Updated: Jun 27, 2018
New York based artist Daniela Kostova was invited to exhibit at RAW Miami, here she shares her personal experience of what was it like to travel to Miami and exhibit at the event.
Miami lives of events, which are the necessary injection for the thirsty young blood of the city. I arrived with a very early flight, a big suitcase with a broken wheel and lot of enthusiasm. My colleague and friend artist Eva Davidova and I stayed at the house of a woman from Venezuela, also an artist! The house was in the Design District, which attracted us right away with its eclectic contemporary architecture, the amazing Moore building, home of our event RAW Pop Up and Elastika of Zaha Hadid, next to ICA Miami, surrounded by luxury stores.
Installation took 2 days, artists, designers, performers, musicians, all-working hard to make RAW Pop Up happen. The master of the project, curator Tam Gryn is a NYC transplant in Miami, also from Venezuela. Miami, I learned, has a huge Venezuelan diaspora, many escaping the dictatorship, a case highlighted by another artist in the show, Diego Zaks, who stated in his work that every 20 min one person in Venezuela is killed!! Another highlight for me was this amazing installation of a telescope connecting one floor of the Moore Building with another so people from the two floors can see each other, and then my work was there.
I presented the installation Loose, which I have recreated on site, inviting people to interact with some of the elements. This project has many reincarnations, and each time when I try to do something different. RAW Pop Up is an interactive and experience based event so I invited people (kids and adults) to play and talked about ideas in my project while they were doing this. Loose plays off the phenomenon of “adventure playgrounds” and asks the audience to think about the artificial world that we offer to our kids to play in, as supposed to have a real life experience. And in the context of RAW Pop Up, ironically I offered people artificial objects to play with: fake snowball and log-pillows, all happening in the background of images from the original playground.
The snowballs were attached to strings so NOT loose but rather tied, and everything was really safe. The crowds were big and wild, party people who tied themselves with robes, throwing balls at each other and punching the pillows. Hey, play was encouraged here so why not.
More than 6,000 people I heard passed over the 3 days, and the last day was a family event, full of cute children and their parents, all happy to play!!
I left Miami with the music of the City of the Sun in my head.
Written by Daniela Kostova