Waiting for the next Art Basel...

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Day 6. Goodbye Party @ Shore Club

Well, this is it for 2005.
Exhaustion sets in.
We´ve covered almost fifty events and exhibitions in this short time. I can´t believe it myself. Exhaustion set in around midnight at the Shore Club.
Ecstatic exhaustion.

Art exhaustion.
Party exhaustion.
Event exhaustion.
Wonderment exhaustion.
In a week we´ll be looking back to this Art Basel as great, and looking forward to next year with big impatient eyes.
Right now, we are glad it´s over.
Nobody can take so much joy without falling apart. And already missing the excitement at the same time.

Go back in time day by day, blog entry by blog entry, post by post.

We loved every minute of Art Basel Miami Beach 2005. We hope you do too. EnJoy!

tomáš & jill

Click on any of the photos to see the full gallery of this event. Or click HERE to see a slide show. Lean Back and enjoy.

For the whole photo gallery line up look to the long list on the right side. Smile and be good.

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Day 6. Strike 6. SCOPE

Ahh Scope.
The end of the day but still more art to see. I was on a mission--a march of fun and it wasn't going to end until I soaked up as much inspiration as possible. We still had 2 hours before SCOPE closed for good. Enough time to see 5 floors and 70 exhibitors? Yes.

As soon as I arrived at the Townhouse Hotel--the space that hosts and is completely consumed by SCOPE--the warm and fuzzy memories of last year's show came flooding back. SCOPE takes art and intimacy to a whole new level. Each gallery/art collective rents a room in this small boutique hotel and does with it what they think best for the 4 days of the show. The visitors enter the hotel and are welcome to peek in, or spend as long as they like in someone else's bedroom. The rooms are not large and once you step in, it is you and the curator, or you and the artist, or you and the gallerist immediately hanging out together. I love the earnestness of exploration in this show's pieces. I love how many different things can be done with 4 white walls, a white epoxied floor, and a reasonably sized bathroom.

Video was much more prominent this year than last. Everyone and their mother had some sort of moving image on display, be it coming from a portable DVD player in a sink full of rocks, or a 42" flat screen playing a film of a teenager putting on make-up while a man has his way from behind, or a 2"x2" screen nestled inside a diarama of a sex shop. When a room was completely still and none of the art moved, it was almost novel, refreshing. Over stimulation is almost a standard at this point.

Admittedly a sucker for folk tradition and craft, I couldn't help falling in love with Greely Myatt and Memphis' David Lusk Gallery. Greely explained that the origin of his wooden quilt for the hotel room bed was a Tennessee grant application that called for collaboration. Since Greely is not one for collaboration, he decided to submit a proposal with his dead grandmother. She was a quilter and had inspired him to take quilting in new directions. Now he uses industrial detritus to create "quilts" that hang on clotheslines, drape on beds, or serve as rugs. Quilting got him into washboards.


More photos here. Or slideshow here

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Day 6. Strike 5. The Push Button House

As soon as I read about the push button house--a home inside a shipping container with operational walls and doors by Adam Kalkin--in the NYTimes Home and Garden Section, I wanted to see it. So, when I was finally in the area, I ran across the grassy field that is Collins Park only to find Adam and colleagues locking it up.

I literally fell down on my knees in despair.

Adam asked me how sad I was and I drew a giant globe--the radius of which was the length of my arms . "Very sad," I yelled as he headed to his car.

I didn't want to lay the guilt on too heavy, so I let him go.
He promised to put up a video of the house in action on his website


More photos of Jill´s despair here
Or... A slide show, so you don´t have to click thru.

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Day 6. Strike 4. Art Positions

Using shipping containers as their four walls, 20 galleries from around the world set up shop just behind Collins Avenue and just in front of the boardwalk around 21st Street in Miami Beach. The area is quickly becoming a hub of luxurious prominence, with the magnificent new Setai (see LaChapelle´s extravaganza) on one side of the gigantic parking lot and W residences & hotel ("from 700,000 to 15 million") on the other.

One gallery took this opportunity to crush their container and present it as their very customized, site specific installation.

Another container screened a video of a camera falling 17,000 feet out of a plane. The gallery had an addendum to their installation in the form of a giant Bourek in the park as an isolated sculpture. I love boureks--filo pastries common in central europe--so I ran over to go see it. This bourek is an airplane flattened and rolled, held together with a canvas strap and standing on its side!

Like everything at Art Basel, it was very sleek, very hip, very now. In case walking in and out of each of these shipping containers might wear you out a lovely cafe was set up in the center of the exhibit.

