ABOVE: COURTESY THE ARTIST AND GALERIE LELONG & CO., NEW YORK
The nonprofit organization Faena Art will launch an annual art festival—the Faena Festival—this year in Miami. Its first edition will take place during Miami Art Week, which runs from December 3 to 9, and is organized by Faena Art curator Zoe Lukov; it will be free and open to the public.
Titled “This Is Not America,” the festival’s 2018 edition derives its name from Alfredo Jaar’s 1987 work A Logo for America, which will be presented on a LED Jumbotron mounted on a boat that will travel along the Miami Beach shoreline each day of the event. The monumental piece was originally commissioned by the Public Art Fund, a New York–based organization, and it was first displayed in Times Square.
Jaar said in a statement, “The U.S. government recently announced that it will limit the number of refugees that can be resettled in the United States next year at 30,000. This is the lowest ceiling this country has placed on the refugee program since its creation in 1980. The U.S. seems to be at war against refugees and immigrants when they have always been part of the origin and fabric of this country. The meaning of America has never been challenged in such a shocking way, and so to present A Logo for America in Miami today is for me an extraordinary opportunity to suggest that another America is still possible.”
The Faena Festival will also feature newly commissioned installations and performances by Derrick Adams, Cecilia Bengolea, Isabel Margarita Lewis, Luna Paiva, Tavares Strachan, and Wu Tsang and boychild, among others. According to a release, the works at the festival “explore how we choose to define our sense of place in ways that encourage dynamic identities that transcend—and even resist—the imposition of physical, historical, and political borders.”
Lukov said in a statement, “Artists in the Festival have been invited to explore the concept of America as a myth and a narrative that has at times bound and divided us but ultimately has the power to unify. By occupying the interstitial zone between land and sea, many of these site-specific installations seek to reimagine porous and transitional spaces as places of refuge and safe harbor that are representative of what our ‘America’ is and can become.”
Exhibitions will be staged in public spaces—on streets, sidewalks, and the beach, and elsewhere—throughout the Faena District and the city of Miami Beach. Artworks will also be on view in the Faena Hotel and the Faena Forum.
Alan Faena, founder and president of the Faena Group, added, “The annual Faena Festival will provide a new platform to explore ideas in contemporary culture that fosters engagement with the issues that define us individually and collectively. We are interested in site-specificity and universal impact—in creating a cultural movement without borders, we want to speak to the world. Artists are not limited by geopolitical divides and, ultimately, by celebrating these diverse artists and visions we find ways in which we are all connected.”