If Art Basel Miami Beach was the fabricated island retreat for a summery breeze in the winter-time, then #rank was the mainland where artists returned to hash out the day-to-day reality of making art in the beast of the machine. There was no hiding from the workings of the art market, backroom priorities, gender/age/location biases, critiques of art critique, or the overwhelming number of artists that keep producing… stuff. The experience was hardly pretty, but it was absolutely necessary. Kate Sutton for Artforum.com quoted a “BHQFer” (what? you’d have to read the article) at Art Basel Conversations as saying “We’re all in this dark abyss of trying to figure out what being an artist means, and maybe we just need to be in a room with other people who are trying to figure it out.” So, #rank at Seven in the Wynwood District is where that happened. And if you were (un)lucky (kidding! I mean lucky!) enough to be there for a big chunk of time (as I did), the whole thing (gasp!), or even just for part of it, you had the chance to take a step back from the over-the-top Miami art fair experience. I flew from San Francisco to have a piece performed in this event without knowing a soul, and I returned home with my soul intact. It was totally worth it.
(I still hope to post more about Miami, but I’m not making any promises that it will be soon!) -m