And if you wanted to lounge about, in an even more recumbent position, there was an audio installation replete with reclining beach chairs and iPODs.

Only in Miami, I say. Even if the iPODs were attached with a security wire....


More photos here.
Or slide show here.

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Day 6. Strike 3. NADA

What can you say when a circle with the hand written words Buy me. I´m at an art fair sells 50 times (this restriction was arbitrary, the gallerist only offered fifty)?
You can say... well, NADA.

Lots of art works with text were shown, some obvious if you come from New York

Some putting forward radical medical or personal advice

Some very personal cries of protest when you only get minimum wage to hang around all day. Or maybe his brother with the shirt "I´m only in it for the money" was on lunch break.

The fair was succesful. Many of the 80 gallery owners represented at NADA sold out their collection during the preview viewing. That left them with 5 days to schmooze with new/old artists, friends, curators, dealers with perhaps a little less pressure than usual. Still, they looked worn out by the end and I think will be happy to keep conversations to essentials only for a couple of weeks. Apparently, NADA people were envied by Art Basel Convention Center people for having access to daylight during the grueling days chained to their booth. No one said the Art World was a bowl of cherries.

tomáš and jill

More photos to give you an impression here.
Or the lazy persons version... a slide show.

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Day 6. Strike 2. Walk btw CIFO & NADA

Just creating some ideas and art of my own.
The continuation of a series we started with Jill a while ago at this building in Wynwood.
Walking the four short blocks from CIFO to NADA underneath I95 and getting to know the locals on the way we stumbled upon this one.

Not such a long title, but it fits the line.


More experimental photos here.
For a slide show click here...

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Day 6. Strike 1. CIFO (re)visited

Maybe it should not be that way, but the realities of chance decisions and tempting events left the last day to be the art day. And what better way to start the day with a panel discussion breakfast at the Ella Fontanals Cisneros Art Collection (ok, now that i used the full name I can revert to CIFO in the future).
Panel talks are often useful but boring. The one this morning with Marina Abramovic and Julian Rosenfeldt was great because their works were to be seen literally behind their backs. Rosenfeldt´s elaborate eternally moving people oriented video projects play six to a room and are fascinating in their arrangements. Abramovic´s tryst with a skeleton lying on top of her also has its moments.
And Fiona Tan´s downside up was more than beautiful irony at work. Shadows become main actors and humans, the shadow´s generators are just, well, their shadows shadows.
The entire museum, open only 3 days is for photography and video! When you have finished seeing the entire exhibit you don't feel depleted or that you took in more than you should have. It is the perfect size, very tightly curated, rich in terms of content, diverse in terms of nations/cultures represented and a welcome addition to the exponential growth of small to mid-sized private/public collections in Miami.

jill and tomáš

And the whole photo gallery is here.

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Day 5. Strike 6. 59th Street Warehouse

Not too many of the people at the 59th Street warehouse event also went to the Setai. Glad I called Amber Joy, the most amazing Firebird in existance, from the Setai pool Visionaire event and went over to this, which displaying lots of very psychedelic and also innovative art had the feel of a mini Burning Man (shameless plug: visit my Burning Man photo galleries). The best was the digeridoo headset. Cool idea, man!

The whole photo gallery is here.
And the slide show is here.

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Day 5. Strike 5. Visionaire @ Setai

Perhaps it was because of the cooler weather, or perhaps because there was no open bar, no 40 strikingly beautiful waiters rushing back and forth with edible delicacies, and no 6'7" naked drag queen dancing in a glass house in the middle of the pool, but somehow the Visionaire event felt lacking compared to the LaChapelle/Taschen event a couple of days ago at the same place.

But at least we got Kiehl's generous goodie bags, smartly taking them upon arrival, instead of assuming that they would be there when we left. This was some serious loot amidst the cut-throat Art Basel goodie bag hierarchy.

Jill and Tomáš

Photo gallery of this event is here. As always look to the long list of photo galleries to the right for more visual goodies.
Or lean back and let the slide show entertain you.

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Audio Bit. Flavor Tasting @ Visionaire

Taste the art!

Visionaire and IFF (International Flavors and Fragrances Inc.) teamed up to give a literal taste to artists' conjurings. A taste was produced in response to artist renderings of each of the following 12 concepts:

Can you imagine placing a 'taste-film' drenched in these flavors on your tongue?

