Exhibition Catalogs

 
 
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August 2016

Editor, Alpesh Kantilal Patel

Abstract

mounir fatmi: Modern Times

This exhibition consists of a trio of video works by Paris-based and Morrocan-born mounir fatmi. "Modern Times," the centerpiece, was made in 2010 as a response to the accelerated construction of the metropolis in Arab countries that he felt mirrored the dynamism of the Western industrial revolution of the early 1900s. Events such as the 2011 protests and rebellions that spread across the Middle East, known as The Arab Spring, have potentially shifted the meaning of fatmi's elegantly constructed rendering of a machine composed of Arabic script. The other two videos explicitly reference the censorship and sensitivity around language. "Sleep," for instance, is a 3D rendering of Salman Rushdie who is well known for having written about the life of Muhammed that resulted in a fatwa, or call to murder for blasphemy. fatmi depicts him soundly sleeping despite the heightened situation. The other video" History is not Mine" is a response to the artist's own disillusionment of censure of a work in which he used images of the Koran that were presented not as the artist had intended. In this video, the artist finds himself unable to mobilize and shape language. All the works deal with language in different and not always literal ways, but overall the installation of the three works are meant to bring to the surface the slipperiness of interpretation rather than contain it as singular.

Location: Miami Beach Urban Studios Gallery, Florida INternational university
DATE: august 2016
Publisher: Squirrel + Fox Publishing
ISBN: 978-0-9968659-3-7


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May 2016

Editor, Alpesh Kantilal Patel

Abstract

Tom Scicluna: Concrete Feet

London-born Tom Scicluna explores the economic, spatial, and functional aspects of architecture by enacting three performative gestures that gesture toward the volatile economic value of Lincoln Road and that mark Miami Beach Urban Studios gallery as a flex-space for the seven departments in The College of Architecture + The Arts. The variable sculpture Concrete Foot 1 consists of the number of generic 12" x 12" pavers Scicluna could procure for $300, the rental rate/square foot of storefront property along Lincoln Road. Each weekday, Miami-based Scicluna will spatially re-configure the pavers to serve as pedestals for construction material found outside of the 420 building or furniture found at The Urban Studios, or as seating platforms for meetings, performances, and audiences. Concrete Foot II incorporates a piano, which is typically part of performances by musicians and music students. This piece will now also function as a pedestal for a rotating exhibit of architectural models created by FIU students in the architecture program at the Urban Studios. Finally, Concrete Foot III is the real estate neon sign installed at the entrance/exit of the gallery. As an ironic comment upon commercialism and reuse, the piece will be returned after the exhibition for a full refund from the store where it was purchased.

Location: Miami Beach Urban Studios Gallery, Florida INternational university
DATE: march-april 2015
Publisher: Squirrel + Fox Publishing
ISBN: 978-0-9968659-1-3


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May 2016

Editor, Alpesh Kantilal Patel

Abstract

Paul Donald: Cause Way

New Zealand-born artist Paul Donald has built a raised wooden walkway—like perhaps something one might see traversing a swamp in south Florida—from one side of the gallery to the other. However, plinths positioned near the front of the gallery not only obscure a full view, but also block physical entry. Sheets of plywood also cover the glass doors in the hallway. A few jaggedly cut holes in the plywood allow for a view of what is in inside the gallery—but again, only a frustratingly partial one. On top of the plinths are monitors on which video of the artist building the walkway in real time is looped; each monitor reflects roughly an hour of the artist’s work. In a dramatic manner, Donald re-directs our attention away from an artwork as a disembodied pure form or object to one as a product of the labor of the artist and a viewer’s always already mediated experience. That is, even the direct, live experience we expect to have in galleries as viewers is an implicitly constructed one.

Location: Miami Beach Urban Studios Gallery, Florida INternational university
DATE: September−October 2013
Publisher: Squirrel + Fox Publishing
ISBN: 978-0-9968659-2-0


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April 2014

Editor, Alpesh Kantilal Patel

Abstract

This Too Shall Pass: New Work by Saravanan Parasuraman

This is Saravanan Parasuraman’s first exhibition outside of India where the artist lives. The five works on display—all produced specifically for the FIU College of Architecture and The Art’s Miami Beach Urban Studio Gallery—are made of materials ranging from silicone and fiberglass to graphite and steel balls. This breadth of material investigation is consistent with Parasuraman’s belief that ideas and concepts drive his practice rather than being bound by a single medium. The major conceptual thread running through the works is an exploration of the blurred boundaries between the metaphysical and the physical, the corporeal and inorganic, and randomness and order. The installation allows viewers a copious amount of space to interact with the work—that is, space is generative not negative—and underscores the artist’s interest in foregrounding the relationship between bodies and objects. A visitor’s path, too, is left more ambiguous than fixed. The complexity of the works lie as much in their obscurity as in their subtle (but always elusive) reference to contemporary politics in South Asia or even the fishing culture of Chennai.

Location: Miami Beach Urban Studios Gallery, Florida INternational university
DATE: april 2014
Publisher: Squirrel + Fox Publishing
ISBN: 978-0-9968659-0-6


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December 2011

Editor, Jacek Kolasinski

Abstract

Transformation

Group Exhibition:
Pip Brant, Peggy Levison Nolan, Rolando dal Pezzo, Lissette Schaeffler, Harumi Abe, Gloria O'Connell, lvania Guerrero, Jacek J. Kolasinski + Anna Egea Vidal

On display is a selection of recent work by faculty teaching at Florida International University (FIU).  Each work explores an abstract idea or physical material in flux or between two states. Simply put, every work in the exhibition embodies a moment of change, or Transformation, the conceptual strand which holds together the exhibition’s four smaller, curated groupings. Alchemical & Atmospheric includes ethereal watercolors, sculptures composed of an admixture of seawater, debris, and muck from the Florida coastline, and metalwork that is neither solid nor liquid. The section titled Sublime De-Composition includes drawings, paintings, and photographs that tackle subject matter ranging from contemporary re-stagings of civil war battles and burial practices in the Yucatán to local and even otherworldly flora and fauna. The Un-Homely grouping is comprised of everything from video and photographs (some with text) to a painting and mixed-media work; these works explore the implicit creepiness of the idyllic domestic sphere as well as the desire to fuse seemingly disparate cultures. Finally, the paintings, ceramics, artist book, and photo-collage grouped under the rubric Unstable Signifiers upend conventional notions of the still life or ceramic figurine traditions to make biting social and political commentaries as well as challenge the integrity of words or commercial product labels as stable signs.

Location: Miami Beach Urban Studios Gallery, Florida INternational university
DATE: December 2011