jueves, 4 de diciembre de 2008
THE CLUBHOUSE AT THE EDGE OF TOWN (Locust Projects, 10 Years Old)
10 years. A milestone? Certainly in a city in which alternative spaces spontaneously spoof out of existence and new ones don’t emerge to replace them; in a city with a cultural landscape dominated almost exclusively by those whose only contribution is the capital they pump in, rather than by the people who produce the actual objects that circulate; in a city in which no one seems scandalized by this, or by the fact that alternatives to the official culture that is pedaled by that interwoven matrix of institutions, collectors, fairs, galleries, lifestyle and art magazines, and the local paper seem like negligible proposals. There is a reason why Miami’s B-movies and scat-electronica, as well as the paraliterary genres of crime fiction and South Beach noir, feel, in their trashiness and lo-fi values, more vital and exciting, less middle-of-the-road and cautious, than so many of the things that hang in local exhibition spaces, personal museums, and penthouse walls. The water fountain is often the most exciting thing in the room in these places. 10 years. Surely, there are things to celebrate, starting with the fact that three artists put together their pennies, nailed up some drywall in what used to be a crack den and, out sheer will power, fired up an alternative to what was—and what wasn’t happening—in this city. And they did this without asking for permission from anyone. There is also the fact that this exhibition space, more like a clubhouse at the edge of town than a solemn cultural institution, has managed to leave its founders behind, to sail out on its own, and maybe even to become respectable. And we can certainly be piss-happy that so many artists saw this little clubhouse and thought enough of it to come and invest their time and energy and produce projects that they could have saved for more “legitimate” spaces. But before we get misty-eyed as we cast retrospective glances and pat each other in self-congratulation, we should remember that looking back and seeking accolades—there is little time for this when one is constantly searching for money to buy lumber and print invitations—have never found a natural habitat in the clubhouse. The idea has always been to look forward, to try things that there was no way they could work. Cold-call people and tell them: “Produced a show for us…and, oooooh, ahhhh, yeahhhh, there’s no budget for it.” And then, do it again the following month.