Five Free Museums in Miami This Weekend
|José Bedia's Tunkashila (Grandfather), 1995|
Two shows at MAM whisk viewers across the planet while addressing issues of globalization and the wanderlust of the spirit. "Transcultural Pilgrim: Three Decades of Work by José Bedia," boasts 35 works, including large-scale figurative paintings, drawings, and installations marking a major career retrospective. Bedia's work explores his Afro-Caribbean roots, ancient African and Native American religions and symbols, and the myths of indigenous cultures across the globe. A member of Cuba's vaunted generation of the '80s, when young artists experimented with new forms of expression often critical of the government, Bedia won international recognition in the first and second Havana Biennials. During the early '80s, he was also initiated into the Regla de Congo, part of a religion that arrived on the island with West African slaves. His faith is the foundation of his art, and a trio of 1984 drawings on view at MAM shows that the nganga -- or cauldron, the central icon of his religion -- is a recurring theme in his work.
In "Kimsooja: A Needle Woman," the Korean artist poetically explores the relationship between oneself and one's surroundings at a crucial moment in history, when the unrestrained forces of globalization and urbanization appear to be shrinking the planet and challenging the role of the individual. Between 1999 and 2001, the artist visited Tokyo, Shanghai, Delhi, New York, Mexico City, Cairo, Lagos, and London, filming herself standing amid streaming throngs of strangers in some of the planet's most crowded metropolises. Watching her videos is a visceral reminder of how the world's unbridled information flow, changing political climates, cross-cultural pollination, and dwindling natural resources unite people of different creeds, races, and faiths in their shared concern for the future.
Miami Art Museum, 101 W. Flagler St., Miami, Call 305-375-3000 or visit miamiartmuseum.org.
|Ragnar Kjartansson, "Song."|
At MoCA, this duo of offerings pairs an Icelandic warbler's operatic meanderings with one of America's most insatiable road trippers."Ragnar Kjartansson: Song" features Kjartansson's staged performances that straddle the line between playfulness and absurdist. They also reveal an innate sense of the operatic and combine haunting music, repetition, endurance and scenes of breathtaking natural grandeur. The sublime and subversive are also a hallmark of the Icelandic artist's works at MOCA boasting six epic videos and marking his first ever solo show in a U.S. Museum. But perhaps his most hypnotic opus is Song, which depicts Kjartansson's three nieces singing inside Carnegie Museum's Hall of Sculpture atop a circular platform covered in shimmering baby blue fabric as they gaze into hand-held mirrors and comb their flaxen locks not unlike otherworldly muses chirping seductive siren songs.
In "Ed Ruscha: On The Road," the Pop art pioneer's love of the road trip has led to the influential Los Angeles talent's exploration of Jack Kerouac's Beat classic On The Road in which the writer chronicled his experiences tripping across the winding asphalt between the United States and Mexico during the 1940's. Both Kerouac and Ruscha revolutionized the use of words to document the rapidly changing nature of the American cultural landscape. In 2009 Ruscha created a limited edition artist book version of Kerouac's classic novel and has since created a new body of paintings and drawings inspired by its feverishly written passages. The exhibit brings the two legendary figures of art and language together, transporting viewers back to a time when you didn't need a GPS to discover a new road side attraction.
Museum of Contemporary Art. 770 NE 125th Street, North Miami. Call 305-893-6211 or visit mocanomi.org.
2100 Collins Ave., Miami Beach, FL