Oolite Arts Announces Summer Exhibition: “Where There is Power”

  • MIAMI BEACH, Florida
  • /
  • July 13, 2021

  • Email
Where There is Power
Yucef Merhi

As we continue navigating this disorienting phase in national history,
we find new opportunities to take risks. And as always, art is there to tell the story. This summer
starting July 21, Oolite Arts presents "Where There is Power", an exhibition about the many
ways that artists access, spy upon, expose, memorialize, and occasionally trouble the
machinations of power.
Where there is power is co-organized by Amanda Bradley, programs manager at Oolite Arts,
and Réne Morales, chief curator at Pérez Art Museum Miami. “When I was first invited to do the
show last summer, the world really felt like it was on fire,” said Réne Morales. “Between the
pandemic, the movement for Black lives, ongoing trauma from the last administration and
election, and crises at the border, the societal powers that structure and regulate our lives were
clearly becoming unstable. So, we wanted to put together a show that would respond to the
political instability and volatility of the times.”
The exhibition’s title refers to a famous quote by the philosopher Michel Foucault: “Where there
is power, there is resistance.” The Miami-based artists featured in the exhibition include José
Álvarez, Asif Farooq, Edny Jean Joseph, Francisco Masó, Yucef Merhi, Reginald O’Neal,
Rodolfo Peraza, Chire Regans, Tony Vázquez-Figueroa, Judi Werthein, Agustina
Woodgate, Antonia Wright and Ruben Millares. Their works touch on several urgent themes
including racial conflict, law enforcement, mass incarceration, cults of personality, mass
protests, immigration, the exploitation of natural resources, and digital surveillance.
“Inclusive of both deeply personal and political intersections with power, the exhibition creates
an entry point into understanding some of the larger systems that govern our daily lives,” said
Highlights include a work by Yucef Merhi who intercepted the emails of Hugo Chávez from
1998-2004 and creates wallpaper installations out of them. The late Asif Farooq recreated the
Soviet-era MiG-21 jet fighter, down to the smallest detail, in true scale – wholly out of paper.
Farooq’s work was the seed that germinated this show and is a reflection on the military
industrial complex, the legacies of the cold war, and the fetishization of the military and death.
Antonia Wright and Ruben Millares’ piece reimagines the barricade, a symbol of power and
control. Agustina Woodgate encases a month’s supply of emergency water in an impenetrable
acrylic box referencing corporate attempts to monetize water particularly in Latin America and
Africa. Chire Regans, who creates memorial portraits of victims of gun violence, presents a
new, site-specific work that includes portraits of her own children.
Morales adds, “It is an important moment to take stock of and think about how power impacts
our lives. These artists remind us of the inherent value of shedding light into dark places.”

Rachel Pinzur
Oolite Arts

  • Email

ARTFIXdaily Artwire