Art Basel Miami Beach 2018

Collapse Into Now: In Miami Basel Performance, Abraham Cruzvillegas and Bárbara Foulkes Engineer Elegant Destruction


Twice a day at Art Basel Miami Beach, three large-scale sculptures get destroyed.

This is in Autorreconstrucción: To Insist, to Insist, to Insist…, a bewitching performance created by artist Abraham Cruzvillegas and choreographer Bárbara Foulkes that debuted earlier this year at the Kitchen in New York. In that edition, a single sculpture made of objects found on the street (a shopping cart, a soccer ball, a bookshelf, a great deal more) and balanced precariously atop a ladder was hung from the ceiling and, over the course of about 30 minutes, brought to a state of collapse by Foulkes. She spun it and connected herself to it with climbing gear, moving across the floor to shake it apart, and finally attached herself to a cable hanging from the ceiling, flying through the air as she kept at it with the accompaniment of music by Andrés García Nestitla.

In Miami, in the gargantuan grand ballroom of the new Miami Beach Convention Center, there is a trio of mobiles and a trio of performers and a trio of musicians—two violinists and a drummer who provide a captivating, jagged soundtrack through extended technique. Everyone is absolutely giving their all, throwing themselves into their work, and I have no idea how the dancers are managing to do repeat performances during the week. Their work looks punishing: they’re sprinting, hopping, and moving at odd angles, forcing it all to fall apart. Their sacrifices are our gain: it’s exhilarating and deeply satisfying to watch everything crash to the ground, all the while knowing that after the performance ends, the pieces will be rebuilt, balanced once more. Everyone’s work will begin again.

The free performances, presented by the Kitchen and Art Basel, and curated by Philipp Kaiser, run through Sunday, December 9, in the Grand Ballroom of the Miami Beach Convention Center, at 3 p.m. and 5 p.m. Doors open 30 minutes before the start time.

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