Locust Projects' New Exhibits Force Viewers Outside Their Comfort Zones

Categories: Art, Culture
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The abundance of art in Miami is overwhelming, even to the point that its novelty is beginning to wear off. The methods by which your average art viewer encounters and appreciates art have become routine -- frustrating and inspiring artists to force their viewers into more interactive, more energetic experiences. That, at least, was the case for exhibiting artists Carlos Rigau and Karl Haendel at Locust Projects last weekend.

Stepping into Locust, attendees were greeted by darkness and the steady clicks of multiple projectors simultaneously going off, an epileptic's worst nightmare. Seating was intimately arranged to face neon rectangles projected on the wall as the night's first speaker, Miami-born and New York-based artist Carlos Rigau, introduced viewers to his piece, "Fighting, Kissing Dancing."

Rigau Fighting Kissing Dancing
"I proposed a design of a space where I would show other people's art works," Rigau said of the environment he initially created to showcase six short video works. Visitors enter a room illuminated by the neon rectangles in which they will see pieces by different artists highlighting their individual narratives and mis-en-scene strategies. The rectangles are a combination of the formats in which viewing occurs in cinema and television. "The rectangle [for cinema] is a 16 by 9 ratio and the other square is 4 by 3 [the ratio for television]. You put both those shapes together, you may have a new space.

"I'm interested in that, setting up a basis for perception," Rigau said. He is interested in the way perception is up to the individual because how a person sees things is how he/she eventually comes to understand them. The installation was part of the De La Cruz Collection for a year, where it curated three different exhibitions.

By Design Rigau
After a brief clip demonstration of "Fighting, Kissing Dancing," Rigau took guests back to the Project Room of the gallery for his featured piece, "By Design," a video sculpture made up of a low Formica wall and platform resembling retail shop fittings, supporting images and objects that resemble wood. Projected onto the wall is a video of smoldering flames and a gritty Miami.

After a studio visit with artist Christian Marclay in New York, Rigau took his his words to heart. "He kind of gave me this weird advice about doing something for your medium, so like, contributing and it will kind of give back to you, which is sort of how I came up with these ideas about videos and how to see it," he said.

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