On December 8th, 2017, FIU Honors students visited the UNTITLED, Art. fair in Miami Beach. The students heard from Manuela Mozo, the Director of UNTITLED. They were also welcomed by Christopher Fox and Elyse Flynn of Not Design and the staff at False Flag Gallery.
Professor John William Bailly and Florida International University would like to recognize UNTITLED, Art.’s commitment to community and education in opening the fair to our students. The students of Aesthetics & Values 2017-2018 and Poetry Art Community 2017-2018 would also like to thank Clara Andrade Pereira and Amanda Schmitt of UNTITLED, Art. for their generosity in welcoming them to the fair.
Following their experience at UNTITLED, Art. Miami Beach 2017, students shared their voices and opinions through photographs and personal reflections.
As I traversed the tent of the Untitled Art Fair, consumerism became a notable theme. There I was, observing and receiving messages from the works passed by. Not knowingly, I was surrounded by artworks worth more than I could ever dream of. There are people who pay millions of dollars for certain artworks because they must have the latest and most well-known pieces currently out there. Individuals constantly purchase things to submit to society’s expectations, by putting importance on following societies norms, instead of one’s own personal satisfaction. Instead of attending the fair for the art, many seemed to be there to document themselves at this happening event as society deems it. Most, if not all succumb to the power of consumerism. Heck, I spent five dollars on a popsicle. It was delicious, but it sure was pricy. We all want nice things and want to fit in, but when consumerism begins to consume you and influences you to not be true to yourself, there is an issue. By surrendering to the nature of our consumerist society, we each become shadows in time abiding to society instead of ourselves. We are but mere reflections of our consumerism.
A diet pepsi. A swimming Barbie.
Familiar. Unknown. Forgotten.
Five minutes on the beach manifests
Sandals and rope and beer cans after beer cans
But there’s an entrance fee
A sense of Look! Don’t touch! Look!
In a tent erected in a public space,
splintering between dollar signs and palm trees
A neon sign ten feet away scream
LOVE ME BACK
small compared to the wall
LOVE ME BACK
LOVE ME BACK
LOVE ME BACK
art or the earth or
the people that sleep only yards away
a message is a Message when
catered to those that can afford it.
We all have different definitions of what art is, and at UNTITLED, artists everywhere were able to display their interpretations. Some had themes that were easy to assess, such as the struggles of the working class and over-idolization in Hollywood, but other exhibits were more questionable.
I don’t think all art needs to have an explanation. Some of it is there to just enjoy. Someone may be able to develop their own idea on what that art represents, but we don’t all need to come to that consensus. One of the artists had her dog with her, and it was lying very still while sleeping. I had seen her come in with it so I knew it was not part of the exhibit, but some people were so fixated on the dog, and I even heard one wondering how it fit into the exhibit while ignoring the portraits displayed.
Why do we need explanations for everything? We don’t feel at peace without an answer, because without it, we lose power. Especially in art, some cannot fathom its reason for existing being simply for aesthetic pleasure.
Art wasn’t the dog that night, but maybe for a moment, it was.
The squeak of the press across the fresh-set moveable type is the sound of art yearning to be made,
The sound of a final and ancient printmaking process, of the push and pull, of the wiping of the pieces, of the wetting with ink and the choosing of the letters,
Having the type in your hand makes you think about the nitty gritty details, lets you consider the hand-carved pieces, forces y u to us3 wh4t’z 4v4il4bl3—
And gave it new life by ripping it further apart—
I see what that artist saw, hidden between those off-white keys—
I see the multitudes of poems, yet unwritten, yet
I couldn’t hear words
But I thought you asked
“Who’s the artist?”
And the girl at the desk didn’t look up,
and you nodded and looked at the painting
as if you understood
Then you became a wall, then the floor
In my peripheral, a monochromatic
Pink film in a cubicle of objects
And everything refocused
So, I laughed, realizing amidst
The objects were people, too.
And me, too.
A&V / PAC Fall 2017 Student Gallery from UNTITLED, Art. Miami Beach
Isabella Marie Garcia