MIAMI, FLORIDA.- Miami Art Museum has commissioned artists Magdalena Fernández (b. 1964) from Caracas, Venezuela, and Ferrán Martin (b. 1968) from New York, to create videos that will be presented at the museum on November 30 and December 2 during Art Basel Miami Beach.
MAM's Associate Curator Cheryl Hartup selected Fernández and Martín because their work embodies many of the ideas in the landmark exhibition Beyond Geometry: Experiments in Form, 1940s-70s currently on view at the museum. Themes in Beyond Geometry, such as "The Object and the Body," "Light and Movement" and "Repetition and Seriality," particularly resonate with the work of Fernández and Martín. Both artists chose to incorporate in their videos the architectural space of the cultural plaza, which was designed by Philip Johnson (1977-82). Fernández worked with spatial proportions on the façade of The Historical Museum of Southern Florida where her video Dibujos móviles (Moving Drawings) will be projected on December 2. Martín's video, El Modulor 3, which was filmed on the cultural plaza, captures architectural elements and designs in the plaza.
Fernández is presenting her first work from her Dibujos móviles (moving drawings) video series. Trained as a mathematician, she has always worked with radically simplified forms (points, lines, planes, circles) and systems to create elegant, poetic explorations of space and human perception.
Dibujos móviles is a black field with white horizontal, vertical, and diagonal lines in a grid formation. The lines seem like they are moving, but they are actually underwater and stable. As the water moves, it gives the impression that the lines are moving. Their mesmerizing undulation suggests electrical currents. What begins as perfect order, becomes writhing chaos. Dibujos móviles is related to such works in Beyond Geometry as Sol LeWitt’s wall drawing of geometric shapes drawn in white chalk on a black wall (1976) and Jesús Rafael Soto’s black and white Horizontal-Vertical Kinetic Structure (1957).
MAM recently commissioned Fernández to create a work for the exhibition Light and Atmosphere, which is also currently on view. 1i004 is a rigorous yet provocative arrangement of lines and points made of glass mirrors in a room-like enclosure. For Fernández, the atmosphere and meaning of Dibujos móviles and 1i004 lie somewhere between the viewer and the work, in the space where the two
Martín's El Modulor 3 is a video of the architectural space of the cultural plaza in front of MAM reflected in a mirrored cube on the head of the artist. At the start of the video, the viewer sees only reflections of the artist's surroundings and one gradually becomes aware of a body attached to the cube. The strangely fractured images of geometric tile patterns, arches, and a black, steel lattice gate disorient the viewer and create a sense of claustrophobia. The video is a continuous loop which accentuates the feeling of being in an endless labyrinth. The sky reflected in the glass cube seems to be the only escape.
El Modulor 3 takes its title from the architect Le Corbusier's 1948 book The modulor: a harmonious measure to the human scale universally applicable to architecture and mechanics. Like Corbusier, Martín seems to be interested in the tension between synthesis and visual disorder. Martín’s video resonates with such works in Beyond Geometry as the labyrinth structure of Hélio Oiticica’s Nucleus 6 from 1960-63 and Robert Smithson’s Yucatan Mirror Displacements (1-9), 1969.
Fernandez's Dibujos móviles will be presented on a plasma screen in MAM's lobby on November 30 from 2 to 6pm during the museum's Beyond Geometry International Roundtable. It will also be projected onto the façade of The Historical Museum of Southern Florida on December 2 from 6 to 10pm during MAM's Party on the Plaza, a signature Art Basel Miami Beach event. This site-specific outdoor projection measures approximately 35.6 feet high and 27.8 feet wide. Ferrán Martín's El Modulor 3 will be projected on a monitor on November 30 and December 2 in MAM's lobby.