Orgasm (Multiple Orgasm)
Click to hear a chat with one of the Flavorists (the audio file will open in your preset audio player)


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Day 5. Strike 4. Design District Party

ooops. we missed it. This page (un)intentionally left blank. We´ll have to see it thru Florencia´s eyes as I totally fell asleep for a couple of hours. Apologies to Mark Kostabi and Angelika, who´s shows I really wanted to visit in the Design District, but exhaustion sometimes dictates.

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Day 5. Strike 3. Art Basel . Exhibition floor

Was there something missing from our lives? Yes. Art. The main reason why all these masses are here. After seeing Pulse, the Design District shows, CIFO, the Wynwood collections, the MAC, the Video lounge and more tidbits here and there it was time to hit the exhibition floor, literally.

With 270 galleries present, representing 2000 artists from around the world, the convention center can easily overwhelm the weaker among us.

Jill and Tomas

The photo gallery is here.
Same photos in a slide show by clicking here.

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Day 5. Strike 2. Lunch @ Casa Blanca

There must be a reason I love this house. Maybe because before it became the Casa Blanca,

I used to share the house with some pretty interesting people (I´ll share the look of the very old house on the same lot we had with you if you want to see, just for comparison purposes). But, no. 24 South Hibiscus Drive has a special enchanted feel to it today too. And not only because Morgan, the only inhabitant from the old days of 2000, has a voliére bigger than the average New York City apartment (The New Yorkers invited to this party were certainly not average, however).

The peruvian beef tenderloin was exquisito (this remark coming from an Argentinian, who went back for thirds) and caipirinhas and vodka flowed in the blazing sun of a gorgeous Miami Beach midday. How many different vodkas does the world need? The one promoted at The Turchin was Polish. Whatever, who am I to say.
The art displayed (this is Art Basel after all, we have to keep reminding ourselves) was mixed in authorship and in the glory of it's creators.

See for yourself in this photo gallery
... and in this slide show.


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Day 5. Strike 1. Rosa de la Cruz´s House

Rosa. We love Rosa! Such a beautiful person.
On what must have been her 237th tour showing guests her collection her voice was hoarse, but her enthusiasm unfaltered. Always worth a trip over to Key Biscayne to drop in on her--apparently about 2,000 people also feel the same way and made the trek out to her surreally exquisite location. Breakfast was a very civilized affair, with muffins and strawberries on the rear lawn looking out onto the bay. Well heeled folks chatted and dined alongside Bozidar Brazda's Bogus Fellow Journey Man

--an installation consisting of a fallen parachutist, his reading material and his parachute caught in a tree. Somewhat gruesome but no challenge for the seduction of the modern white palace, the bright florida sun, and the mimosas.
Inside, we were handed 2 packets of a self-guided tour--one for each floor. The house's exhibit changes every year just in time for Art Basel. This year, there are almost 35 international visual artists and a variety of video artists represented within 30 rooms of the house (and the garden). All but 10 of the pieces were created in the 21st Century! The others are from the 1990's. Rosa curates and collects all the pieces herself and is clearly dedicated to supporting contemporary international artisits!On one of her tours, she explained that the theme running through this year's exhibit is cultural debris. Building on the idea that we cannot escape pop culture and the images therein, artists are again appropriating those which may have already been appropriated by our culture and repackaging within a new context, adding or teasing out additional significance.
On another tour, Rosa admitted that she has told her kids to "bulldoze the house when I'm gone. Who's going to want to buy a 16,000 square foot house with one bedroom?" Originally, this was the house she lived in. She kept buying more art that rendered her furniture invasive, so she kept removing the furniture and eventually had to buy the house across the street so that she could keep her bed. She told us this, she says, "just so we don't worry about her [welfare]." One of the attendees said, "we were concerned."By leading the tours herself with an infectious enthusiasm for life and art, she hopes to create a situation such that when people find themselves in a museum looking at contemporary works, they won't find it a hostile experience.I found her collection and the way she shared it to be tranformative. Although this is quite certainly a private collection, Rosa says the house is open to the public all year round. Just get in touch with her and make a reservation!


More photos of Rosa's House 2005 here. Or the same pictures in a slide show. For validation of the claim that almost everything changes in Rosa's house between Art Basels check Rosa's house in 2004, see Rosa's party in 2004 (it ain't going to happen again she says, 500 invitees, 1500 showed up) and Rosa's house in 2003. And many more photo galleries listed on the right.

Jill also did a wonderful house tour of Rosa´s house on the informative & entertaining Apartment Therapy site. Read the comments, some of them are hilarious ("Hey, toward the end of the slideshow was that a dead maid lying face down in the yard?"), but most deal with the fact that we all wish we´d live like Rosa, combing art & daily life in such a beautiful setting.

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