Temporary Contemporary

Friends of the Bass Museum, Inc. d/b/a Bass Museum of Art

Funding Received: 2012
Miami Beach, FL
Funding Period: 1 year and 5 months
November 29, 2012

TC: temporary contemporary is a city-wide, public art program initiated by the Bass Museum of Art with the City of Miami Beach. It seeks to activate the urban landscape with art, surprising and engaging residents, visitors and passers-by with outdoor works of art in unexpected places. Sculpture, murals, sound installations, video and other interactive works of art, will interrupt people’s daily routines and encourage thoughtful interactions with the city and its communities.

ArtPlace spoke with Chelsea Guerdat, Director of Exhibitions, about how the project is gaining momentum.

ARTPLACE: What’s new with TC: temporary contemporary?

GUERDAT: October was a blur – we installed five new projects and unveiled them to the public!

We had our official launch event on Friday, November 2, 2012 which included a walking tour of the current projects by Marco Brambilla, Stefan Brüggemann, Ken Gonzales-Day, Michael Linares, Susan Philipsz and Cristina Lei Rodriguez. Social influencers gathered at the museum at 6pm and were greeted by the museum’s director Silvia Karman Cubiñá. She explained the goals of the program and encouraged guests to interact with the works of art via social media – facebook, twitter and instagram.

Museum staff Silvia Karman Cubiñá, Chelsea Guerdat and Bryan Granger led the tour. The group started in Collins Park, adjacent to the museum, to experience Susan Philipsz two-channel sound installation “By My Side”. Dusk rapidly approached, so the visitors moved around to the southern façade of the museum to see Ken Gonzales-Day’s 20 x 38 foot vinyl banner “Untitled (Henry Weekes, Bust of an African Woman [based on a photographic image of Mary Seacole]; and Jean-Baptiste Pigalle, Bust of Mm. Adélaïde Julie Mirleau de Neuville, neé Garnier d’Isle, The J. Paul Getty Museum, Los Angeles, CA)”. On the western façade of the building, the guests encountered Stefan Brüggemann’s wall painting “(THIS IS NOT SUPPOSED TO BE HERE)”. Drivers passing by on Park Avenue slowed to a halt to witness a group of people standing on the sidewalk staring up at this oddly-located phrase. Michael Linares’ seemingly haphazard (but actually meticulously designed and reproduced) wall painting “Así las cosas (This being so)” was the next stop located on the northern façade of the museum.

This was the museum’s way of easing the visitors into encountering public artworks. So far, the museum was still in plain sight so the projects didn’t seems so out-of-the-ordinary. All was about to change at the Walgreens on 23rd Street and Collins Avenue. Artist Cristina Lei Rodriguez emerged from the crowd to engage directly with the attendees about her thoughts and experiences working in a storefront window on Miami Beach’s busiest street. I think we managed to pick up some new members to the group at this point – tourists walking by en route to their hotels stopped to listen to a local artist speaking in front of a drugstore. The group had one final surprise in store when they entered a tiny Cuban café located inside the Valero gas station on 23rd Street. Marco Brambilla’s video “RPM”, commissioned by Ferrari for an A-list party during last year’s Art Basel, found new humble digs on the plasma screen usually devoted to the café’s coffee menu. People stopping in to buy cigarettes were surprised to find a well-dressed group of art world folk packed like sardines watching a 2 minute film while eating free croquetas and empanadas.

Miami New Times’ Briana Saati covered the event in a blog titled “Temporary Contemporary: The Bass Museum Redefines Street Art”. For full article please click here.