Jun 072011

Enter the Nineties
June 16 – September 13, 2011
2nd floor exhibition space, Main Library, 101 W. Flagler Street, Miami
Reception: Thursday, June 16, 7-8:30pm
With special performances and a 14-foot inflatable moon courtesy of
Read review by Anne Tschida


This summer, as part of its year-long 40th anniversary celebration, the Miami-Dade Public Library System remembers the 1990s. That decade was a memorable time for the Library’s summer art tradition: exhibitions organized around one simple, culturally-loaded object or theme–shoes, boats, the alphabet, food, landscape, sound, dogs—with broad participation from many artists. Enter the Nineties adopts that format by inviting artists, writers, librarians, and cultural producers from Miami and elsewhere to trade zines (independent, do-it-yourself magazines or fanzines) with the Library. The Art Services and Exhibitions Department made a 90s throwback zine called Poetry and Power and will exhibit all the zines received in exchange.
Although zine culture dates back to the 1930s or before, many people made, read, and traded zines as part of the flourishing zine culture of the nineties. Some say a zine renaissance is happening right now. The exhibition title comes from ABC No Rio: Enter the Nineties, a 36-page photocopied zine about the history of the New York art/punk squat ABC No Rio. The show includes permanent art collection work from past summer shows along with an extensive array of zines and a lounge area for reading them.
An ever-metastasizing list of participants includes Kevin Arrow, Bhakti Baxter, Mark Boswell, Domingo Castillo, Rosemarie Chiarlone with Susan Weiner, Adalberto Delgado with Maria Amores, Karl Engle, Cristina Favretto, Abel Folgar, Mickey Garrote, Marilyn Gottlieb-Roberts, Adler Guerrier, Patricia Margarita Hernandez, Jay Hines, Kathleen Hudspeth, Jose Isaza, Matt Keegan/North Drive Press, Sky King, Dina Knapp, Hamlet Lavastida, Jillian Mayer; the Society for the Preservation of Lost Things and Missing Time (Division of Letters & Papers) with Raul Méndez, Anonymous, Frank Wick, René Morales, Liz Rodda, Solomon Graves, Emily Ginsburg, Joe Biel, Trista Dix, Nick Lobo, Tim Curtis, and more; Gean Moreno, Brandon Opalka, Ernesto Oroza, Yaddyra Peralta, Jenni Person, Christina Petterson with Elijah Peck, Proyectos Ultravioleta, Alice Raymond, Brian Reedy with Peter Santa-Maria, Claudia Scalise, Barron Sherer, Marc Snyder, Carol Todaro with J. Tómas Lopez, Liz Tracy/The Heat Lightning with Venessa Monokian, César Trasobares, the TM Sisters + P. Scott Cunningham and Matthew Abess, Odalis Valdivieso, Angela Valella, Marcos Valella, Michelle Weinberg, Agustina Woodgate with Stephanie Sherman, and Barbara N. Young with Robert Huff.
For context, Enter the Nineties will also include artists’ zines and publications recently added to the Library’s permanent art collection such as seminal artists’ periodicals Avalanche, Art-Rite, and New Observations; a 1996 zine guide to the Internet published by Paper Tiger TV West; Amy Sillman’s The O-G and Nicole Bachmann’s Me and My Friends; Latin American zines Carne (Venezuela), Vestite y Andate and Colorin Buc (Argentina); image-based zines by artists Beni Bischof, Özlem Altin, and K8 Hardy; and zine collections belonging to Kevin Arrow (including a complete run of Mike McGonigal’s Chemical Imbalance), WLRN Under the Sun producer Trina Sargalski, and Oly Vargas.
For more information, see www.mdpls.org or contact Art Services and Exhibitions at 305-375-5048 or delgadod@mdpls.org .
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  •  June 7, 2011
Jun 052011

Pawnshop e-flux
Kopfbau Basel (twitter)
June 15–18, 2011
Facing the main hall at the Messeplatz, go to the red building next to Art Unlimited (to the left end of the fountain), look for the currency exchange and the kopfbau sign, enter through the time/bank.
e-flux has been invited to develop a special project for the Kopfbau during Art Basel. The Kopfbau (head building) is the oldest building in the Messeplatz complex, slated for demolition later this year. In response to this invitation, e-flux developed a constellation of projects situated somewhere between exhibitions of art and the concrete forms of sociality encountered in everyday life. Conceived as an independent universe with its own bar, hotel, shops, admissions, and so forth, this project operates in parallel, and as the inverse to the neighboring art fair: operating during alternative hours and in surprising and often paradoxical ways, and ranging in scope from the educational to playfully predatory and mercantile. Its component parts draw on a wide circle of institutions, artists, curators, and writers who have been involved with various e-flux projects over the past several years and comprise seven discrete projects, including:
Basel Pawnshop—both an exhibition and an artwork in itself, Basel Pawnshop mediates the complex choreography of art and money. As a fully functional pawnshop, it has an inventory of over a hundred art works, some made specifically for this occasion. Artists who have contributed to the Pawnshop include: Armando Andrade Tudela, Michel Auder, Michael Baers, Luis Berríos Negrón, Marc Bijl, Andrea Büttner, Annika Eriksson, Peter Friedl, Joseph Grigely, K8 Hardy, Christoph Keller, Annika Larsson, Kenneth Lum, Gustav Metzger, Darius Miksys, Gean Moreno & Ernesto Oroza, Bernardo Ortiz, Olivia Plender, Julia Scher, Tino Sehgal, Nedko Solakov, Eric Stephany, Jalal Toufic, Bik Van der Pol and Marion Von Osten among others.
A Guiding Light—Liam Gillick and Anton Vidokle stage and film Episode 2 of A Guiding Light, originally commissioned by the Shanghai Biennial and produced by New York’s Performa in 2010. The project combines a theoretical text by Franco Berardi (Bifo) with the structural analysis of a1952 episode of the television soap opera, Guiding Light, to stage a production that shifts between analysis and self-critique. Captured by several cameras, the resulting film preserves the soap opera’s signature stage blocking and repeated cuts, while highlighting the differences and difficulties encountered when attempting to capture the potential of art today.
Agency of Unrealized Projects (AUP)—a temporary office that exhibits a growing archive of several hundred unrealized art projects, comprising contributions received through an open call, as well those originally collated by Hans Ulrich Obrist and presented in the book Unbuilt Roads (1993). AUP presents works by Judith Barry, Heman Chong, Jimmie Durham, Yona Friedman, Philippe Parreno and many others.
Guesthouse Basel—a free, five-day residency for young artists, curators, critics and gallerists, organized in collaboration with Städelschule, Frankfurt, inspired by the legendary Gasthof event that took place in Frankfurt in 2004, during which Rirkrit Tiravanija and Daniel Birnbaum radically transformed the art academy into a free hotel for numerous young artists visiting Documenta in Kassel.
Time/Bank Currency Exchange—a Time/Bank outpost where time currency (designed by Lawrence Weiner) can be obtained in exchange for other currencies, biological time, ideas, services and commodities. Time/Bank proposes an alternative economy in which individuals and groups in the cultural fields can trade time, skills and commodities to get things done while circumventing money. www.e-flux.com/timebank
The Book Coop: e-flux journal & network—features art books, magazines and other types of publications from members of the journal network, a group of around 200 international art centers, art book stores and independent publishers that self-publish and distribute the print-on-demand e-flux journal.
Salon Aleman (the return!)—a rooftop bar inspired by the original Salon Aleman, the basement bar that operated from 2006–2007 in the basement of Unitednationsplaza, Berlin.

