Provisional Obstruction Little Haiti, Miami
Provisional Obstruction is a collaborative project with Misael Soto, a site specific public installation at 6041 NE 2 Avenue, Little Haiti, Miami, Florida, USA. November 15 - December 15, 2019
Provisional Obstruction, Little Haiti, Miami, continues a collaborative work which began two years ago in Chicago. The work employs scaffolding and banner-sized imagery, both temporary and pragmatic objects and structures that are typically secondary and subservient to what are traditionally seen as more permanent objects and structures such as buildings. The public installation deviates passersby viewpoints and diverts foot traffic along the sidewalk, becoming the catalyst for a conversation on shared ideas of stability birthed from objects that connote impermanence.
Built in 1902, the site in Little Haiti is a building that housed the Lemon City Pharmacy or Dr. Dupuis Office. It is the oldest building in Miami, North of Flagler Street and will soon be incorporated into the architecture of a forthcoming development.
Scaffolding, very much like what you see here, is recognized worldwide. In Miami its presence can signify unfamiliar and contentious change. In Little Haiti specifically, it’s a signifier of rapid development led in part by climate change and rising sea levels, large portions of undeveloped land, and relatively low property values. Oftentimes banners cover scaffolding at building sites to conceal the transformation, advertise development, and promote what’s "next". For those living in and around development, these large scale advertisements often obscure the present with images of the future.
The scaffolding portion of the installation is purposefully dysfunctional and exaggerated, and the banners that hang from it mimic those at a construction site. The installation is used to obstruct, fragment, frame, and re-contextualize the building behind it. Scaffolding is installed along and then past the building’s facade, resembling its shape as it partially enters its backyard. And the banners hang in ways that reveal what currently exists. They display historic imagery of the building in 1948 on the right, and another mirror image of the same building photographed just a few weeks ago, installed on the left.
Burnaway, USA, December 8th 2019
Stir, India, December 4th 2019
View other iterations in this series: Provisional Obstruction, Pilsen, Chicago (2017)
Pre-installation, plan for the work (above)
Installed work and programming (below)
Opening Night and Walking Tour, 15th November 2019
The opening included a walking tour of the area with Jean Cidelca, a local tour guide from La Perle De Miami, who helped contextualise the work and the Lemon Pharmacy building where the scaffolding is installed.
Provisional Exchange, 30th November 2019
An informal conversation in the form of a picnic at the site. With the building slated for demolition, re-build and incorporation into a forthcoming development, attendees engaged in dialogue about this collaborative work and our process; the building and its relation to the project; and the selection of the site in Little Haiti including interactions with prior landowners, present developers, and community members.
Screening Cadet Chapel, December 7th 2019
To push this dialogue further, we invited Denver-based Jaimie Henthorn to present “Cadet Chapel” on the public installation, an immersive film project that explores the relationship between the militarized body and a modernist architecture icon. A newly commissioned score by electronic musician Kate Simko will play a key role within the work, reflecting the visual patterns and rhythms sonically.