Faena Art Announces Second Annual Faena Festival
Faena Festival During Miami Art Week (December 2-8, 2019): The Last Supper To Feature Seminal Works, New Commissions, Installations, Films, and Performances by Sophia Al-Maria, Janine Antoni, Yael Bartana, Andrea Büttner, Gabriel Chaile, Myrlande Constant, Ron Fricke, Camille Henrot, Zhang Huan, The Propeller Group, Christian Jankowski, Jumana Manna, Jillian Mayer, Ana Mendieta, Pedro Neves Marques, Emeka Ogboh, Grethell Rasúa, Faith Ringgold, Martha Rosler, Jamilah Sabur, Antonia Wright, and Osías Yanov and Lulo Demarco. Supper Series Includes Culinary Activations and Shared Meals by Jim Denevan, Lunafridge, and Francis Mallmann and Paul Qui.
Faena Art announced additional information on artists, commissions, and programs for its second annual Faena Festival to be presented during Miami Art Week. Running from December 2 through 8, 2019, the Faena Festival: The Last Supper is an exploration of spirituality and food, abundance and sacrifice, indulgence and abstinence, and archetypal symbolism and contemporary aesthetics.
The Last Supper will include: new commissions by Sophia Al-Maria, Gabriel Chaile, Myrlande Constant, Emeka Ogboh, Jamilah Sabur, and Osías Yanov and Lulo Demarco; installations by Camille Henrot, Zhang Huan, and The Propeller Group; an LED billboard boat on the waterways of Miami, which will serve as a platform for mobile video installations by Janine Antoni, Jillian Mayer, and Ana Mendieta; a Cinema Series with nightly screenings by Yael Bartana, Andrea Büttner, Ron Fricke, Christian Jankowski, Jumana Manna, Pedro Neves Marques, Grethell Rasúa, Faith Ringgold, Martha Rosler, and Antonia Wright; and a Supper Series, featuring culinary activations and shared meals by Jim Denevan, Lunafridge, and Francis Mallmann and Paul Qui, among others.
Curated by Zoe Lukov, Chief Curator at Faena Art, the Festival takes the pulpit and the kitchen as its point of departure, invites us to break bread together, and posits the shared meal or prayer as the crux of social interaction and communal connectivity. The works in the Festival are dialectical, simultaneously object-based and immersive, sacred and profane, and laden with tradition along with contemporary expressions of spiritual practices. The works establish a multiplicity of viewpoints surrounding our ceremonial rituals and objects, and their broader roles within cultural imaginings and narratives from around the world. The experiential presentation and curatorial format will occupy and engage with the entire Faena District.
“Art and spirituality have been linked forever—objects have always been made with intention, imbued with symbolism, and have acquired power and capital from the significance applied to them. Feasting and fasting, traditions that we have developed around shared meals and shared spiritual experiences, are often the bedrock of our lives, from the wafer and wine that were the body and the blood, to the ‘bread and circuses’ that marked imperial decadence, to the sanctity of one’s right to a last meal, or the offerings we leave our ancestors. We have often turned to spirituality or food for solace and healing, and this Festival wants us to catch the spirit,” said Lukov.
Alan Faena stated, “I created the Festival to be an incubator for new talents and ideas that inspire me, a space for connectivity, and to support artists to realize their dream projects, push limits and blur boundaries across artistic disciplines, and ultimately to generate new dialogues, narratives, and experiences.”