Apr 102011

TABLOID #8: This tabloid was produced by Gean Moreno and Ernesto Oroza for the exhibition DECOY. Farside Gallery 2010. Miami, FL.
Textile pattern by Tonel, mass produced as part of the cultural initiative TelArte, Havana 1987, altered by Gean Moreno and Ernesto Oroza, 2010.
Special thanks to Tonel for allowing us to use his work.
8 pages. Blue. Edition of 1000

From press release:
(Miami, FL) -For the exhibition Decoy, Ernesto Oroza and Gean Moreno are producing an abstracted interior in the guise of a reading room. In it, nothing is what it seems: a graphic/decorative figure is actually a schematized image pulled from a partially successful effort to join art and mass production (TelArte); the typology of a bench is folded into that of a table which, in turn, is folded into that a display structure; a set of funky tiles stand in as shorthand diagrams of procedures witnessed at the local salvage yard from where they were reclaimed; a tabloid (as a medium for information distribution) is inseparable from a wallpaper as a decorative structure, but the wallpaper presents its own non-decorative information; cushions sewn out of old T-shirts double as a starting archive of graphics that have taken root in our vernacular landscapes. Things acquire two and three identities and negotiate precarious balances between them. Somewhere in all this, one can begin to discern what is important to Oroza and Moreno: crisscrossing functional patterns in order to produce astute artifacts; testing the possibility of objects feed on tactical logics which, despite their proclivity for tending to the necessary with impressive economy, are all-too-often relegated to one kind of margin or another; formulating tentative theorems on what possibilities are still viable and vital for object production and urban experience.

Mar 112011

“Marble is a material that results from the encounter of powerful natural forces; colored veins are the result of a fluid of magma that penetrates the limestone rock. To mineralogists, these shapes that we consider beautiful are, in fact, impurities that invaded the rock. Any piece of marble in Vizcaya may be considered the diagram of a similar process of contamination that has occurred during the life of the building.
Similarly, for almost a century, Vizcaya has been exposed to the pressures of individual, social, economic and institutional forces, in an ongoing process of contamination. One of the most powerful and pervasive of these forces was Paul Chalfin (1873-1959), the artistic director who created Vizcaya’s fantastic interiors twisting and playing with the canon of European decoration. Other major transformations occurred after 1953, when Vizcaya became a museum. For example, to protect artifacts from visitors panels of plexiglass were placed over many surfaces. It was as if a transparent plastic vein had invaded the stone body of the building. Vizcaya itself can be seen as an intrusion into the Miami tropical landscape of 100 years ago.”
Ernesto Oroza, 2011

Feb 112011

Curated by Nicholas Frank
University of Wisconsin – Milwaukee Peck School of the Arts
Curator’s Statement
Download Tabloid printed for the exhibition

Ernesto Oroza’s “Architecture of Necessity” chronicles the inventive solutions that arise under conditions of severe economic limitations, such as those in his native Havana. The island nation of Cuba has been embargoed and isolated for decades and restricted by an authoritarian government, and deprivation is the norm. Though private production is illegal under the current system, people invent the things they need, and make changes to their built environment as necessary.
Oroza’s work (in essays, photographs, collected and reconstructed objects) documents the range of inventive solutions borne out of these conditions, while charting a moral course for social discourse and development.
The exhibition at Inova will feature a combination of interior design and architectural elements, along with documentary photographs of architectural modifications in Havana, and video detailing various household inventions. Inova will publish an edition of Oroza’s Tabloids, an ongoing project that conveys ideas and visual information in an inexpensive and widely distributable format. The Inova tabloid will act as the exhibition publication for the concurrent shows (Matthew Girson and Jeanne Dunning), and contain information specific to the Milwaukee community. We are grateful for the support of the Walker’s Point Center for the Arts and Aprenda Invertir (Miami).
This is Oroza’s first exhibition in the Midwest.

“The need for raw materials converts these places into very selective “black hollows”. All the plastic objects from the surroundings were absorbed by the mechanism, a kind of industrial cannibalism. Hordes of plastic prospectors were collecting containers from everywhere to feed the monster that was expelling little heads of Batman at the other side. Sometimes families were living with the machines inside the house, not in a patio or a cellar. A room during the day can transform itself into a plant to produce electric switches, pipes or hoses. Photos of children on the wall of the house and a small bedside table now used as a toolbox reappraised the past of the space.”
From: Menu, BaptisteRéactions en chaine Interview with Ernesto Oroza. Azimuts 35, Cite du design, 2010.


Interview with Ernesto Oroza
By Baptiste Menu

(The english version of this interview was published in the special tabloid printed for the exhibition Ernesto Oroza. Architecture of Necesitty, INOVA, 2011) (French version)

Baptiste Menu What you call “technological disobedience” is questioning the life cycle of western products, by multiplying the industrial objects’ length of use up to the limit of their possibilities of use. This system is now possible thanks to the reconsideration of the industrial object under the hand-craft aspect.
Which forms of organization does this creative re-conquest of industrial objects take?

Ernesto Oroza I think the fact of reconsidering the industrial product from a hand-craft perspective encourages shrewd practices in contrast with the artificial voracity and activates more human temporary relations, like the repair, can authorize questions about the obtuse nature of the contemporaneous industrial object. When you open an object to fix it, there is a crack in the authority system which is set up. We see the internal organs of an authoritarian logic that imposes itself not only through a product but also through a system sequence : the objects integrate authoritarian families, share an infinite succession of reinforced generations. And this domination even precedes the arrival of the object at home; indeed its first domination takes place in the mass media. That’s why I used, in the ‹Rikimbili. Une étude sur la désobéissance technologique en quelques formes de réinvention› book, the image of Fidel Castro on the national television selling to Cubans a Chinese product used to boil water. The image couldn’t be much redundant and excessive in terms of imposition. When I talk about authority, I want to link it with all the logics these products induct, starting with the imposition of their scheduled life cycle.
Concerning your question about the forms of organization that qualify and diversify the hand-craft revision of the industrial in Cuba, I would comment one of them, which is fundamental to me: the accumulation. It seems to be a passive act, not creative, but it is literally the organizational starting point of the phenomenon. I grew up in a family where we kept everything and everything seems to have a potential. Each object accumulated by my mother can perfectly be useful in a situation of future shortage. The accumulation is in fact an emergency exit from an inopportune crisis, but it becomes a habit, because of distrust. The accumulation is regularly the first gesture in the production process and it has an absolute manual nature. That is to say that from the accumulation yet, you begin from a hand-craft point of view to be disrespectful to the life cycle integrated in the western industrial object. You infinitely postpone the moment of its waste by separating it from its assigned route. I think that the fact of accumulating things inserts an alteration, a notion of time, in the Cuban vernacular practices and this new own time organize them, give them the form of a parallel and productive phenomenon. I also said that the fact of accumulating is not only the suspicious fact of piling up objects. Well, when you do that you accumulate ideas of use, constructive solutions, technical systems and archetypes in general that can flourish when the situation gets worse.

Illustrations from: Con nuestros propios esfuerzos. Editorial Verde Olivo, 1992

Illustrations from: Con nuestros propios esfuerzos. Editorial Verde Olivo, 1992

BM I have the sensation that an important concept runs through your work, the material-object notion. Can you develop this idea, please?

