DWNTWN Art Days Walking Tour: Nazi Photo Ops and Half-Naked Icelanders (Photos)
DWNTWN Art Days transformed downtown Miami this weekend with more than 130 public art events ranging from sidewalk dance performances to Reed van Brunschot's giant inflatable Godzilla swiping at the passing Metromover from the Christ Fellowship Church balcony.
It also featured a series of four unique walking tours led by artist T. Wheeler Castillo, who placed the downtown Miami art scene into larger historical contexts for his gaggles of humidity-and-art loving amblers. At least that was the idea. On the tour that Cultist tagged along for, we were too distracted too notice by the weird racist board games and the shirtless Icelanders whose jiggling bellies assailed our shores with all the lustful enthusiasm of their Viking forebears.
But join us anyway as we shake off the art hangover and look through our photos from the tour to see if, in spite of our best efforts, we learned something about downtown Miami art.
Our tour began outside this already popular condominium that is bound to become even more popular when folks realize that three of its floors are occupied by the Mitchell Wolfson Jr. Study Center. The space was previously Wolfson's private office but, like the Wolfsonian museum in Miami Beach with which this location shares its collection, Wolfson has donated it to FIU. It's open to the public but visitors need to make an appointment first because that's just polite.
The theme for this tour was the lasting legacy of the Aesthetic Movement on Miami art, and Castillo would be showing us downtown Miami art that placed a high premium on craft. Regardless of Castillo's fascination with this clipboard, it is not part of the Wolfsonian collection's of decorative objects from 1885 to 1945. Wait! Before you reject a museum based on it's clipboard dearth, it also has a ton of Nazi stuff!
"We have all the dictators well represented here," said Wolfsonian collections specialist Lea Nickless. "It's important to look to the past to prepare ourselves for what's ahead." As such, visitors to the Study Center are welcome to take their picture with a Nazi. Just remember that the real final solution to every problem is a smile.
But if your crypto-fascist toddler is getting antsy while waiting to be mobilized by an authoritarian vanguard, don't worry; the study center features an activity center with games for the kids.
Need more fun? It's also probably okay to step on this carpet.