Miami Art Museum. Rivane Neuenschwander

Through Oct 16, 2011

Miami Art Museum is presenting the first mid-career survey of the work of Brazilian artist Rivane Neuenschwander focusing on over ten years of innovative practice. Neuenschwander’s work, which includes painting, photography, film, sculpture, immersive installations and participatory actions, combines conceptual rigor, sensory appeal, poetic evocation and viewer interaction.

The show at MAM’s plaza-level gallery, includes two of Neuenschwander’s installations, Rain Rains and I Wish Your Wish. Rain Rains is an environment of dripping buckets, suspended from the ceiling to create an artificial rain environment. I Wish Your Wish is inspired by a tradition of a church in Bahia, Brazil, in which the faithful bind ribbons to their wrists and to the gates of the church; according to tradition, their wishes are granted when the ribbons wear away and fall off. In Neuenschwander’s version, visitors choose from thousands of ribbons printed with the wishes from past visitors to the installation and replace them with wishes of their own, turning private aspiration into collective responsibility.

Other works in the exhibition are The Conversation, a skewed homage to Francis Ford Coppola’s 1972 film, and First Love, a psychologically complex adaptation of Samuel Beckett’s novella by the same name. The Conversation, realized especially for this exhibition, is an immersive installation that investigates paranoia in an age in which privacy is no longer an individual’s natural right. In Neuenschwander’s First Love, visitors describe their ‘first love’ to a police sketch artist. The pencil sketches hang in the gallery for the duration of the exhibition, creating a very personal portrait gallery of perpetrators. In another work, A Thousand and One Possible Nights, the artist created a calendar of constellation-like collages made by punching holes in pages of The Arabian Nights: Tales of 1,001 Nights.

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