EO I’ ve been writing recently on the issue related the re-use of generic objects as buckets or milk crates in precarious contexts like in Little Haiti, in Miami. Even if the situations are different, Cuba is characterized by a profound shortage and the US by an excess of products. In each case, there are social groups living in bad conditions. I met in each territory similar patterns of behaviour. It seems that people in these circumstances generally perceive their material universe in a discriminative way. They are just interested in the physical qualities of the objects that surround them. It’ s a diary process, an appropriate activity. When we look at the object from the exterior, we can understand it as the potential and real re-conversion in raw material of all the elements that integrate the environment of the individual. This process begins by erasing the objects’ and parts’ meanings present in our culture. That is to say that an individual recognizes in a bucket a kind of cultural profundity. But, when he is in a situation of need, he will just perceive it like an abstract compilation of materials with forms, edges, weight, structures. We can make a very familiar parallel with the relation of use we have with the natural world. It is normal to take a stone to hold a door or a branch to reach a fruit. The rhetorical or historical value of the stone won’ t be important when you need to let the door open, only its weight. A bucket full of water can only be used to block a door. The relation we maintain with things in both universes (natural and generic) comes from a unique condition: the two objects, the branch and the milk crate, suffer from identity. They seem to be foreign to the system of sense production, foreign to the culture. A plastic box to distribute milk is an abstract and autistic object, dumped through a circle of very specific requirements and that’ s why an object is accessible thanks to its excessive production. I wonder if the description fits with the branch or the stones’ one. For sure, the box has a social function, but its conception has been so much optimized that the human aspect has just become a value, a dimensional data within the plastic surface of the object, as it is for the weight of a litre of milk or the storage capacity of the truck that supplies it. The milk crate is a field sown with physical qualities, potentialities that will become more visible as far as we will have more needs, and it is also a field empty of sense. Its figure is so quiet in terms of image that its indifference and the indifference of the system producing it overwhelm us. Everyday the box travels full and comes back empty. It takes parts in a loop that could remain active for the eternity. If a box goes out the loop, lost or damaged, another one will replace it. If the world suddenly halts, the circle made by the boxes of milk in the city would continue to flow. We would be frightened by its social indifference, its pensiveness, the silence its centripetal move produces. But, around this circle or in a tangential scheme, there are circles of human activities eroding the perfection of the rational system where the milk crate subsists, splintering. The surrounding zones of the markets where milk is distributed are full of milk crates used like urban seats or used for other activities like car washing or water selling. In order to explain you how this occurs in Havana, we can use the example of the fan repaired thanks to a telephone. A quick glance to the object will carry us away from the art field of senses, from the readymade and from the index of associative resources of the Dada where the humour articulated with the image takes our look and our understandings. Nevertheless, for the repairman, the telephone is the unique form, similar to the original prismatic base, he could access to. When the telephone broke, he didn’ t throw it, the necessity made him suspicious. This telephone had been made in the ex-German Democratic Republic as it seems it stayed ten years under the bed or in a wardrobe. When the body of the fan broke, perhaps because of a fall, the family should be worried. A temperature of forty five degrees centigrade is a very difficult situation, the impossibility of replacing the object, because of the excessive disparity of wage, closes the debate. He has to assume the repair ; the accumulation he continued for years has a parallel existence in his memory. He remembers the old telephone. He only takes into account the physical attributes of the object. The angles and the internal plastic nerves that shape this prism with rectangular base assure the stability of the fan. The symbolic association that could appear after the repair are invisible for him. The pragmatism makes the reconstructed body of the object avoid any kind of symbolic construction intent. In Cuba, the process looks more severe as it begins with the flattening of the object’ s identity. In the US, the generic object seems to hide its identity, it yet comes flattened. From this, for the people of the Havana and from Little Haiti, a new field to pick physical virtues is open. Finally, I recently begin to associate this phenomenon to the ideas of Oswald de Andrade, specifically to his Cannibalistic Manifest (one thousand, nine hundred twenty eight). Helio Oiticica uses it to elaborate the “Super-cannibalism” concept considering an “immediate reduction of all the influences exterior to the national model”. By focusing the process on the productive universe and on the Cuban material culture, I can’t stop seeing it, literally like a super chewing, a super riding. It’s a violent action, in cultural terms, against the colonial material universe that surrounds us and which seems to be unable to solve the people life. But it is, over all, a foundation gesture to implement practices of disobedience from which it is impossible to evacuate ideological components around a culture of resistance.


Illustrations from: Con nuestros propios esfuerzos. Editorial Verde Olivo, 1992

BM In this context, you study the way Cubans have been able to re-appropriate the means of production and to develop what you call “the vernacular industrial production”. What is this?

EO I consider it like an appropriation of the productive management, but not of the productive system. The State means have been idle for a long time. The industry paralyzed. There was no raw material and the government had lost its markets.
The Cubans created a parallel productive space, constructed machines in their houses, workshops, tools. In some cases, they parasitized the State industry where they were working; creating productions on the sly, with illegal timetables, but it is not the most usual method. The lamp of extracted acrylic we showed in the book ‹Objets réinventés› connects the two variants: the appropriation of State productive means and the creation of parallel means of production.
It was discovered by some workers during a power cut in the nineties. When the blackout occurred, the Japanese machine used to produce rods for artificial insemination remained full of acrylic in its pipes of extrusion. So, it was necessary to drain it manually and in emergency. The acrylic expelled drew in the room elliptic lines and came tough, forming a complete figure and decorated by the gravity. With their gloves put on, they began to model in the air and to experiment forms that resulted ashtrays, centrepieces… I think that the workers had been waiting with joy and for a long time the forthcoming power cut. They had a legal protection to produce: they just had to save the machine from an obstruction and this liberation allowed they to produce something they could conserve, the expelled material was considered as a waste. One of them thought he could create such a machine at home; the device used to produce fritters was an analogous model. Since then, they did not need the State productive space anymore. They did not need either the Japanese machine that was ordered a power cut each three days. The access to the acrylic was the most complicated thing, but a black market appeared for this product. There were warehouses with immobile raw materials. The State had remained paralyzed, shocked by the crisis impact and he didn’ t react. The individuals found very quickly the responsibility in them for the productive management. The implementation of a familial industry in the ninety’ s, still active, is bound to the production of plastic and aluminium objects. The scale of the productions was so big and visible that they needed a patronage, a legal source of income and support. It is not the same thing to sell illegally ten lamps of kerosene made with beer tins and to sell three thousand plastic glasses. Indeed what was called “the local industries” came on stage. It was a State institution that gave job opportunities to some craftsmen and workers. It was unifying small workshops spread all over the city a long time before the revolution: printers of Linotype, workshops of sewing, of cobblers, workshops to produce craftworks. When the crisis appeared, the local industry was the unique skilled model the State had to regulate the vernacular productive torrent. It was used as a mediator to access to the raw materials, to distribute goods and later as a controller of the tax paying, to keep an eye on the illegal practices and appropriate the inventiveness and the popular effort.
The workshops in houses turned into living systems in the centre of the city. They employed young people of the area. Sometimes you could see them enter stealthily behind a tree: it was the thin access to an improvised cellar where there were two or three machines of plastic injection. The mechanisms were incredible, they produced them by themselves. Also the moulds. The need for raw materials converts these places into very selective “black hollows”. All the plastic objects from the surroundings were absorbed by the mechanism, a kind of industrial cannibalism. Hordes of plastic prospectors were collecting containers from everywhere to feed the monster that was expelling little heads of Batman at the other side. Sometimes families were living with the machines inside the house, not in a patio or a cellar. A room during the day can transform itself into a plant to produce electric switches, pipes or hoses. Photos of children on the wall of the house and a small bedside table now used as a toolbox reappraised the past of the space. I can’ t stop using these examples to answer you. In the order of the definitions, I think that the words “domestic or familial industrial production”, allow determine a more complete form of production that holds an implicit increase of the series characteristic and of the volume of production, but that remains especially associated to the house and that mixes its activities with the domestic tasks of the family. Other vernacular and familiar features in these productions, responding to appropriation gestures, can be found in the elaboration of the designs and in the inspiration sources. In a certain way, the objects present in the house before the crisis supplied a guide to get some values by appropriating the form of a glass. They used its dimensions, decorations, ergonomic values. The family recycled the formal universe coming from the exchanges of Cuba with the communist Europe. It had a second life embodied in the multicolour plastic or aluminium.

Illustrations from: Con nuestros propios esfuerzos. Editorial Verde Olivo, 1992

Illustrations from: Con nuestros propios esfuerzos. Editorial Verde Olivo, 1992

BM In front of a perpetual emergency, these practices of reinvention extend themselves to all fields of the everyday life. You say that “the city takes place at the biological rhythm of the house”, a strong image you employ is the potential house. Would you please tell us more about this thin link between the Human and its constructed environment?

