From December 3 through 9, 2018, the inaugural Faena Festival, This is Not America, is keyed to Miami’s enduring role as a port that welcomes migrants, refugees, and tourists from across the US and the Americas, and from countries throughout the world. The festival engages with the multiplicity of communities and cultures and the palimpsest of histories that have created the Americas while responding specifically to Miami as its hemispheric hub. All programming is free and open to the public.
“From the beginning, my vision for Faena has been to create a cultural epicenter that draws artists and audiences from throughout the Americas and around the world,” stated Alan Faena, Founder and President of the Faena Group. “The annual Faena Festival will provide a new platform to explore ideas in contemporary culture that fosters engagement with the issues that define us individually and collectively. We are interested in site-specificity and universal impact—in creating a cultural movement without borders, we want to speak to the world. Artists are not limited by geopolitical divides and, ultimately, by celebrating these diverse artists and visions we find ways in which we are all connected.”
This is Not America is anchored by Alfredo Jaar’s groundbreaking work, A Logo for America, and features major new commissions of installations and performances by Derrick Adams, Cecilia Bengolea, Isabel Lewis, Luna Paiva, Tavares Strachan, and Wu Tsang and boychild, among others, that explore how we choose to define our sense of place in ways that encourage dynamic identities that transcend–and even resist–the imposition of physical, historical, and political borders. The Festival proposes a new curatorial format for presentation that occupies and engages the entire Faena District and extends beyond into public spaces of the city of Miami Beach as an experiential platform. The diverse venues of the Faena District Miami Beach will be activated, including the public areas of the street, sidewalk and beach; the Faena Hotel, including its theater and screening room; and Faena Forum – the OMA-designed cultural centerpiece of Faena District Miami Beach
“This is Not America addresses America as a concept more than a place, a contested and powerful idea that is greater than the waters and borders that frame it,” noted Ms. Lukov. “Artists in the Festival have been invited to explore the concept of America as a myth and a narrative that has at times bound and divided us but ultimately has the power to unify. By occupying the interstitial zone between land and sea many of these site-specific installations seek to reimagine porous and transitional spaces as places of refuge and safe harbor that are representative of what our ‘America’ is and can become.”
Works in the festival reflect the continuities and changes across the Americas—from South to North—based on shared histories and the interchange of contemporary cultures. “By challenging and subverting the monolithic and hegemonic idea of America and presenting it instead as a polyphonic place for a multiplicity of voices and movements, these artists reimagine what America can and should be; as well as who we are, where we have come from and who we want to become,” Lukov said. “Miami as the iconic city of the Americas—its gateway, its sanctuary and its playground—is the ideal place from which to speak to new ways of defining ourselves our communities, and our global identity.”