Antonia Wright and Ruben Millares, Patria y Vida, 2022, Installation image from the Faena Hotel, 40 x 10 x 10 ft. Images by Rudy Duboué.

Patria y Vida is a large-scale light sculpture that celebrates people’s right to peacefully protest by using the barricade as a symbol of global resistance. Last year on July 11th, Cubans protested on the island illegally for the first time in almost 30 years and many were placed in prison as a penalty. The term Patria y Vida is chanted in the streets and has become the anti-communism anthem for Cubans. As Cuban-American artists, we grew up going to protests with our parents in Miami and believe public demonstration is one of the most effective means of civic engagement. For No Vacancy, we repeat the activist gesture from the Pro-Democracy Protests in Hong Kong, where protestors subverted the use of barricades, set out by police, and repurposed them to create an insurgent structure for their own protection. For this new sculpture, 25 crowd-control barricades with LED lights are bound together in a disorderly composition to memorialize global acts of nonviolent resistance.

No Vacancy is art competition that pairs 12 artists creating site-specific works at 12 iconic Miami Beach hotels. The winner is selected by online voting and receives a $10,000 Public Prize by the Greater Miami Convention & Visitors Bureau.

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