EO The crisis persistence and the hope loss in the socialist government productivity generated a mentality, a social being that I called, revisiting Le Corbusier: the Moral Modulor. I talk about an individual or a family pushed in some circumstances under the poverty line (below zero would say Glauber Rocha).They can proceed to a moral reinvention. Their actions will occur in a threshold or a moral frequency where you can’t see old historical and esthetical values, social status, urban standards and codes of citizen behavior in general. That is to say, all these conventions relative to an order now hostile and restrictive of the family survival will be questioned. The individual will register this freedom in his spaces and objects, next to the order of his foot; he will set up an unknown moral dimension. The house, and the city by extension, becomes a continuous diagram of the shrewd relations of the individual with his needs, the contextual limits and the available resources. I told in other occasions that the facades are like films displayed from the middle of the house to the exterior. They talk about the past and the recent life of the family. Indeed, they announce plans, threaten of invasions or inform on future metamorphosis and fusions: staircases which don’ t fit to any side, walls that figure expanding to all interstices, baths open to the public sight, terrace roofs invaded by materials and heterogeneous accumulations. The house like a finished entity doesn’t exist anymore. The house is like an organism that auto-constructs itself in time to the human rhythms living in it. What I call Potential House, or more recently Convergent House, is a way to live in the process (of living). I think there is no better diagram to explain the relations you ask me than the houses themselves, their surfaces, spaces and structures.

Stills from Untitled (cabaret a la deriva), 2011

Stills from Untitled (cabaret a la deriva), 2011

Jan 032011

Improvising Architectures Christy Gast, Adler Guerrier, Nicolas Lobo, Ernesto Oroza, Viking Funeral, Graham Hudson, Felipe Arturo, Heather Rowe and Carlos Sandoval de León

Curated by Gean Moreno
Project opening January 13th 2011
Press release:
Improvising Architectures
Over the last decade there have a been a number of exhibitions dedicated to Miami artists. These have been excellent at presenting a generation of homegrown artists, and explaining its internal dynamics and its relationship to previous generations that migrated to, and continue to work in the city. What these exhibitions haven’t done as consistently is place the work of Miami artists alongside that of their international generational peers in a concrete way–that is, by literally presenting the work side-by-side, on equal footing.
It is only by doing this that we can begin to gauge how these artists fare in an international context. One the one hand, the similarities that Miami artist may share with their international counterparts will surface, disclosing how their work fits within international trends. On the other hand, their differences will also shine through to reveal what new positions they bring to an international dialogue. One of the goals of Improvising Architectures is to begin this process of presenting Miami artists within a larger context in a systematic way. It will showcase the work of five Miami artists–Christy Gast, Adler Guerrier, Nicolas Lobo, Ernesto Oroza and Viking Funeral–along side that of artists who live in London (Graham Hudson), Bogotá (Felipe Arturo), and New York (Heather Rowe and Carlos Sandoval de León).
Another goal of the exhibition is to take improvised architectural spaces as figures through which to think a world of globalized networks. What is the relationship between “nomadic” structures or improvised buildings and a world that is, at once, more connected and more disconnected, more prone to swift changes precisely because it is a world of expanding horizons? What happens when a sense of the precarious begins to be felt everywhere? Of course we need not think of all this so literally. What of discursive or mental architectures–ways of seeing the world–that need to be improvised to keep up with the velocities and changes that cut right through our everyday lives? The improvised dwelling site is a metaphor for ways of thinking that need to be light enough to change quickly as disruptions and alteration continue to reorganize the world for us. The sculptures and installations in this exhibition allude to the informal architectural structure as a double metaphor. On the one hand, as the trope for a type of building that recognizes the world as a series of forces that can change everything in an instant. And, on the other hand, as a metaphor for the kind of thinking that is necessary in a world that is increasingly characterized by erratic shifts, proliferating information, and expanding vistas.

ENTER THE DRAGON Pop-up shop, Ernesto Oroza, 2010


Customized vinyl adhesives tiles, fluorescent lamps, prints


Customized vinyl adhesives tiles, fluorescent lamps, prints


Hay imágenes que tienen la capacidad de cambiar el sentido de una práctica. Una de ellas es No-Stop City, fue elaborada por Archizoom in 1969.

El grupo creó y divulgó decenas de dibujos, fotomontajes y fotografías de modelos que diagramaban este fatalismo urbano que es la ciudad genérica. Su propuesta interpretaba y anunciaba en los nuevos espacios de producción y consumo (fábricas, supermercados y grandes mall), un modelo real para urbanizaciones interiores totales, espacios fluidos con capacidad infraestructural para atender a todas las necesidades de los habitantes. Si bien la tesis de Archizoom iniciaba con un análisis crítico-realista al sistema capitalista y específicamente al estado de hyper consumismo, sus creaciones se enfocaron en mostrar paisajes premonitorios en los cuales quedaríamos habitando, obligatoriamente y quizás acosados por un espacio exterior árido y contaminado, reductos interiores ambientados y normalizados por una incipiente, en aquel entonces, burocracia global capitalista.

Entre 1970 y 1972 el colectivo da a conocer un conjunto de nuevas fotografías de maquetas realizadas al centro de una estructura prismática formada por cuatro espejos. Cada set acogía un mini universo modélico y lo expandía por medio de la percepción fotográfica hacia un sinnúmero de reflexiones. Una palma, unas columnas metálicas, una alfombra, una moto, una cocina, una casa de campaña, algunas rocas se usaron indistinta o conjuntamente para crear los paisajes interiores de No-Stop City. Los únicos límites visibles en la perspectiva se lograban con las representaciones de pisos alfombrados y pavimentados, falsos techos reticulados iluminados, paredes de panelería metálica o plástica modulares.


Un ambiente micro climatizado y alumbrado artificialmente es la condición perpetua de estos modelos que devoran nuestra mirada, repetición tras repetición, en una perspectiva sin fin. Aun aquellos que representan un paisaje exterior con zonas de césped, e incluso árboles y edificios, parecen producirse en un interior con luces y clima controlados hasta la infinitud. Y es que las distinciones efectivas entre áreas y funciones, entre exteriores e interiores, espacios de producción y consumo (y desecho), entre sitios de trabajo y descanso o recreación parecían colapsar una y otra vez en cada célula especular. Es posible que las funciones enmarcadas y la especialización de áreas hubieran producido interrupciones en la perspectiva deseada para esta metrópolis fluida. Al suprimirlas, apostando por un imperativo visual que favorecía la indiferenciación de zonas de uso, predijeron la condición invasiva, desparramada y ubicua (en términos funcionales, métricos y logísticos) de la materia genérica contemporánea.

Siempre he creído que la imagen de No-Stop City, como un modelo de expansión solo pudo ser imaginado sobre otra figura de invasión: la de la Roma imperial. Aunque la tipología fluida y la escala mega estructural de este proyecto urbano pudiera tener antecedentes formales en la New Babylon de Constant y comparte esos mismos rasgos con el Monumento Continuo de Superstudio, las urbes conectadas de Archigram y la ciudad espacial de Yona Friedman, entre otros proyectos de la época, se distingue de estos al colocar como energía generativa al capital, los modelos económicos transnacionales, el lenguaje convencional de lo genérico, las normas y su instrumentación.


Las maquetas y diagramas usados en prácticas proyectuales como la arquitectura, el diseño y el urbanismo se comportan como caballos de Troya. Son, frecuentemente, objetos de traición y decepción. Lo que parece ocurrir es que por mediación de su capacidad anunciadora estos modelos promueven también, sin que esto sea un propósito, las realidades de su propio tiempo. Es decir, albergan en su cuerpo de madera, cartón y plástico las realidades tecnológicas, ideológicas y económicas que el arquitecto radical está criticando y pretende superar. Estas realidades no solo se asientan en las materias del modelo sino que parasitan inequívocamente los vehículos para la trascendencia del mismo. Viajan en el tiempo, la realidad y su crítica, hasta derretirse en un solo cuerpo.

Cada hito intelectual está constreñido, atrapado en el lenguaje proyectual de su tiempo y en muchas de aquellas visionarias propuestas de los 70´ se transpira hoy la presencia de afectadas ideologías tecnológicas, las ineficiencias para trascender de las técnicas y formas de comunicación de su tiempo y esa incapacidad que tiene el imaginario tecnológico para adelantarse al futuro.


