PÉREZ ART MUSEUM MIAMI AND FLORIDA GRAND OPERA PAIR MUSIC FROM OPERA CLASSICS WITH LAWRENCE WEINER’S IMMERSIVE INSTALLATION, OUT OF SIGHT
Two of Miami’s leading cultural institutions, the Pérez Art Museum Miami (PAMM) and Florida GrandOpera (FGO), are collaborating on a special event, pairing music and art, on April 27, 2017 at 7 pm.
Since late January, PAMM has exhibited OUT OF SIGHT, a creation of the legendary post-minimalist conceptual artist Lawrence Weiner. The project, based on the design and concept of a hopscotch, reconsiders language through a new dimension, where its presentation on the floor emulates the form of an activity that invites viewers to engage with the work through motion and play. The 40-foot long artwork culminates in a messages of personal empowerment. Messages include:
“Spit into the wind, hope for the best.”
“The destination is straight on.”
“Imagined things can be altered to suit.”
As Neil Vazquez has written in Miami New Times, “Weiner’s bilingual installation encourages viewers to pursue their own ‘journey to self-actualization’ in a game-like environment.”
On April 27, Florida Grand Opera offers its own twist on this potentially life-altering piece of conceptual art. Members of FGO’s Young Artist Program will perform excerpts from seven reworked opera classics, formatted to include the inspiring phrases Weiner employs in Out of Sight. These phrases have been translated into four operatic languages—French, Italian, Spanish, and German, plus English. Rebekah Diaz-Fandrei, FGO’s Director of Education and Community Engagement, calls it “an exciting mash-up of interactive art and opera.” The program begins at 7 pm.
The seven operas that have been formatted to fit Weiner’s vision are: Mozart’s Le nozze di Figaro, Bellini’s Norma, Donizetti’s L’elisir d’amore, Offenbach’s Les contes d’Hoffman, Weber’s Der Freischütz, Humperdinck’s Hänsel und Gretel, and Lehár’s operetta Das land des lächelns. Participants from FGO’s Young Artist Program include soprano Sarah Payne, mezzo-soprano Courtney Miller, and tenor Dominick Corbacio. Paul Kovacovic is the pianist.
Lawrence Weiner was born in 1942 in the South Bronx, New York. After growing up in the city, he spent the late 1950s and early 1960s venturing around the United States, Mexico, and Canada. Weiner’s first exhibition as an artist was in 1960 in a field in Mill Valley, California. Since then, he has maintained:
ART IS THE EMPIRICAL FACT OF THE RELATIONSHIPS OF OBJECTS TO OBJECTS IN RELATION TO HUMAN BEINGS & NOT DEPENDENT UPON HISTORICAL PRECEDENT FOR EITHER USE OR LEGITIMACY.
The artist divides his time between his New York City studio and his boat in Amsterdam.
Lawrence Weiner: OUT OF SIGHT is produced by Guest Curator and Collaborator Larry Warsh, and is organized at PAMM by Chief Curator Tobias Ostrander. Support is provided by the Knight Foundation. Courtesy of Lawrence Weiner Studio and Larry Warsh. The exhibition is on view through May 28, 2017.
“Florida Grand Opera is delighted to add a musical dimension to this remarkable piece of conceptual art,” says Rebekah Diaz-Fandrei. “I have to credit Adrienne Chadwick, deputy director for education at PAMM, for giving me the original spark for the idea. Our ultimate message is that opera can take you in surprising directions in life—something that true opera lovers have always known.”