January Second Saturday Art Walk Guide: A Feeble Economy, Gunpowder Sculptures and the Hysterical Sublime
|Second Saturday Madness|
Beginning at 6 p.m. this Saturday, several psychologically freighted new exhibits will riff on unnerving themes. Offerings will explore everything from the anxiety caused by a feeble economy to the harshness of living in contemporary society to notions of the hysterical and sublime.
You can also catch a whiff of the angst-ridden orchestrations of the GOP's top power-grabbers at a pair of shows mining notions of mass manipulation or Cold War annihilation. As the election season heats up, both these exhibits offer a timely reminder of how ultimately it's the public that gets burned by a scorched-earth approach to political campaigning.
Here are our picks for this month's edition of the Second Saturday arts crawl.
Rubem Robierb crumples cash to create a sort of inkblot test that evokes thoughts of a weary public struggling to make ends meet in an economy gone mad.The Brazilian artist crushed bills and photographed them against stark black backgrounds to create images that skew perception while inviting reflection on the influence of institutional power and the plight of the powerless. Use of ambiguous designs is an idea that goes back to artists such as Leonardo da Vinci and Sandro Botticelli. In 1921, Hermann Rorschach, a Swiss Freudian psychiatrist, invented his famous test based on inkblots designed to reflect subconscious parts of an individual's personality. But Robierb appears to be more engaged in a critique of our economic condition than experimenting with what makes people tick.
Curator's Voice Art Projects (2509 NW Second Ave., Miami) Call 786-378-6381 or visit curatorsvoiceartprojects.com.
Mauricio Gonzalez agitates the senses with a challenging exhibit delving into the chaos and harshness of contemporary society. His show features an imposing suite of sculptures created from discarded materials that are difficult to pigeonhole. Gonzalez's works appear to have been created in a slapdash fashion; they are the artist's spontaneous response to the unpredictable nature of his environment. Some bring to mind the fragmented armatures of skyscrapers left unfinished following Florida's building bust. At times seeming to teeter between structural balance and imminent implosion, his work speaks to the precarious state of our landscape and the jarring reality of the foreclosure calamity.
Fredric Snitzer Gallery (2247 NW First Pl., Miami) Call 305-448-8976 or visit snitzer.com.
Richard Höglund's third appearance at Gallery Diet features photography, works on paper, and video, and represents his ongoing research into the nature of the sublime. Those who have encountered his work at Diet in the past might remember the parsing of Benedict de Spinoza's Ethics in a series of conceptual translations recording human labor. But Diet's press announcement seems to indicate that Höglund might have switched from the cerebral to the visceral: "No longer a notion limited to the grandiose natural experience, the pain-pleasure paradox of the sublime is found within the fissures that compromise our constructed quotidians." It suffices to say that whatever this artist is up to, it's unlike anything he has offered before -- and it's likely to inspire deep thought and amusement.
Gallery Diet (174 NW 23rd St., Miami). Call 305-571-2288 or visit gallerydiet.com.