Un año atrás, mirando fotografías de los modelos de No-Stop City en el último libro publicado sobre el grupo, descubrí pequeños accidentes en los bordes de las maquetas, restos de pegamento, desniveles, polvo, manchas, fisuras. Creo que estas intrusiones no fueron producto del envejecimiento, pues las fotos debieron tomarse inmediatamente tras la fabricación de los modelos, sino que -formaron parte del proceso constructivo mismo. Noté después que estas minúsculas imperfecciones y las costras se multiplicaban también en los espejos creando un nuevo patrón de repeticiones que una vez visto no puede ser obviado.

En la nueva imagen (ya no puedo recuperar la anterior) cohabitan la palma (recurrente en los proyectos de Archizoom) con cúmulos de basura y arañazos. En la unión entre el falso techo y las columnas abunda la entidad amorfa, el resto de pegamento, que en el ámbito de la representación del modelo parece baba chorreada, una y otra vez hasta el colapso del horizonte, por algún -monstruo que habita el exterior de No-Stop City. Sobre la superficie pulida de columnas y volúmenes multi-funcionales de acabados genéricos (Formica, Abet Laminati) se deja ver una capa de polvo con una escala y cantidad tal que asusta: el polvo devino una inagotable escombrera. Los espejos devinieron un medio viral insuperable, un surtidor de eczemas, un sistema reproductivo artificial que nunca antes alojó mejor la metáfora de la metrópolis genética autogenerativa que Branzi, hasta hoy, propone.

Expandiéndose perennemente a lo largo de este paisaje urbanístico, las manchas y errores también han trascendido en el tiempo. Quizás en las maquetas, que hoy conservan colecciones como la del Centre Pompidou, se ha complicado el asunto de estas manchas. Quizás ya produjeron sus propios mohos y hongos, unos minúsculos ecosistemas. Puedo imaginar esas entropías intrusas consolidándose con un aburrimiento especular. Células voraces reproduciéndose, o batallando por sobrevivir como Bruce Lee en Enter the Dragon (1973), alimentándose de los ácidos y otras materias orgánicas de la cola, las tintas y el papel. Y cada célula feroz repitiéndose miles de veces más, de verdad y en los espejos. Habitando un modelo para hacerlo mas eficiente en su carácter pedagógico y representacional, afinando su premonición de la metrópolis no figurativa constituida y normada por las reglas métricas y morales que impone la sobrevivencia, por las convenciones sociales, por astucias tan inevitables que recurren hasta devenir patrones de comportamiento previsibles y por tanto débiles y necesariamente reemplazados por otras nuevas astucias.


Pero hay una condición de tiempo fundamental en estas maquetas y sus fotos. Cuando fueron tomadas las fotografías los elementos extraños ya habían invadido el espacio aséptico de la maqueta utópica y le acusaron una mayor dosis de realidad, de presente. Es decir, que los borrones, el polvo, las células muertas y los cabellos de Branzi, Corretti y Deganello, al traernos de vuelta el plano de realidad que ellos habitaron nos remiten igualmente al contexto cultural y social de su tiempo, a las ansiedades y energías que nutrieron a No-Stop City. Sin embargo la utopía inscrita en el manifiesto que se conoce, en las decenas de fotos de estas maquetas publicadas por tantos años, irradia una luz que ciega, hace invisible y pospone la realidad del modelo: el presente, que cohabita con la utopía. Es decir, la lucidez e imaginación del proyecto, la fe inyectada por Branzi y sus colegas en su programa y visión crítica de futuro esconde al observador la realidad de la maqueta, que es la suya. La utopía no deja ver la fatalidad de la materia que la forma: la vieja ideología se amarillea como el cartón. “La utopía no está en el fin, sino en lo real. No hay en ella motivación moral, sino un puro proceso de liberación inmediata. No hay en ella alegoría, sino un fenómeno natural…” nos recuerda Branzi1

Morocco Slate, Senegal Burnt Almond y Regal Wood

Como el moho en los modelos de No-Stop City, en las ciudades contemporáneas recurren una y otra vez ciertas tácticas de parasitación e inserción en infraestructuras productivas y comerciales. El hecho no está lejos del centro crítico del proyecto de Archizoom, el cual enunciaba que “en un mundo sin calidad el individuo solo puede satisfacerse mediante su propio -esfuerzo y actividad creativa”.

Nunca antes, como en su estadio genérico, tuvo la cultura material tanta potencialidad para la injerencia, nunca antes pudo ser considerado un sistema tan abierto o de participación como puede ser apreciado ahora. Y es paradójico porque a la producción genérica y la súper normalización hay que reconocerle también una sórdida indiferencia hacia lo doméstico y por tanto al individuo y sus necesidades. La condición autista del universo natural en relación a las problemáticas humanas parece inherente también a lo genérico. Si el sistema se ha abierto no es por empatía social, todo lo contrario, es por indiferencia hacia lo humano, ya no hay interés en cerrarse, en sacar provecho del secreto técnico. Sin embargo el objeto industrial pre-genérico parece más dado a lo hermético, a esconder los principios patentados, a hacerse extraño, inaccesible (a cambio de esto aparece en el objeto un plano que se responsabiliza por la interface, una superficie amigable.)


Si un ventilador reparado sigue pareciéndonos una sorpresa folclórica es porque por mucho tiempo el sistema industrial capitalista se valió de cierta inviolabilidad del cuerpo del producto. Quizás se trata de algo tan básico como que al ocultar las vísceras del objeto se potencie el deseo de poseerlo. Quizás, también, al asegurar el perímetro cuantificable del objeto, al hacerlo una porción nombrable e indisoluble este se constituya una mercancía. Una entidad igualada a una cantidad especifica de valor monetario. El objeto industrial contemporáneo -y al diseño hay que reconocerle su participación activa en ese proceso- puede ser entendido, además, como una representación de cierto valor cambiario, como aquel trozo de metal usado como patrón de masa en las básculas tradicionales.

El universo genérico, sin embargo, parece favorecer más el fragmento y no al objeto, la nueva mercancía es semifinish, innombrable en la forma tradicional de silla, mesa, radio. Ahora un recubrimiento para pisos en vinyl adhesivo puede llamarse Morocco Slate, una tabla de bagazo con un acabado plástico puede ser encontrada en ferreterías, como Home Depot, bajo el nombre de Cancún. Muchos de los productos actuales no pueden ser nombrados en el término tradicional de objeto, pero tampoco en el de materias primas. Sin embargo el individuo esta accediendo cada vez mas a la mercancía genérica cuando aun esta conserva su nomenclatura comercial o el código que la organiza durante la producción. Aun con todo el esfuerzo del productor o comerciante por abrir en esta tabla de bagazo un umbral afectivo o de significados tropicales bajo el nombre de Cancún esta adolece de memoria, no puede asociarse a ningún sistema de objetos conocido, no existe ritual de uso relativo a esta tabla en la cultura. Es una materia cruda en términos productivos pero también en términos culturales.

Lo que esta ocurriendo es una inundación incontrolable a escala urbana de materia neutral. Un tsunami de lo genérico ha cubierto la ciudad mientras dormíamos. Los propios comerciantes y productores no reconocen aun el cambio de paradigma. Sin embargo el uso de nombres paradisíacos remite al modelo de hábitat y confort precedente lo que hace pensar que reconocen estar tratando con mercancías sin memoria social.

Esta situación remite parcialmente a proyectos como los de Gaetano Pesce y Global Tools. El acceso actual por los individuos a medios productivos y materiales diversificados, parecía utópico hace 40 años. Los habitantes de los edificios de Pesce podían definir por ellos mismos los espacios interiores y fachadas de sus apartamentos restringidos únicamente por su estructura física y la llegada de sistemas técnicos como agua y electricidad. Pero el individuo en los modelos de Pesce necesita hoy de habilidades para tratar con otras fuerzas infraestructurales: las regulaciones legales comunales, las imposiciones urbanísticas, de seguridad y constructivas. Estaría bien pasar uno de esos edificios de Pesce por la comisión de aprobación constructiva en Little Haiti. Una fuerza regulatoria tan poderosa como el tsunami que surte materia genérica en la urbe le daría posiblemente la forma que hoy tiene ese vecindario.
Sin embargo parece que en el campo restringido de las normas ocurren ciertos desajustes, desacomodos. Entre esos pliegues se filtran riachuelos intermitentes de prácticas individuales, astucias, entendimientos.

