Thursday night, the Pérez Art Museum Miami was transformed by PAMM Presents: Dimensions, by Devonté Hynes and Ryan McNamara. “Dimensions” was an interdisciplinary performance that spread across the museum’s expansive terrace and featured eight moving sculptural platforms holding live dancers and musicians. In a surprise finale, the platforms came together, like puzzle pieces, to reveal interwoven musical compositions and choreography.
Pérez Art Museum Miami (PAMM) has commissioned a collaborative performance between musician Devonté Hynes (Blood Orange) and artist Ryan McNamara to take place Thursday, December 3, 2015 during Miami Art Week. The performance on PAMM’s terrace included an original multi-part composition by Hynes, an internationally-acclaimed musician and producer, and sculptural elements and choreography by McNamara, a celebrated performance artist. Presented within the global context of Miami Art Week, the performance is an allegory of Miami’s history as a place of fantasy and fragmentation.
Blending sculpture, sound and choreography, the two artists, assisted by Miami-based musicians and dancers responded to South Florida sites of displacement and fantasy: High rises at the Ocean’s edge, Opa-locka, a recovering neighborhood with a dense concentration of Moorish architecture inspired by One Thousand and One Nights; Vizcaya, an opulent estate on the shores of Coconut Grove characterized by faux-historic European opulence; and Coral Castle, an otherworldly monument made by a Latvian immigrant in the fits of unrequited love.
A series of visits which took them beyond the well-trodden districts of South Beach and Downtown introduced the artists to these sites. The project began a year ago when PAMM invited Hynes and McNamara to participate in its Researcher-in-Residence program. The program was launched in January 2013 in order to provide artists, curators and writers with a new context for research and an opportunity to connect with South Florida’s unique cultural setting, resources and communities. Though Hynes and McNamara have long admired and respected each other’s work, they had not previously connected. The museum selected the artists to participate as a duo because of the resonances in their genre-defying, collaborative spirits. In awareness of their positions as visitors, the two chose to engage Miami’s history as a place of real-estate speculation, utopic visions of future and past, and the physical manifestation of desire, both collective or individual.
“Hynes and McNamara maintain practices defined by a wide spectrum of influences,” said Tobias Ostrander, PAMM chief curator. “Their approach to the Miami landscape brings a sensitivity to the multiple ways that built environments shape our imaginations.”
PAMM Presents: Dimensions, by Devonté Hynes and Ryan McNamara, takes place on Thursday, December 3, 9pm – midnight, during the museum’s signature Miami Art Week/Art Basel Miami Beach celebration. The event is open to exclusively toPAMM Sustaining and above level members as well as Art Basel Miami Beach, Design Miami/ and Art Miami VIP cardholders. For more information, or to join PAMM as a Sustaining or above level member, visit pamm.org/support. PAMM Presents:Dimensions is organized by Emily Mello and Katerina Llanes.
Devonté Hynes (b. 1985, raised in East London, England) has developed a reputation over the last decade as a consummate musician working under several monikers his own while writing and producing hits for artists such as Jessie Ware and Tinashe. His critically acclaimed album Cupid Deluxe, the fourth of his solo project Blood Orange, drew comparisons as varied as Sade, Lou Reed, and Prince, all adding up to a singular voice and flawless production that transcends genre with its emotional pungency. The album gained top positions on year-end best of lists, including those of NPR, Rolling Stone, and Pitchfork, and was praised by the New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, and the New Yorker, amongst many other media outlets. Hynes lends his talents to multi-disciplinary projects, including scoring last year’s Palo Alto, a film directed by Gia Coppola, and collaborating with artists Jayson Musson and Alex Da Corte to create a video installation at the ICA Philadelphia. In 2014, Hynes gave a TED talk about synesthesia, a neurological condition that Hynes has, in which one sense is simultaneously perceived by one or more additional senses. Recently, Hynes wrote and produced “All That” with Carly Rae Jepsen, the second single from her album, which they debuted together on Saturday Night Live in April.
Ryan McNamara (b. 1979, Phoenix, Arizona) is a Brooklyn based artist who is known for blending different practices of dance, theater, and history in his work. McNamara has been described as a “genre-evading performance artist”, who “explores our social – and social media-driven – attention-deficit malaise”. His works are often situation-specific, and tend to be immersive and collaborative or participatory. In 2013 he won the Malcolm McLaren Award given to an artist who demonstrates the most innovative and thought-provoking performance during the Performa Biennial. Past performances have included conducting a choreographed production line of male show-boys in a Louis Vuitton flagship store, and burying himself neck-high in a forest singing show tunes and popular classics while the audience walked around his head. McNamara has held performances and exhibitions at The High Line, Dallas Symphony Orchestra, Elizabeth Dee Gallery, The Watermill Performance Center, Barbara Gladstone Gallery, Lehmann Maupin, The Whitney Museum, MoMA P.S.1, and The Kitchen. This year he will perform and hold exhibitions at the Centre for Contemporary Art, Warsaw, Poland and Mary Boone Gallery. His work is also in the collection of The Museum of Modern Art and the Whitney Museum. He holds an MFA from Hunter College.
About Pérez Art Museum Miami
Pérez Art Museum Miami (PAMM) promotes artistic expression and the exchange of ideas, advancing public knowledge and appreciation of art, architecture and design, and reflecting the diverse community of its pivotal geographic location at the crossroads of the Americas. A 29-year-old South Florida institution formerly known as Miami Art Museum (MAM), Pérez Art Museum Miami opened a new building, designed by world-renowned architects Herzog & de Meuron, in Downtown Miami’s Museum Park on December 4, 2013. The facility and is a state-of-the-art model for sustainable museum desin and progressive programming and features 200,000 square feet of indoor and outdoor program space with flexible galleries; shaded outdoor verandas; a waterfront restaurant and bar; a museum shop; and an education center with a library, media lab and classroom spaces. For more information, please visit www.pamm.org, find us on Facebook (facebook.com/perezartmuseummiami), or follow us on Twitter (@pamm).
Photos Credit Kelly Taub / BFANYC: