A new art season is upon us here in balmy miami. After what seemed like a short summer and even shorter art-interlude with few worthwhile shows, the pace is quickly picking up. I've been meaning to start writing about others' works, so here it is. I only saw one memorable show in Miami this summer. Sure, there was the Confluence show at Snitzer Gallery, which despite all the self-congratulatory hoohaw and flag waving, left me dizzy and understimulated, unexcited and hungry for something else: my expectations obviously unchallenged.
Tom Scicluna at 2020Projects offers the most interesting summer time piece, executing what some have mistakingly labeled as a found-object work: Mast, a 30-something foot boat mast maneuvered into the tight confines of 2020's space through seemingly effortless means, is a meditation on space itself. Touching on more Eastern notions of the nature of objects, Mast concerns itself with the space surrounding the mast, our relationship to it and the space it bisects at a nearly severe angle. Not exactly an exercise in formalism, Scicluna's piece begs viewers for associations and selfmade narratives. Despite the artist's laissez-faire attitude toward viewer-played associative games, I do think there is more at work here beyond a minimalist aesthtic and rigorous formalisms.
Digging into his bag of tricks, Tom Scicluna performs a sleight of hand that seems to make the piece just appear out of the thinnest of airs, into the 2020 Projects space. It is this mystification of process that makes this piece so unique. As in an early scene in the film Close Encounters of the Third Kind, where the intrepid academics stumble upon a frigate in the middle of the Gobi desert, the Mast simply appears, monolithic, full of of kinetic energy despite its stasis, as if it was frozen in mid quantum tumble. The silence surrounding the Mast belies the countless miles it may have sailed the seas, wind driven and howling. It is deceptive and paranormal, eerily balanced between the physical world of gravitational laws and sub-atomic particles, and the world of metaphysics where it is a ghost, an apparition, a semi-solid memory transmutated into our vision where we as viewers are privvy to it in a moment of suspended time .
Herein lies the secret of Mast: its ability to straddle opposite hemisperes: To be This and That simultaneously without ever really being one or the other.