Pop-up store “Enter The Dragon”

Pienso que los cuerpos invasivos, que he creído ver, en los modelos de No-Stop City han aguzado su pronóstico. La urbe prevista por Archizoom alcanza con estos elementos intrusos una vigencia notoria. Ciertas prácticas vernáculas intrusivas, improvisadas, provisionales empiezan a ser recurrentes en determinados sectores urbanos acosados por condiciones económicas difíciles. Allí donde las regulaciones dejan vacíos legales se derraman gestos oportunistas, pragmáticos, en ocasiones parásitos2. Los individuos en crisis tienen una conciencia de lo infraestructural, reconocen los torrentes donde es beneficioso meter un dedo para provocar un pequeño y momentáneo desvío.

Si el universo natural y el universo artificial genérico se parecen cada vez más. Si ambos pueden ser considerados torrentes productivos autónomos (la esfera de lo genérico parece auto generar y estructurar sus propias reglas, indiferentes del campo social inmediato.) Si ha ese caudal productivo que es la naturaleza fuimos capaces de entenderle sus ritmos, sus energías y la agricultura devino una sistematización de ese entendimiento, lo mismo podemos hacer con la producción genérica. Hay un tipo de diseño, que puede valerse de tácticas agrarias, una agricultura del campo genérico puede ser implementada.


El producto que he escogido para comenzar este proyecto de pop-up store y de una “agricultura” de lo genérico es la losa de vinyl adhesivo suministrada en Home Depot. En conjunto con otros recubrimientos, ya sean de pisos paredes o techos, albergan como muchas otras materias contemporáneas los signos de un sistema de valor que ha priorizado las métricas normalizadas, lo genérico y el tan cuestionado imperio de la homogenización industrial global.

El valor importante de esta materia es su carácter modular. Por el efecto de multiplicación, la producción seriada hace de la losa un vehículo de repetición y por tanto de expansión importantísimo, así como lo hacen los espejos en los proyectos de Archizoom. Aceptando este principio de expansión, e infiltrando la lógica reproductiva del patrón y para proveer esa ilusión expansiva, podemos, en lugar de aplicar un esperado recurso decorativo aplicar una conducta, una astucia, un gesto. En este caso estaremos dando la capacidad a ese gesto, a esa astucia, o a esa conducta de multiplicarse y extenderse hacia el infinito. O al menos, estaremos habilitando la potencialidad para esa expansión. Para alterar nuestras losas adhesivas compradas en Home Depot se pueden usar técnicas de graffiti y emplear métodos reproductivos paramétricos. Con el nuevo patrón estaremos creando un plano “decorativo” paralelo con nuevas implicaciones morales, un plano de decoración forajida. Y es que el método infiltra y parásita un lenguaje tecnológico, una lógica económica y un plano de expresión que parece cerrado y excluyente.

Este proyecto se auto declara temporal. Entiende que en el paisaje infinito de lo genérico los gestos vernáculos se disuelven, ruedan minúsculos hasta desaparecer, como los huesos de opossum en la carretera interestatal I-95.

Ernesto Oroza Nov/2010

1Andrea Branzi, La arquitectura soy yo, Architecture Radicale, Institut d’art contemporain, Villeurbanne, France, 2001
2 Para una extensión de estas ideas ver: Gean Moreno, -Ernesto Oroza, Learning from Little Haiti. E-flux Journal #6, May, 2009. Para una lectura de otros textos asociados visite: www.thetabloid.org


Dec 162010

Gean Moreno and Ernesto Oroza. Miami-Dade Public Library System – Main Library, Miami. June 10, 2010.

Curatorial Statement:
Driftwood – Gean Moreno and Ernesto Oroza
Thursday, June 10, 2010
Miami-Dade Public Library System – Main Library
101 West Flagler Street  Miami, FL 33130

Gean Moreno and Ernesto Oroza’s collaborative works question, test and “act out” ideas about the function of and tensions between objects, cities, exhibition spaces, art, architecture and design. Often visually simple and sparse, their projects for exhibition spaces have many layers.

These projects challenge the premise of design and artistic production, complicating our understanding of the relationships between makers and users. How do cultural influences, economic necessity, or any number of social, natural or political forces lead to new and unanticipated uses of places and things? What can we learn from the way ordinary people make use of milk crates, stereo speakers, buckets? What do we understand about changes in a city by looking at its salvage yards and civic auditoriums? Who or what makes a particular use or design official?

The artists write about these observations and publish them in newsprint tabloids that they distribute publicly as well as in art journals for specialized audiences. The ideas in these texts inform their visual/design projects; the tabloids become part of installations. These ideas also trouble the connections between the materials in the gallery or art journal—validating spaces—and their counterparts in the city and society outside.

The objects and materials in Driftwood act as double (or triple, or quadruple) agents. The wallpaper, screen structures, event posters and glass “paintings” extend or bend the energies at work in a Miami salvage yard and urban patterns of use: they are both art objects and salvaged/functional materials. They also modify the space, laying bare its functions: an institution has decided to use a space designed to be an auditorium or meeting space as an art gallery.

The patterned wallpaper is also a vehicle for discussing ideas. It folds into a tabloid containing an essay with images, Thirteen Ways to Look at a Salvage Yard, and a page that collapses into yet another publication, Freddy: examining the process by which a mass-produced object gets “derailed” for new uses. You’re invited to pick these up and take them with you—to read or to use for something else.

Denise Delgado.
Curator.Art Services and Exhibitions
Miami-Dade Public Library System

Oct 162010

Photo:Alesh Houdek

Curatorial Statement by Rene Morales

The work of Gean Moreno and Ernesto Oroza revolves around two central interests: the social forces that shape the urban landscapes, and the idea of tapping into what they term the “preexisting infrastructures” that they have at their disposal as artists working on a project-to-project basis.

When they were approached by MAM to participate in NWM2010, they identified the museum’s tradition of publishing “gallery notes” for each exhibition and proposed folding the content of the brochure (curatorial essays, a calendar of events, sponsors’ logos, a survey questionnaire, etc.) into the ongoing series of tabloid newspapers that they produce as part of their commissions; they consider these publications to be the primary elements of their projects.

The lower expense of the tabloid format allows for the publication of three 16-page editions (one for each month of the exhibition), which will be distributed at several locations throughout the city.


Sep 262010


Gean Moreno and Ernesto Oroza
Gallery Diet 174 NW 23 St Miami, Fl, 33127
October 9, 2010 7 – 10 pm

Gallery Diet is pleased to present Pre-City, a solo exhibition of collaborative works by Gean Moreno and Ernesto Oroza. With the works in this exhibition, Moreno and Oroza speculate on what they call the pre-city, a kind of abstract plane or pliable region made up of the different shapes and materials that determine what the city will look like. They propose that the city is already compressed in the range of materials, repeating objects and standard metrics found in construction material depots, lumber yards, roofing companies, landscaping nurseries, and home improvement stores. The pre-city is a series of codes that have yet to be arranged and coupled into larger assemblages. The exhibition will include “diagrammatic lamps”; “photographs” made out of materials printed in newspapers, magazine and catalogues; a new tabloid; domestic tableaux; and collages.

Moreno and Oroza have exhibited their work at the Quebec City Biennial, Miami Art Museum, Bass Museum of Art, Spanish Cultural Centers in Miami, Montevideo and Mexico City, Invisible Exports in New York and other galleries. Their texts have appeared in e-flux journalMonu-a magazine for urbanism, and the catalogue Spatial City, produced by Platform (Regroupement des Fonds régionaux d’art contemporain, France) and Inova (Milwaukee). Both artists have also exhibited individually. Oroza’s work has been seen at MoMA (NY), Groninger Museum (The Netherlands), Tate Modern (UK) and Laboral Centro de Arte (Spain). He is the author of Objets Réinventés. La création populaire à Cuba (Paris, 2002) and Rikimbili. Une étude sur la désobéissance technologique (St. Etienne, 2009). Moreno has exhibited at North Miami MoCA, Kunsthaus Palais Thum and Taxis in Bregenz, Institute of Visual Arts in Milwaukee, Haifa Museum in Israel, and Arndt & Partner in Zürich. In 2008, he established [NAME] Publications, a platform for book-based projects.

