Contemporary art curator and AN colleague Leanne Mella has organized a potent and compelling exhibition entitled The Prisoner’s Dilemma for the Cisneros Fontanals Art Foundation, known as CIFO, in downtown Miami.
With noble intentions, given the socio-political climate of the recent past, the work in Mella’s exhibition showcases the ways in which artists respond to the exercise of power in contemporary life. The politics of the show are highly nuanced, visually stunning, and often quite poetic. As the exhibit’s introductory text explains:
“The works in this exhibition comment upon, confront and challenge strategies of totalizing power and social control. Issues of powerlessness, exclusion, conformity, marginality, transgression, subversion, escapism, transcendence, protest and resistance are all inventively addressed in this selection of works.
These works and their expansive forms convey a great sense of scale, immediacy and connection to the viewing subject. Perhaps, because they are intentionally immersive in an age when conventional cinema has relinquished much of its phenomenological power in favor of media miniaturization and portability as represented by the rapid proliferation of DVDs, iPods and YouTube viewership.”
The show features work by leading artists such as Alexander Apóstol, Judith Barry, Paolo Canevari, Stan Douglas, Jimmie Durham, Cao Fei, Regina Galindo, Carlos Garaicoa, Thomas Hirschhorn, Jenny Holzer, Barbara Kruger, Daniel Joseph Martinez, Carlos Motta, Shirin Neshat, Julian Rosefeldt, and Eve Sussman and many more.
The CIFO building itself, in the gritty warehouse district and designed by local architect Rene Gonzalez, is also impressive, as it breaks away from the cool neutrality of many exhibition spaces and presents us with a hot tropical jungle facade and a large garden patio for social gatherings in the middle of an otherwise nondescript urban environment.
The show will be on view through March 1, 2009. If you are going to be in Miami this winter, this exhibition is a must see.