The Last Supper will feature seminal works and newly-commissioned installations and performances by renowned and emerging artists throughout the Faena District:
- Sophia Al-Maria will create a new commission for the Faena Forum Amphitheater, as part of her Limerent Objects series of videos imagining the myths and rituals of the pre-and-post-human, emerging and disappearing from collective consciousness. This single-channel video and installation casts Al-Maria’s collaborator Yumna Marwan at the center of this sanctuary-like space filled with pomegranate incense, as an abject Persephone/Kore- type figure, trapped outside of time and space. This bloody and ravenous Queen of the underworld—a figure Agamben called ‘the unspeakable girl’—occupied a central place in Eleusinian mystery cults’ secret rites to ensure food security and harmonious balance with nature. This work continues Al-Maria's interest in the relationship of myth-making to world-building/breaking as well as the fantasy of history as fact. In this and the previous Limerent Object, glossolalic words approach utterance, but are never spoken. The repetitive meditation draws the viewer down towards an ecstatic trance state, akin to explosive fugues of mystics and mourners—where Marwan, glimmers in and out of the grenadine-hued cenote. This second Limerent Object is an altar, an unpinned grenade and meditative seed for the audience to carry with them. Monday, December 2 from 6pm-11pm and Tuesday, December 3 from 11am-10pm.
- Camille Henrot will present her latest film, Saturday (2017), which delves deep into what philosopher Ernst Bloch called “the principle of hope,” which structures our aspirations for immediate, private utopias, as well as for radical change. The film focuses on the Seventh-day Adventist (SDA) Church, an evangelical millenarian Christian denomination that celebrates the Sabbath and practices baptism rituals on Saturday. Shot mostly in 3D, the film combines images of baptism rituals recorded by Henrot at SDA Church with civil protests, neurological testing, cosmetic surgery, endoscopic exams, and staged food television commercials, while headlines scrolling the bottom of the screen relate recurring bad news. The SDA obsession with diet and digital communication act as a mirror of modern capitalist society’s expectation for a better life, while echoing James Joyce’s idea of the “digestive value of religion.” Monday, December 2 from 6pm-11pm and Tuesday, December 3 from 11am-10pm.
- The Propeller Group will present The Living Need Light, The Dead Need Music (2014), a film depicting funerary traditions throughout the southern hemisphere to demonstrate the commonalities and continuities of the global south. Highlighting the elaborate funerary rituals of southern Vietnam, the film merges documentary footage of funeral processions with stunning re-enactments that are at once abstract, poetic, and metaphorical—a rumination on death and the ways the living pay homage to the deceased. Monday, December 2 from 6pm-11pm and Tuesday, December 3 from 11am-10pm.
- Gabriel Chaile, an Argentine artist whose work reflects the aesthetics of his community and their shared regional indigenous cultures, will present his largest commission to date: a collection of six totems that reference indigenous wayfinders or talismans—one of which will also work as a functional oven to bake bread. These large-scale adobe sculptures will recall images from anthropological and theological studies, while also insisting on a contemporary assemblage of images and aesthetics from across the Americas. Faena Hotel Public Space. From 6pm on Monday, December 2-Sunday, December 8. On view throughout the week. Bread Baking Ceremonies: Tuesday, December 3 from 5:30pm-6pm and Thursday, December 5 from 5pm-5:30pm.
- Haitian artist Myrlande Constant, who has been creating Vodou flags since the early 1990s, has been commissioned to create the largest of her signature flags to date. Pioneering a new style of Vodou flag, she creates ornate and densely-beaded works that are often much larger and more intricate than traditional flags, overflowing with symbols and images that create mythical visual narratives. The flag is both a contemporary painting and sacred object to which one might leave a ceremonial offering or dedicate a prayer. The commission will be installed alongside a series of the artist’s pre-existing flags in the entrance of the Faena Hotel, fostering a spiritual response. Main Lobby of Faena Hotel. From 6pm on Monday, December 2-Sunday, December 8. On view throughout the week.
- Zhang Huan, a Chinese painter, photographer, sculptor, performance artist, and opera director, will present Miami Buddha. The monumental work will feature two 17-foot Buddhas sitting face to face—one an aluminum mold, the other made of incense ash imbued with the prayers of untold worshippers that the artist collected from temples around China. During its installation on the beach, the ash Buddha will be exposed to the elements and may crumble and disintegrate—a meditation on the impermanence of life, the cyclicality of destruction and renewal, and the reincarnation of death and rebirth. From 6pm on Monday, December 2-Sunday, December 8. On view throughout the week. Unmasking Ceremony of the Buddha will be held on Monday, December 2 at 7pm.
