Isabella Marie Garcia at PAMM 2019

PAMM Poetry Reading (ASC Semester Project)

By Isabella Marie Garcia

Pre-Event Preparation

Prior to the PAMM Poetry Reading on April 6th, I spent Friday, February 15th, 2019 all day at the PAMM for my Honors Italia and España courses prepping to write two different PAMM As Texts for the courses. For the morning portion of the Honors España exploration of the PAMM, I decided to focus on two pieces by two Latinx artists, Liliana Porter and Pedro Neves Marques. I examined how their two works on display at the PAMM related to one another, and how they were both so different but also extremely similar. I ended up with this reflection:

Una stiuación breve que pica

By Isabella Marie Garcia of FIU at the Pérez Art Museum Miami (Honors España 2019)

Liliana Porter and Pedro Neves Marques. Two artists, one female and one male.

One represented by her work, El hombre con el hacha y otras situaciones breves. One represented by his work, A Mordida.

For Porter, the multimedia presentation of her work throws the viewer off balance as they try to take in all the meanings in the messy display of miniatures and broken remains of teacups, cultural artifacts, and tiny encapsulations of moments from history. From the Kennedy assassination to the hammer and sickle of the Soviet Union, Porter presents history as we know it from a bird eye’s perspective. There is violence and there is peace, both coexisting within the same space.

For Marques, the multimedia presentation of his work throws the viewer into a world of creepy ambiance and two screens that tug the viewer into a war. Which screen will they look at as both play simultaneously? Marques presents ideas of gender fluidity and heteronormative control on gender with the overarching reality of the

ascension of President Jair Bolsonaro in Brazil. A man not afraid to voice his disgust for the LGBT community, Bolsonaro’s presidency has raised the already disgusting threats against Brazilian LGBT citizens into prime targets of violence and hatred. There is violence but there is peace, presented on opposite screens but coexisting within the same space.

The tie of violence and peace within both works is synonymous with life and living as a whole. While civil unrest, coup d’états, homicides, genocides plague a country, the

calm and small comforts of life remain. There’s the woman sitting in a coffee shop planning out her day or the beginning steps of a child. It’s like the Mexican film Roma, with its slow languor of life intermittent with explosive moments of violence, of lonely women with their absent men.

Though in two separate locations at the PAMM, Porter and Marques’ works complement each other perfectly in depicting life’s violence and how the absence of it is inextricably tied to feeling at peace.

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Following a well-deserved walk and break at The Daily, I walked back to the PAMM and met up with two friends from the Honors Italia course. As I walked around once again, I tried to look for a piece that varied greatly from the one I decided to write about for Honors España. As I entered Ebony Patterson’s entire exhibition and found myself in the back area of the room, I was moved to write about the ways in which exhibition visitors interact with a work and its space. As a result, I wrote this:

The Abyss of Masculinity

By Isabella Marie Garcia of FIU at Pérez Art Museum Miami (Honors Italia 2019)

Sitting silhouetted against a triptych of black masculinity. Standing in the entrance of the piece but not entering to sit down. Taking a peek inside but then turning away quickly and leaving the exhibition.

I’m always intrigued to see who hovers and who stays. The families with their children running around, some snatching their child away from what grabs their curiosity. The elder audience sometimes looks around in confusion, other look closely in awe.

There’s the solo attendee with their arms crossed or the group of rowdy

friends making fun of each other in between installations.

For Ebony Patterson, the display of black masculinity stands over you and tells you to look these men in the eye. Look at their tears, the removal of their clothing, their displays of vulnerability. Look at the way their movements are altered and reversed. Are you uncomfortable? Will you tell these men to stop crying? Will you tell them to put their shirts back on? Do you care about these men enough to stay and watch them? Or are you not ready for the truth?

Days leading up to the event, I chose between the two works and decided to go with the reflection I had written for Honors Italia since it was concise and a piece I really wanted to share at the reading.

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Actions and Words Spoken On April 6th, the actual day of the PAMM Poetry Reading, I took the metro up from the Coconut Grove station and then onto the MetroMover to reach the Museum Park stop. I was able to sit in for the actual formal poetry reading, which included professional poets and FIU student poets from Professor Bailly’s Poetry Art Community (PAC) course.

Following that, I went with

Maria, Meily, and Kami of the Honors Italia class and read my piece within our group.

Along with that group, I stood by the Ebony Patterson and read my piece to Victoria Atencio, TA for the Honors Italia, España, and France programs, and Shalenah Ivey and Nathalie Sandin of the Art Society Conflict (ASC) course.

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Publicly Relating to the People

With regards to social media, I promoted the event on both my Instagram story and my Facebook account. Along with that, as editor on Professor Bailly’s website, I helped organize a blog post promoting the event, along with a calendar of other events and the rest of Professor Bailly’s class schedules. I’m also in charge of sending out thank you letters with Kassandra Casanova for the Honors Art, Society, Conflict course and sent out a thank you letter to the staff at the Pérez Art Museum Miami for allowing us free entry into the museum and for hosting the event.

Reflection and Post-Thoughts

I’m not gonna lie, this event had me STRESSED, but mainly because of the trip to actually arrive at the PAMM. I decided to avoid the cost of driving and parking around the PAMM and instead took the metro. However, due to poor planning and a tired tiny body failing to prepare for delays, the single-track construction happening on the metro caused me to arrive late to the event. Regardless of arriving late, I still managed to find a seat in the auditorium and enjoy the second half of the poetry reading. I literally mouthed “HOLY SHIT” when Richard announced his engagement and loved hearing him close out the event. From there, I managed to find a group

to read with and headed towards a section of the PAMM that was more secluded. The lack of structure of the informal poetry reading wasn’t the best, from my perspective. Nobody who wasn’t a student in the FIU Honors courses really interacted with the group readings. While we got to share our reflections with each other, I think there could have been a better way of signaling to the guests and attendees to the PAMM that we were student poets reading work related to the art. Other than that, it was a wonderful chance to explore a space and merge poetry and student voices together with established artists and works.

Highs: Taking the metro 🙂 | Lows: The loser in the corvette racing by me on the street and forgetting to let me drive the corvette :-/

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