ART BASEL MIAMI BEACH – DAY 3

Paris, LA began our third day at the international arts bonanza Art Basel Miami Beach at a groundbreaking for 10 Museum Park, the first residential project by famed architect Zaha Hadid in North America. The site of a former gas station, tucked between two gleaming new residential skyscrapers, 10 Museum Park will rise 60 stories above Biscayne Boulevard.

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The building features Hadid’s signature curves as part of an elaborate visible exoskeleton, lacing up towards the multistory aquatic center and lounge at the skyscraper’s crown. The groundbreaking ceremony was packed with Miami developers and admirers of Hadid, including the Mayor of Miami, who presented the architect with a key to the city. Reserved yet gracious, she expressed happiness in being able to complete such an ambitious project.

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Across the street lies the Peréz Museum of Art, whos beautiful new campus by Herzog & de Meuron was completed last year. The palm-lined courtyard features a geodesic dome by legendary architect and designer Buckminster Fuller. As part of their inaugural exhibition, the Peréz showed Global Positioning Systems, which demonstrated the international scope of its collection and the various geopolitical interests of contemporary artists. Rikrit Tirivanij, Dara Friedman, Alfredo Jaar, and Fred Wilson were particularly notable.

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Next Paris, LA ventured to Miami’s new design district, filled with gleaming designer stores and yet another Buckminster Fuller dome–this one the entrance to a block-sized parking structure. The de la Cruz Collection featured a number of impressively installed Aaron Curry sculptures and drawings and large works by Mark Bradford. The third floor held two notable pieces by Felix Gonzalez-Torres, Untitled (Portrait of Dad) and Somewhere better than this place/Nowhere better than this place, around which small crowds of people clustered, listening to docents and taking mint candies or posters.

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Not far from the de la Cruz Collection, the Miami Institute of Contemporary Art featured a three-story lobby installation by Andra Ursuta, As I Lay Dying. The centerpiece was a disturbing clay figure, covered in wax–recalling a suicidal leap from the atrium’s third floor or a violent rape. On the museum’s upper floors, “psychiatrists” in white lab coats led visitors around Pedro Reyes’ Sanatorium, a series of rooms where participants were encouraged to divulge their secrets, relieve their stress, and share their life questions.

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At nearby Locust Projects, an installation by Daniel Arsham occupied the entire gallery floor. A huge circular pit dug into the floor was filled with crumbling casts of antiquated objects–boomboxes and walkmans, Super-8 and Polaroid cameras. It was quite literally a pit of obsolesence–echoed by the piece’s title, Welcome to the Future. The work was reminiscent of an indigenous burial pit, where pottery and other objects are ceremonially burned.

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Paris, LA finished tonight at the James Blake concert, hosted by the National YoungArts Foundation. A brilliant musical auteur from Britain, Blake’s music is soulful yet dystopian–velvet melodies often fracture into mechanical rhythms and deep bass “dub” sound. His hit single “Limit to Your Love” was the perfect way to end the day.

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