This year Art Basel in Miami Beach inaugurates a new sector, Meridians, curated by the director of the Museo Tamayo, Magalí Arriola. It features 34 large-scale projects by the likes of Theaster Gates, Isaac Julien, Candice Lin, Ana Mendieta, Mario Merz, Oscar Tuazon, Laure Prouvost, and more. Whitewaller got in touch with Arriola to find out what we can expect from the debut edition.
WHITEWALLER: Tell us about the new Meridians sector.
MAGALÍ ARRIOLA: Meridians will create a vibrant platform not only for large-scale works but also for specific practices that did not have a dedicated space at the fair until now. The sheer scale of the Grand Ballroom in the recently renovated Convention Center, and its immediate proximity to the show floor, will give unprecedented opportunities to experience these kinds of works.
WW: Will projects be site-specific or commissioned? Are there any rare, previously unseen, or recently made pieces?
MA: The selection of projects that will be presented will offer a wide range of works by historical artists, reenactments of performative pieces, existing works that were conceived in recent years, and others that are being specifically produced for this first edition of Meridians—all of which will push the boundaries of the conventional art fair.
Each project is unique, and it becomes very difficult to conceive the show as a single entity. It has been really exciting to see how many conceptual overlaps, artistic concerns, and thematic threads have emerged in an organic way, and that one can follow among artists from different generations.
WW: Can you tell us about the range of installations and sculptures that will be on view?
MA: The sector will include a variety of large-scale works and installations, moving images, and performance. The presentations are the result of a collaboration between different galleries. That is the case with a large-scale video installation by Isaac Julien centered on the work of Brazilian architect Lina Bo Bardi (Jessica Silverman, Nara Roesler, Ron Mandos, Victoria Miro), and Oscar Tuazon’s architectural pavilion Quonset Tent (Chantal Crousel, Galerie Eva Presenhuber, Luhring Augustine).
There are also other exciting presentations of works that have been rarely seen, such as Allan McCollum’s foundational “Constructed Paintings” from 1971 to 1973 (Petzel) reflecting the artist’s early preoccupation with serial production and strategies of display; Alexis Smith’s 1982 mural painting Fool’s Gold, inspired by pulp fiction iconography (Garth Greenan Gallery); and Tina Girouard’s reenactment of her durational piece Pinwheel (Anat Ebgi), the first and last presentation of which took place in 1972.
WW: Outside of the fair, what are you looking forward to seeing or doing in Miami this December?
MA: I am sure that, just like every year, there will be a great number of exhibitions to discover at institutions such as PAMM and the ICA Miami. And I am of course looking forward to discovering the new home for the Rubell Family Collection, which is expanding its commitment within the community to serve as a public resource.