>>THAT PLACE, MIA Gallery, July 25 - September 20, 2002<<

We are pleased to present the third and final link to the successful That Place exhibitions which opened in Miami's Design District in May, 2002. All three exhibitions feature paintings, photographs, videos and multi-media works by contemporary artists from the collections of Rosa and Carlos de la Cruz, Ivelin and Craig Robins, Debra and Dennis Scholl, Toni and Daniel Holtz, Janet and William Eaglstein and Juan Lezcano. In this final venue, we also have works from Fredric Snitzer Gallery and Bernice Steinbaum Gallery, and works by invited artists.

All three components of That Place were curated by Cesar Trasobares, an artist who defines his practice broadly. In the studio, Cesar produces a large body of work in multiple media; in the cultural community, he serves as art activist, curator, educator, and performer. Involved in a broad, live social/aesthetic inquiry, he expands the boundaries of what artists do in contemporary society. He seeks to be an activist for other artists' visions and rights, a cultural leader concerned about the valuation and uses of art, and a curator entering into discourse with today's audiences.

The conceptual focus of That Place seeks to stretch our notions of place through the presentation of contemporary works. Aware that contemporary art can often be viewed as inaccessible, the catalogue provides a brief abstract about each work in the exhibition. Although language has little in common with the "thing" to which it refers, we hope that the words will help illuminate or clarify the artists' intentions and thus add to your enjoyment of the work.

Yolanda Sánchez, Director
Airport Fine Arts & Cultural Affairs

Passengers walking through train terminals in the last two centuries often faced inspiring buildings, academic sculpture and official paintings. Today's travelers encounter airports with monumental architecture, lots of gustatory and shopping options and, occasionally, contemporary art. With the surge of public art programs in the last three decades, American airports are becoming more significant cultural settings as well as legitimate venues for the enjoyment of art. In a site of passage and transition, this exhibition deals with the subject of places, bringing the work of talented artists to the broad audiences that pass through MIA.

Contemporary artists everywhere have continued the ancient tradition of imagining, portraying, simulating and creating places. Artists use both traditional materials and conceptual approaches in this group of paintings, sculptures, photographs and installations. Some works present familiar images, while others contain degrees of abstraction, fantasy, sound and texts. Like speech, art reflecfs the mechanics of the human mind.

We manifest and conduct our lives moving among real and imagined places - spaces to live in groups or alone, areas to hide and to seek, sites within and outside, physical environments, psychological realms, fabricated contexts, virtual territories, symbolic destinations. In an era of translation and displacement, one's location becomes an interesting question.

Dealing with the world around us, we travel among home, cities and countries, and as we displace our bodies, we move across a spectrum of human customs and beliefs. Spaces define the persons who use them, frame their actions and context their activities. Stadiums are for civilized fighting and playing, churches and synagogues for praying and community building, offices for conducting business and making deals, homes for living and celebrating, schools for learning and growing, airports and highways for connecting and running away. Human activities in all of these places provide fertile subjects for today's artists everywhere.

Connecting most parts of the planet, airports have become villages that mirror the larger communities outside their runways and terminals, including cultural processes and populations. The artists in this exhibition give travelers insight into the nature of places and the expanded territories that constitute the emerging world of the 21st Century.

César Trasobares