november, 2021

202130nov202201mayInstitute of Contemporary Art Miami | 11/30/21 - 05/01/22 | And perhaps here between | Harold Mendez | Miami Design District

Time

November 30 (Tuesday) 12:00 am - May 1 (Sunday) 11:59 pm

Location

Institute of Contemporary Art Miami

61 NE 41st St Miami FL 33137

Organizer

Institute of Contemporary Art Miami1 305-901-5272 61 NE 41st St Miami FL 33137

Event Details

Art Exhibition | 11/30/21 – 05/01/22
And perhaps here between | Harold Mendez
Miami Design District

Institute of Contemporary Art Miami
61 NE 41st St Miami FL 33137
1 305-901-5272

ICA Miami is proud to present “And perhaps here between” by artist and sculptor Harold Mendez. A first-generation American of Colombian and Mexican descent Mendez’s work engages the long arc of hemispheric history from ancestral cosmologies to the diasporic knowledges that form such an important part of New World cultures. Working in photography sculpture and installation Mendez’s objects explore cultural memory ritual and transnational experiences. The porous borders between fiction and truth visibility and absence material bluntness and poetic moods run through his work making a case for the articulation of complex narratives as the necessary outcome of the culturally rich and deeply stratified spaces of the Americas.

“And perhaps here between” finds its genesis in a MacArthur Foundation-sponsored cultural exchange trip to Cuba in which Mendez participated in 2017. Once on the island he went looking for the gravesite of the Cuban artist Belkis Ayón a formative influence in Mendez’s practice and an artist with whom he has maintained a running dialogue through his work in different ways. In his search for the gravesite Mendez serendipitously ran into a series of ritual objects and sites of ceremony which he documented. Back in his studio in Los Angeles Mendez printed the images and began to overlay them with diaphanous veils of graphite and charcoal and fiberglass meshes coalescing them into a body of interrelated works. These works in turn led to the production of further sculptural and photographic works that sought to dialogue with the memory of Ayón and the images produced in Cuba.

Alongside the photographs and objects that stem from the initial research “And perhaps here between” includes a series of related new works that employ both evocative found objects and cast sculptures. The exhibition includes a nearly one-ton counterweight sourced from a scrapyard in Captiva Florida—a place Mendez explored during his residency at the Robert Rauschenberg Foundation in 2016. Quietly alluding to the headstone the object both returns us to the initial quest for Ayón’s gravesite while also being a quite evocative object in its own right. Its heft alone lends it a significant presence but the markings of its surfaces from decades of usage point to the complex range of ways that bodies have been employed in the Americas—bodies often forcedly brought over that have been driven to the deepest pits of injustice and that have despite all that conspired against them soared to unexpected dimensions of joy. And perhaps here between (2021) is a cast-iron replica of a trio of discarded cardboard boxes. Meticulously produced so as to capture all the creases and markings of disintegrating utilitarian objects the objects are to be covered with fresh flower petals every few days. Permanence and transience durability and fragility value and waste life and inanimateness—all are held in difficult tension in the work endowing the object with an unexpectedly potent poetic dimension.

Mendez’s ten-year career survey “Let us gather in a flourishing way” premiered at the Institute of Contemporary Art Los Angeles in 2020 and is touring museums in 2021 including the Institute for Contemporary Art Virginia Commonwealth University Richmond. He has participated in significant exhibitions including “Being: New Photography 2018” at the Museum of Modern Art New York and the 2017 Whitney Biennial New York. Mendez’s work has also been included in exhibitions at the Studio Museum in Harlem New York; LAXART Los Angeles; MoMA PS1 Long Island City Queens; the Renaissance Society Chicago; Project Row Houses Houston; and the Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago among other venues. He has been an artist-in-residence at the Robert Rauschenberg Foundation; Core Program Museum of Fine Arts Houston; Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture Madison Maine; Headlands Center for the Arts Marin County California; Light Work Syracuse New York; and the Kohler Arts/Industry Residency Sheboygan Wisconsin. His works are included in the permanent collections of the Whitney Museum of American Art; Studio Museum in Harlem; and the Museum of Fine Arts Houston.

“Harold Mendez: And perhaps here between” is organized by ICA Miami and curated by Gean Moreno Director Knight Foundation Art Research Center at ICA Miami.

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