- Berlin-based Nigerian artist Emeka Ogboh, will create a new beer commission, also titled The Last Supper, informed by his experience in the city of Miami and by African and indigenous ingredients common throughout the city and the Caribbean. Drawing on Miami’s iconic architecture and its blend of flavors and sounds, Ogboh developed a honey brown ale with notes of lime and pepper in partnership with Biscayne Bay Brewing. This work contemplates how gustatory experiences capture existential relationships, frame our understanding of the world, and provide a context in which to ask critical questions on immigration and globalization. Specially created by the artist, the visual cues on the beer’s label reference the Nsibidi symbols of southeastern Nigeria, each of which have significance that might be understood as key connections to the concept. From 6pm on Monday, December 2-Sunday, December 8. Complimentary beer available throughout the week at Faena Hotel and Faena Beach. Special Communion: Tuesday, December 3 from 5:30pm-6pm and Thursday, December 5 from 5pm-5:30pm.
- The mobile video installations feature both new commissions and seminal works screened on an LED billboard boat on the waterways of Miami Beach. Works include:
- Janine Antoni’s Touch (2002), a video in which the artist set-up a temporary tightrope on the beach in front of her childhood home. Through the camera, the line of the tight rope appears parallel to the ocean’s horizon as Antoni walks back and forth. Under her weight, the wire dips to touch the horizon, allowing Antoni to balance there for just a moment. From 6pm on Monday, December 2-Sunday, December 8. Shown on continuous loop across Miami Beach from 12pm to 6pm.
- Jillian Mayer’s You’ll Be Okay (2014), a looping animation of a comforting text written in the sky that nods to our centuries-old gazing towards the sky and stars for messages of assurance, as well as the very Miami tradition of skywriting. From 6pm on Monday, December 2-Sunday, December 8. Shown on continuous loop across Miami Beach from 12pm to 6pm.
- Ana Mendieta’s Creek (1974) and Alma Silueta en Fuego (1975), two of the artist’s seminal cinematic works that consider fugitive and potent traces of the artist’s inscription of her body in the landscape, often transformed by natural elements such as fire and water. From 6pm on Monday, December 2-Sunday, December 8. Shown on continuous loop across Miami Beach from 12pm to 6pm.
- Jamilah Sabur’s Playing Possum (2014) repositions the moon landing as a kind of ritual dance for a body in-between worlds, in a void between realms, or potentially near death. From 6pm on Monday, December 2-Sunday, December 8. Shown on continuous loop across Miami Beach from 12pm to 6pm.
- Osías Yanov and Lulo Demarco’s Mar de Sal (2019), a new commission for the Festival that serves as prequel to their recent work, Coreografías de Sal, which was commissioned by Faena Art and debuted at the Faena Art Center in Buenos Aires in 2019. Beginning with the discovery of a sea made from salt tears, the tears become salt crystals, and the crystals dissolve to become the sea from which a hybrid creature arises. From 6pm on Monday, December 2-Sunday, December 8. Shown on continuous loop across Miami Beach from 12pm to 6pm.
- The Cinema Series invites viewers to engage in the contemporary collective ritual of going to the movies. Throughout the week, films will be screened on Faena Beach from a boat stationed on the water, as well as in the screening room at the Faena Hotel, with both areas becoming public spaces of congregation. Films will include:
- Yael Bartana’s Inferno (2013), an exploration of the construction of the third Temple of Solomon (Templo de Salmão) in São Paulo by a Brazilian Neo-Pentecostal Church.
- Andrea Büttner’s Little Sisters: Lunapark Ostia (2012), a video that focuses on a sisterhood of nuns who manage an arcade in a small amusement park in Ostia, near Rome.
- Ron Fricke’s Baraka (1992), a feature film featuring a non-conventional narrative presenting footage of people, places, and things from around the world.
- Christian Jankowski’s The Hunt (1992), a video documenting the artist archaically hunting for food with a bow and arrow in a commercialized supermarket.
- Jumana Manna’s Wild Relatives (2018), a documentary about the tensions between the state and the individual, industrial and organic approaches to seed saving, climate change and biodiversity, as witnessed through the journey of seeds.
- Pedro Neves Marques’ Exterminator Seed (2017), a film that fuses science fiction and speculative storytelling.
- Grethell Rasúa’s De la permanencia y otras necesidades (2014), a work that builds upon the artist’s research in taste, desire, and flavor as key mediums for cultural consumption, creation, and destruction.
- Faith Ringgold’s Faith Ringgold: Tell It Like It Is (2019), a documentary made by the BBC as part of the art series, Imagine, created by Alan Yentov. The documentary explores Faith Ringgold’s life as an artist, an author, and an activist; following her into her studio in New Jersey and into Harlem, where she born, to elucidate her extraordinary life and work.
- Martha Rosler’s Semiotics of the Kitchen (1975), a performance-based work that adopts the form of a parodic cooking demonstration, repositioning the domestic setting and highlighting the politics of the body in the kitchen and in our cooking.
- Jamilah Sabur’s Obra (2019), a new commission for that takes the artist back to Jamaica, where she was born, to research and capture imagery of the island’s mosques, highlighting how an exchange of memories can occur across multiples sites and beyond geography and time.
- Antonia Wright’s Be (2013), a single channel vide depicting the artist covered in a colony of 15,000 bees while practicing Tai Chi. Tai Chi and bees are similar in that they both have the capacity for violence, but in their peaceful states, raise vitality in the body and the environment. Wright demonstrates the universal, fragile balance between threat and calm.
The Cinema Series will start at 6pm daily on 34th Street. Please check the Faena Festival webpage for a detailed daily schedule of each screening.
- The Supper Series will invite viewers to congregate and share a meal created in collaboration with artists and chefs:
- Jim Denevan will create a new kind of earth work in the form of a monumental wooden table on the beach—a setting for The Last Supper. Shaped as a perfect circle and seating 360 people around it, the table may also move and be rearranged to take the form of an arc or a half of an infinity sign.
- Lunafridge will explore the cultural landscape of The Last Supper through a performative work driven by astrological insights and narrative gastronomy, consisting of a series of unconventional food experiences throughout the Festival. These experiences will encourage social cohesion and discordance, ritualize overlooked modes of eating, and intensify ways of being together. Wednesday, December 4 at 8pm. Tickets available to the public through Eventbrite. Fortune cookies available throughout the week in the Faena District. The Threshold Ritual: Saturday, December 7 from 4:30pm-6:30 pm.
- Francis Mallmann & Paul Qui, world renowned chefs, will create an open-air, open-fire dinner fusing new flavors that draw on the basic elements of fire cooking. In a waterfront setting, Francis Mallmann, who revolutionized the Argentine asado, and Paul Qui, the king of contemporary Eastern cooking techniques, will team up for the first time for the Festival. Tuesday, December 3 at 8pm. Tickets available to the public through Eventbrite.
The Last Supper is the second iteration of the Faena Festival. The inaugural Festival, This Is Not America, presented in Miami Beach in December 2018 and in Buenos Aires in April 2019, addressed ‘America’ as a contested and powerful idea greater than the borders that frame it. Alfredo Jaar’s iconic work A Logo for America (1987) was a point of departure for the Festival, challenging and subverting the monolithic and hegemonic idea of America. The Festival also featured commissions, installations, videos, and performances by Derrick Adams, Cecilia Bengolea, Isabel Lewis, Wu Tsang and boychild, Luna Paiva, George Sánchez-Calderón, Tavares Strachan, Miya Ando, Boris Mitić, Ana Teresa Fernández, Eugene Jarecki, Joseph Beuys, and Agustina Woodgate and the Rev. Houston R. Cypress.