Pretty Days: MIA
Loney Abrams & Johnny Stanish
Montgomery Botanical Center, Miami, FL
Edits by collaborative artists Loney Abrams and Johnny Stanish imagines the breakdown of barriers between species as a means of surviving climate change and enduring space travel. Speculative pharmaceutical advertisements are UV-printed on handmade paper imbued with materials related to self care. The ads promote fictional drugs that use CRISPR technology to genetically modify human DNA to adopt useful genetic traits of other animals. Abrams and Stanish posit a world where capitalism predominantly serves the needs of female bodies. In one ad, a fictional CRISPR-aided drug uses DNA from elephants to delay menopause until well after a woman’s “productive” years as a working professional are over. On the floor, silicon plants that mimic human flesh (replete with human hair and warts) are interspersed in a sculptural flower arrangement. Installed inside of a hydroponic tent located at the Montgomery Botanical Garden in Miami, these works exist in a landscape in which nature is managed by humans, and visitors immerse themselves in non-native plant specimens cultivated from seed from all over the globe—allowing viewers to imagine themselves in a world slightly different than the one they know, perhaps one in which the human body is as designed, modified, and seemingly integrated as the botanical garden campus.
Pretty Days is an exhibition series using a group of industrial tents as its primary platform. These structures are set up in various locations and feature opening receptions where visitors can experience works installed inside the tents as well as the exterior environments. The project embraces how artworks can be nuanced and emboldened by location as well as how tents with specific conventions can be repurposed into contextual containers for these works. Using an infrared pain relief tent, a grow tent and a faraday tent, the project enables alternative ways of putting together exhibitions by promoting mobility, experimentation and locational context. This series seeks to engage with how we think about exhibitions and their documentation, and how they can be situated in the world outside of institutional conventions.
For Pretty Days: MIA, a series of exhibitions will come together in Miami set up around the city and will feature the work of both domestic and international artists.
Pretty Days: MIA is organized in collaboration with Anna Frost and Bas Fisher Invitational (BFI).
This programming was commissioned by 501c3 nomadic arts space, Bas Fisher Invitational. Funding for Pretty Days was provided by a Knight Arts Challenge grant, City of Miami Beach Cultural Affairs Council, The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, Miami-Dade County Department of Cultural Affairs and State of Florida.