Gallery Diet is a contemporary art gallery located in the Wynwood District of Miami, Florida where it has existed since 2007. The gallery has produced over 25 solo and group exhibitions by new and emerging artists from around the world and has documented those exhibitions in hard cover print on a yearly basis. Represented artists include Charley Friedman, Christy Gast, Richard Höglund, Abby Manock, and Daniel Milewski.

For additional information or images please contact info@gallerydiet.com or 305.571.2288

Apr 072010

Catastrophe ? Quelle Catastrophe ? – Manif d’art – The Québec City Biennial
Curator: Sylvie Fortin


While catastrophe dominates the contemporary imaginary and mainstream media, its real work remains elusive. Its hypervisibility safeguards its foundational, requisite invisibility. Which is to say that the omnipresence of the catastrophic event acts as a smokescreen, ensuring the very invisibility of catastrophe’s real work. Politically, the catastrophic event is used to legitimize the enactment of states of exception. But in recent years, catastrophe has also been put to preemptive use. We no longer need a catastrophe to be subjected to the logic of catastrophe. As such, its temporality has shifted, its operational terrain expanded to the entirety of time and space. So much so that catastrophe has become the condition of contemporary life. If, in the midst of WWII, Walter Benjamin could define history as “one single catastrophe which keeps piling wreckage,” Slavoj Zizek has recently demonstrated that catastrophe has expanded to the future, “the true catastrophe already is this life under the shadow of the permanent threat of catastrophe.” Daily life is now the playground of low-level, yet dreary, incessant, inescapable, catastrophe. It is also the theater of exception where democracy and equality are reduced to mere form.

Once the climax of Greek plays and poems, catastrophe is now the wallpaper of our daily lives, the score of our everyday drama. But the concept of catastrophe operates in an expanded sphere, which includes mathematics and biology, in addition to literature and theory.

This project will bring together new and recent art work from artists working around the world in order to discern and present strategies of resistance to the wreckage of catastrophe’s slow, incessant, non-spectacular work. In order to do so, it will deploy a number of complementary platforms over an extended period of time–working groups, conferences, publications, exhibitions, screenings, performances, as well as an online seminar.


Patrick Altman (Québec City, Canada); Salvatore Arancio (London, UK); Bill Burns (Toronto, Canada); Luca Buvoli (New York, USA); Cooke-Sasseville (Québec City, Canada); Doyon/Demers (Québec City, Canada); Sarah Emerson (Atlanta, USA); Carole Epp (Saskatoon, Canada); Brendan Fernandes (Toronto, Canada / New York, USA); Amélie-Laurence Fortin (Québec City, Canada); Laurent Grasso (Paris, France); Johan Grimonprez (Brussels, Belgium / New York, USA); Milutin Gubash (Montreal, Canada); Hadley+Maxwell (Vancouver, Canada / Berlin, Germany); Maryam Jafri (Copenhagen, Denmark); Gwen MacGregor (Toronto, Canada); Lynne Marsh (Montreal, Canada / Berlin, Germany / London, UK); Daniel Joseph Martinez (Los Angeles, USA); Michael Jones McKean (Richmond, USA); Gean Moreno (Miami, USA); Ahmet Ögüt (Istanbul, Turkey / Amsterdam, The Netherlands); Ernesto Oroza (Miami, USA); Iván Navarro (New York, USA); Trevor Paglen (Berkeley, USA); Christodoulos Panayiotou (Cyprus); Gwendoline Robin (Brussels, Belgium); Samuel Roy-Bois (Vancouver, Canada); Lindsay Seers (London, UK); SUPERFLEX (Copenhagen, Denmark); Katherine Taylor (Atlanta, USA); Myriam Yates (Lennoxville, Canada)

A finalized list of artists will be released in early April 2010

Catastrophe? Quelle catastrophe!
We all live in a catastrophic world!

The project will delve into a number of questions, which will concomitantly refine the notion of catastrophe and pressure visual arts’ foundational concepts:

1. Imaging catastrophe / Image as catastrophe / The catastrophic image

2. The time of catastrophe / catastrophe’s temporalities

3. Catastrophic Space / space of catastrophe / spatializing catastrophe

4. Performing the catastrophic / performance as catastrophe / theater of catastrophe

5. Catastrophic matter / catastrophe’s residue



Dec 112009

Rent Electricity Gas at 380 NW 24th Street

On behalf of Terri and Donna, Miami based curator Agatha Wara has set up a curious space called RENT ELECTRICITY GAS (a title borrowed from a Martin Kippenberger artwork). Featuring artworks in the form of seats and benches by Jim Drain, Nick Lobo, Ernesto Oroza and a young German artist Phillip Zach the space’s main function is as a bar. When asked “why a bar?”, Wara simply replied “ because what is the point of making more exhibitions?”

The bar opened in conjunction with Felix Larreta’s SPHERESCENT, the latest exhibition by Terri and Donna, a small but spicy gallery located on NW 36th Street. Located in a large warehouse, RENT ELECTRICITY GAS occupies the main space that you have to walk through in order to get to Laretta’s piece located in one of many partitioned areas within the warehouse. The bar, although more of a concept than a serious business model, is functioning and for the next few weeks will serve some peculiar and actually pretty funny drinks made by Wara’s “foodist” friends. “My bar idea is really an experiment, a bar and an exhibition in one, but neither at the same time. That is what I am hoping to accomplish anyway,” said Wara.

<<from Artlurker>>

Rent Electricity Gas at 380 NW 24th Street
Bar co-ordinated by Agatha Wara.
Terri and Donna, Miami, US. www.terrianddonna.com

Dec 012009

Art Baselita Mama’s Little Girl at Ede Zones. Curated by Glexis Novoa. More info here.

Raychel Carrion | Espacio Aglutinador | Havana
Sandra Ceballos | Espacio Aglutinador | Havana

Liliam Dooley
Quisqueya Henriquez
Jose Iraola
Hamlet Lavastida
Alfredo Márquez
Jorge Luis Marrero | Espacio Aglutinador | Havana
Ferran Martin
Gean Moreno
Glexis Novoa
Otari Oliva | Espacio Aglutinador | Havana
Charo Oquet
Ernesto Oroza
Fabian Peña
Emilio Perez
Leyden Rodriguez-Casanova
Lázaro Saavedra

Ezequiel Suárez

Sam Shultz

Cesar Trasobares

Vargas-Suarez Universal
Jose Ánagel Vincench

Dec 012009

ARCHIPELAGO Gean Moreno and Ernesto Oroza
2417 N. Miami Ave., Miami
Through February 26


Nov 112009

TIME + TEMP: Surveying the Shifting Climate of Painting in South Florida
From the press release:

This exhibition presents a survey of dynamic work by a selection of South Florida based artists who embrace and incorporate aspects of painting into their practice. A resurgence of painterly tendencies is currently taking hold among artists on a national even international level. Its growing appeal is also evident within the ever expanding contemporary art community in our region.

On view will be work by over 50 artists who are in different ways investigating and pushing prevailing definitions of painting. Boundaries of form have been expanded through a variety of techniques utilizing a broad range of materials. Some pieces have been created specifically for this exhibit yet are made with media other than traditional pigment-based paint on canvas.

Representation and abstraction continue to be very much at the forefront of this genre. However issues which have dominated painterly themes, such as color, surface, narrative and gesture are finding new expressions in a variety of unconventional and energized styles. Our tropical, lush and organic natural environment intersected by gleaming architectonic towers of light, glass and concrete set the stage for fertile and flowing currents of invention which are reflected in this diverse array of works.

Eugenio Espinosa, Gean Moreno and Ernesto Oroza. 2009


Oct 272009

Night Shift (in collaboration with Gean Moreno)
Sleepless Night at Bass Museum of Art and Collins Park 11/7/09. Curated by Jerome Sans.

