GOOD TO KNOW // LA BODEGA Y MÁS // MIAMI ART BASEL
Opening Reception: December 6, 2018, 6-11pm
On view December 6 - 23, 2018
El Espacio on Ocho 3621 SW 8 ST, Miami, FL 33135
Photo by Casey Kelbaughh for ArtNews.
For Good to Know's El Espacio Miami exhibition, RATA Projects will present a site-specific installation by artist Fanny Allié in the Coin Laundromat storefront and exhibition space. The project is comprised of Allié’s life-size characters sewn out of plastic trash bags onto free-hanging canvas. The pieces will be visible from the exterior to engage passersby, as well as from within the space itself.
Roger Salerno, a psychoanalyst and professor of sociology whose writing explores urban alienation and estrangement, calls laundromats “iconic places of loneliness,” in part because they provoke subconscious longings for domestic stability.
The subjects depicted in this series are inspired by nomadic people seen on the street and informed by images found on the Internet. They evoke the history of the specific space and convey a more general sense of transience.
Allié captures the pervasiveness and instability of migration by utilizing ephemeral yet familiar materials: trash bags are ubiquitous and taken for granted, designated for one-time use. Allié finds ways to recycle and breathe life into these castaway items, echoing the way in which El Espacio is being repurposed.
These itinerant figures inhabit the public realm - the streets - and exist in a fleeting “in-between” state (in between homes, in between point A and point B. Merging with the objects they are carrying and the surrounding space, they become hybrid entities bordering on abstraction.
Allié’s nomadic and marginalized figures connect with the history and environment of Little Havana, activating the empty storefront with their bold presence and drawing outside viewers to the exhibition within. Little Havana, which is known to be the home to many immigrants - moving from one place to another – will also be the temporary shelter to Allié’s itinerant characters, frozen in motion during their journey.
El Espacio is located in the heart of Miami, FL on the famous Calle Ocho street of Little Havana and next to Miami's iconic landmark, Versailles Cuban Restaurant. The space was formerly occupied by Cuban style bodegas such as the original Farmacia Luis. The facade of the building has remained intact, paying homage to the eclectic style of each of the bodega's unique storefronts while the interior has been altered into one 6,000 square foot space.