Thought-provoking Installations from Art Basel

By Brenna Cunningham
Dec 10, 2018

Habitas at Art Basel

Habitas kicked off Art Basel with a fundraising dinner to support our Habitas Rise initiative at the Cadillac Hotel. The dinner featured a live painting performance by Minneapolis-based abstract painter Ashley Mary, who uses geometric shapes and vibrant colors to assemble puzzle-like figures. Ashley Mary generously donated the proceeds from her painting to support Habitas Rise initiatives.

A highlight of Art Basel was the Habitas Concert Series led by Eduardo Castillo’s musical ensemble Mardeleva, in partnership with the Faena for the Faena Festival. Read more about this dynamic closing show here.

Faena Festival

This year marked the inaugural year of the Faena Festival, titled “This is Not America.” The Faena Festival “Addresses ‘America’ as a contested and powerful idea that is greater than the waters and borders that frame it. Artists in the inaugural Faena 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” - Zoe Lukov, Faena Festival Curator.

A Logo for America - Alfredo Jaar

Alfredo Jaar’s “Logo for America” was originally created and displayed in New York in 1987, during a time of high tension between the Americas. Jaar masterfully recreated the concept imitating Rene Magritte’s “Ceci N’est Pas Une Pipe” with a political twist. In front of the Faena Festival on South Beach, the two LED panels sat on a tugboat and flashed “This is Not America,” challenging the meaning of America, as a work of art not a set of borders.

We Belong Here - Tavares Strachan

Displayed on a large panel on South Beach, the iconic neon sign with the phrase “We Belong Here” was commissioned for the Faena Festival, as a “reclamation of belonging that asks us to reimagine how we define a place - and this place in particular,” explains Zoe Lukov. The ‘place’ refers to Miami, a melting pot of Latin American communities, a place of refuge for many and a cultural epicenter that symbolizes freedom.

"A Logo For America" by Alfredo Jaar

"We Belong Here" by Tavares Strachan

“Pieces of You: Much Ado about Something” by Cindy Pease Roe

Habitas family member Cindy Pease Roe leads the way in up-cycled marine art and experiments with fiber optic technology, combining it with plastic waste found in oceans. Her installation titled “Pieces of You: Much Ado about Something” is a chandelier of cascading plastic materials highlighting the severity of plastic pollution. Roe is also the artist behind the 6-foot custom whale sculpture that was commissioned and exhibited at the One Hotel in Miami Beach, made entirely from painting tarp and towel lines she personally collected from the beach.

“Pieces of You: Much Ado about Something” was exhibited at the Acadia Earth exhibit. Arcadia Earth’s immersive exhibit in Brickell previewed a taste of their larger project they will be launching in 2019. Arcadia Earth’s uses experiential art installations and community to create environmental awareness. The sensorial environmental installations aim to bring sustainable solutions for Land, Water, Air and Energy.

Tomas Saraceno Solar Panels

Argentine artist Tomas Saraceno collaborated with Swiss watchmaker Audemars Piguet and Aerocene to create a massive solar powered installation on South Beach.

The installation features a sundial of 40 panels that all face each other. In the center of the sundial is a inflatable structure suspended mid air. The sculptures achieve buoyancy strictly using without using solar power, burning fossil fuels or using helium.

“Arocene manifests as a series of air-fuelled sculptures that will achieve the longest, emission-free journey around the world,” according to Tomas, “... in all of our projects and processes, we’re focusing on the air. We try to understand and preserve a medium, which isn’t so well understood, even though so many lives depends on it.”

“He Calls This Talk Banter” - Zoe Buckman

Feminist artist Zoe Buckman’s installations were featured in the gardens of the Standard Hotel and Spa. The installations were a triage of neon light phrases that read “He calls this talk banter,” “Is everything okay back there, Miss?” and “Inaction is Apathy,” which address sexual and domestic violence towards women.