Sleepless Night 2009 is right around the corner and this year, Bass Museum of Art will once again be the center of activity with “Night Shift,” a collection of installations and sculptures in Collins Park from 6pm – 2am. Set to live music from artist/DJ Jerome Sans, a highlight of the exhibition is a collaborative piece titled “Viking Funeral” that is a monolithic 30-foot Nirvana “t-shirt” that can be explored from the inside out.

The Bass Museum of Art will once again be the center of activity during Sleepless Night with “Night Shift,” a group of exciting and unexpected site-specific installations and sculptures in Collins Park curated by Jerome Sans. Sans was the founder and co-director of the world-acclaimed Palais de Tokyo, the cutting-edge contemporary art center that opened in Paris in 2002. Currently he is Director of one of the first nonprofit art centers in Beijing, the Ullens Center of Contemporary Art, and is Cultural Curator for Le Meridien Group. He was co-curator of the Paris Nuit Blanche in 2006, and is also a rock musician and DJ – he’ll be providing the live soundtrack for “Night Shift.”

Participating South Florida artists include Jim Drain and Brooke O-Harra, Christy Gast, Julie Kahn, Nicolas Lobo, Ernesto Oroza & Gean Moreno, Tom Scicluna, and Frances Trombly. A very unique collaborative piece “Viking Funeral” will also be featured, that is a monolithic 30′ Nirvana “t-shirt” that can be explored from the inside out!

Oct 162009

CCE Miami presents Proyecto Habitar
From Oct 16th through Nov 25th, 2009
Raúl Cárdenas / Torolab. White Noise. 2001. Still
Opening reception: Friday, October 16th, 2009. 8:00 p.m.
Location: Centro Cultural Español. 800 Douglas Road, Suite 170. Coral Gables, FL 33134
Dates: From October 16th through Nov 25th, 2009
Curator: Luisa Espino

Gean Moreno and Ernesto Oroza. Research image. Liberty City. 2008

Research image. Liberty City. 2008

Since the sixties, cities have changed at a dramatic pace. This has been due in large part to real estate and financial interests, disconnected from collective needs. This deep restructuring has affected both demography and socio-economic configurations. The quality of life within each growing sector of the population has been compromised.

At the end of the Twentieth Century, while some neighborhoods deteriorated, others regenerated socially via occupation by the upper class and so generating a rapid rise in the economic value. Every year, more and more people are displaced from their homes because of abandonment of neighborhoods, land expropriation and re-zoning, rate rises and costs that outstrip salaries. The constant pressures of urban decay, land speculation, the establishment of ghettos, the influx of international migrants or the homeless from neighboring regions makes as essential review of our ideas of habitability.

A group of artists has rallied against these situations, fostering a counter culture where contemporary city decadence is approached from different angles. They challenge housing problems, the use of public space, land speculation, urban settlements on the fringe of legality, enforced desertion of neighborhoods and buildings, urban decay and the formation of ghettos. They demand a new approach to homelessness.

Individual and collective artists such as Raúl Cárdenas/Torolab, Santiago Cirugeda/Recetas Urbanas, Democracia, Gean Moreno, Ernesto Oroza, Juan Carlos Robles and Todo por la Praxis, illustrate the following cases in Madrid, Seville, Miami, Tijuana and Havana.


Gean Moreno and Ernesto Oroza. Tabloid. CCE Miami. 2009

En un momento en el que las grandes ciudades de los países desarrollados compiten entre sí por convertirse en iconos de modernidad y sus autoridades invitan a conocidos arquitectos a diseñar edificios emblemáticos, está teniendo lugar en paralelo una Arquitectura de la Necesidad o de Emergencia en manos de personas que no detentan grandes estudios de arquitectura, pero a los que las circustancias les han llevado a convertirse en improvisados arquitectos.

Esta exposición reúne varios ejemplos que, aunque distintos y geográficamente lejanos, tienen como denominador común dar visibilidad a construcciones llevadas a cabo por sus propios habitantes, a menudo de manera caótica, en contextos en los que la realidad social ha relegado a un segundo plano la organización reglada que dicta el urbanismo. Situaciones y procesos, en la mayoría de los casos espontáneos, que con el paso del tiempo han dado lugar a verdaderas tipologías en sectores que carecen de servicios sociales y de abastecimiento básicos.

Los artistas y colectivos Raúl Cárdenas/Torolab, Santiago Cirugeda/Recetas Urbanas, Democracia, Gean Moreno, Ernesto Oroza, Juan Carlos Robles y Todo por la Praxis, han dado imagen a algunos casos de Madrid, Sevilla, Miami, Tijuana y La Habana.

Activities at the Cultural Center of Spain are sponsored by the Spanish Agency of International Cooperation to the Development (AECID), Miami-Dade County Department of Cultural Affairs and Cultural Affairs Council, the Miami-Dade County Mayor and Board of County Commissioners.

Schedule is subject to changes. All activities have limited seating. For more information, please visit www.ccemiami.org
Centro Cultural Español
800 Douglas Road. Suite 170
Coral Gables, FL 33134
Ph: 305.448.9677

Sep 302009


Bhakti Baxter, Nicolas Lobo, Gean Moreno, Daniel Newman, Ernesto Oroza, and Gavin Perry will be featured in the exhibition, Spit-Polishing a Starless Sky/Outer Space, at Charest-Weinberg Gallery, from September 12 through October 5, 2009. The opening reception will be on September 12 from 6pm to 9 pm at 250 NW 23rd Street, Space 408, Miami, FL 33127.

The exhibition is comprised of two different exhibitions that have been superimposed without any attempt to make them cohere. Two sets of information have simply been brought together, and the resulting form of the exhibition will be determined by the very dynamics of their interaction.

The first exhibition, Spit-Polishing a Starless Sky, is made up of black or nearly-black paintings by Bhakti Baxter, Daniel Newman and Gavin Perry. In the work of all these painters, the black monochrome is entwined with references that belong in cultural spheres that exist far away from formalist concerns. In Baxter’s case, the black paintings double as images of macroscopic phenomena and have a scientific flavor. In Perry’s work, the black monochrome is literally the high-end side of paintings that also trade in lowbrow referents and objects, like cheap rugs and souped up cars. With Newman, the black glaze is all process. He has covered over 200 found paintings with black, turning a gesture characteristic of iconophobia into a delirious flow of production. In a sense, in the work of all these painters, two sets of information are already blended. Each of their works becomes a stand-in for the overall structure of a double-exhibition with incompatible or competing halves.

The second exhibition, Outer Space, titled after a 1999 short film by Peter Tscherkassky, will be made up of sculptural proposals by Nicolas Lobo and Giancarlo Sardone, and Ernesto Oroza and Gean Moreno. Each of these collaborative projects begins with elements provided by the technologies, conventions and infrastructure that form the invisible materiality of our social space. Working through all the engineering problems and ontological recoding that rendering a virtual artifact in actual space brings, Lobo has collaborated with terrazzo mason Sardone to produced a real-life double of a standard bench that can be found ready-made in the design program SketchUp. As the bench took shape, its proportions began to feel slightly off due to some distortion caused the Sketchup rendering engine. What looked like a perfectly bland bench on screen takes on an uncanny air in our physical space. Oroza and Moreno will use the tabloid, of the sort found throughout the city’s neighborhoods, to create both a “catalog” and an ornamental wallpaper pattern from forms determined by the exhibition itself that will, in turn, activate the supposed neutral walls of the space.

All the artists in the exhibition are part of Miami’s burgeoning scene. They have all exhibited their work internationally and are represented in the collections of major museums. This will be the first time their work is shown at Charest-Weinberg Gallery, whose reputation continues to grow as Miami’s premier venue for emerging art.

Apr 112009

Saltworks Gallery, Atlanta, GA
February 13 – April 11, 2009
Featuring Johanna Almiron, Dawolu Jabari Anderson, Jade Cooper, William Cordova, Nathaniel Donnett, Leslie Hewitt, Gean Moreno, Glexis Novoa, Mari Omori, Ernesto Oroza, Ronny Quevedo, Kaijiro Suzuki, and Mary Valverde.

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