Perhaps there’s no subject more timely or appropriate for an art fair than violence. Its role in our society—public policies, personal lives and private thoughts—remains, unfortunately, ever-present. Art has long been a way of addressing, considering and subverting the status quo. And the present norms and acceptance around violence need all of the above. For this year’s Pulse Contemporary Art Fair (to be held during Miami Art Week) five artists have been selected to showcase works on “A Violence” in the PLAY video division. This theme was left open to interpretation, and the art demonstrates just how broad violence is today.
Katelijne de Backer, the director of PULSE, worked with Newark’s Project For Empty Space curators Jasmine Wahi and Rebecca Pauline
Jampol to settle on a theme, select the artists from numerous submissions and offer a preview showing (on now through 20 November in Newark). “What was particularly important for us in this project was to exemplify a span of subjects that ranged from the personal to the public,” Wahi explains, “It was significant to choose voices that engage in nuanced and complicated understandings of systemic violence and the ashy fallout that comes with it.” Through this, they found diversity and undeniable beauty—a glimpse of which is presented in the trailers and stills below.
Call of the Lily
New York-based artist Maggie Hazen undermines the adoration for violence in cinema—and cinematic media—with Call of the Lily, her more than seven-minute-long video work. She does so with hyper-realism and what she refers to as “hyperbleed” or the “blur between the boundary which separates the screen from an embodied reality.”
In the five-minute piece Lillah, which incorporates real funeral footage set opposite visual metaphors, artist Renluka Maharaj aims to raise awareness and encourage conversation around sexual violence. With the film’s creation, Maharaj hopes to help others speak their truth rather than let secrets play in the background of their life.
Through four-and-a-half minutes, artist Diego Lama confronts toxic masculinity with an adaptation of the short story Angel Face. The written text appears in Peruvian author Oswaldo Reynoso’s book The Innocents, and it calls to light both our individual identity and that of our collective social and political one, too.
Anti-immigrant sentiment stretches the world over, laced with the dark web of nationalism and xenophobia. Alicia Smith explores this with her seven-minute video on the violent rhetoric behind it all, Erendirea. Here, the legacy of indigenous Purépecha people is honored, as well, with beautiful imagery and a repurposed narrative.
Case Study #75018 “rien á craindre maintenant mais le soleil”
A site-specific work from Mahlot Sansosa, Case Study #75018 “rien á craindre maintenant mais le soleil” lives in the space between nationality and ethnicity—and the complex relationship between the two. It does so by analyzing the Diaspora, specifically black communities in France. It’s a six-and-a-half-minute metaphor about what it means to be foreign, or perceived as foreign.
PULSE Miami Beach will run 6-9 December at Indian Beach Park, 4601 Collins Avenue, Miami Beach.