Time is on art’s side

Arts / Article

Hernan Bas, “A Queer and Curious Cabinet.”

Although it may seem like there is a small lull between the next group of local openings — that may be the exhibits up for Art Basel, both for galleries and museums — in fact the art world moves here apace.

For instance, the big opening this week will be that of the Bass Museum’s “Time” exhibit. Once again, the museum will mix contemporary art (some from local artists) with its historical collection, with photography, installation and performance work.

“Time” of course is a very broad concept — it can be chronological (I just turned 42), scientific (quantum physics and the origins of the universe), or something that helps express a passage of eras or journeys (in literature or fairy tales). The eclectic group here traverses through all of these definitions.

Hernan Bas has created a room filled with what were once were called Wunderkammer, or cabinets of wonder, where early explorers and adventures would display the exotic items they picked up on their journeys, which sometimes were explained as journeys back in time to visit ancient cultures. Bas’s “A Queer and Curious Cabinet” contains items he has picked up on his much more contemporary journeys, but curiosities that nonetheless reflect a passage of eras. Manny Prieres, in his “Pleasure to Burn,” has collected book covers, which were once sensational or worthy of censure, but may today seem tame. Time takes its toll on culture.

Lorraine O&squot;Grady "Mecengenated Family Album"

Lorraine O’Grady, “Miscegenated Family Album.”

Romanian artists Alexandra Pirici and Manuel Pelmus are riffing on their 2013 Venice Biennale piece, working off of some of the Bass’s classical pieces for a performance-based work that will continue through Art Basel Miami Beach, when it will be live.

Lorraine O’Grady, for her “Miscegenated Family Album” photographic series, has juxtaposed images of the classical bust of Queen Nefertiti of ancient Egypt with photos of women in her family, a female “timeline” of sorts through the centuries.

“Time” opens on Nov. 2 at the Bass Museum, 2100 Washington Ave., Miami Beach; www.bassmuseum.org.