Whistle While You Work Pairs Aesthetics With Booze

Categories: Art
Miami loves the art of partying
Spend enough time at your local dive, and just about anything can seem like art. A mound of butts in an ashtray becomes worthy of the title installation. The bartenders, bouncers and drunks are performance artists, appropriating the machinations of a shithole ​filled with weirdos.

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.

The Shalimar Motel .jpg
Dana Bassett

Shalimar Motel .jpg
Dana Bassett
Sculpture by Kelly Williams inside one of the rooms at the Shalimar

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.

Still from, "Fuck it," Autumn Casey's video filmed at her day job, Churchill's Pub
"So many times you'll get the question, 'So what else do you to besides bartend,' Casey laments, "and I always have to take an existential pause on how to answer that." She continues, "Not that this show will answer that question either," but the pair do hope to set the psyche of the bartender on display.

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."

Whistle While You Work is tomorrow at Club Tipico Dominicano (1344 NW 36th St., Miami). The show starts at 7 p.m. and is curated by Autumn Casey and Laura Duran, featuring work by seven bartenders that are also artists: Nicholas Arehart, Autumn Casey, Cynthia Cruz, Cat Dove, Laura Duran, Jesse Laino, and Sleeper. Visit the event's Facebook page.

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Location Info


Tipico Dominicano

1344 NW 36th St., Miami, FL

Category: Music

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i don´t get it


You need a BIG personality to become a bartender.  Practise at home bartending basics. For instance, the most popular drink recipes, how to pour, cut fruit and open wine, etc... Here the link to an entire guide to landing a bartending job. Including resumes, interview questions, and what to wear http://www.bars-and-bartending... . One option to getting your foot in the bar is to work as a barback or waiter and show keen interest in learning from the current bartender until you're able to be bumped up to the bar. The other way is practise hard at home, maybe host a few parties where you can 'play' bartender, and then offer to work a free shift. The owners would be able to resist the idea and you're now in a position to prove yourself. If you impress them, they will definitely hire you because good bartenders are hard to find. If you aren't good enough, you still take away from the experience; more knowledge and probably a few more bar tricks and skills from watching other bartenders.  If you're all ready working at a nice establishment as a server, ask if you can come in on some slow shift and practise with the bartender. Or just go in on your own when their service is slow and ask questions. It will show your interest and initiative to learn and work hard.

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