Duran and Casey have orchestrated. In December 2009, they rented out four rooms at the Shalimar Inn, a seedy Biscayne Boulevard motel with a dingy Art Deco facade, and filled them with site specific sculptures that constructed grimy visual narratives inspired by the setting.
Duran coyly describes the show as a "one-night stand," a pun on the 24 hour period in which the material was arranged, exhibited and taken down.
According to Duran, Whistle While You Work "is meant to be an experience of the work. These projects are meant to be exercises of our practice" -- shilling hooch, presumably -- "They are not panel style or a forum. This one in particular is a party."
In keeping with the party motif, and the pair's desire to use spaces outside of the gallery/warehouse circuit, the show will be hosted at Bachata dancehall, Club Tipico Dominicano. Though the curators have been tightlipped about the work, the event's parameters required participating artists to also be bartenders.
Sometimes that psyche is fraught with insecurity and self-doubt. "The subject of finding a 'real' job always comes up," Casey explains. "As if we are just in a bartending limbo that doesn't really have an end in sight."
Duran confirms this anxiety, and cites external sources as extra contributors: "At the first bar that I worked at, my asshole boss would always ask me why I kept going to art school if I would end up being a bartender."
As Casey reveals, the respective trades can be quite harmonious. "Bartending offers enough freedom and quick cash that making art usually calls for." In that sense, Whistle While You Work ultimately locates itself in the eternal self-reflection and self-distinction of the artist identity by the eternally self-reflecting, self-distinguishing artist.
Most tellingly, Duran adds that the greatest overlap between making work and bartending is "the arbitrary assignment of value - in both the art market and the club."
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