The artist Charo Oquet from Miami Seashore wins the order of the Bass Museum for a brief memorial

Miami Beach artist Charo Oquet has won the Bass Museum’s second “New Monuments” contract and will now create a temporary public sculpture in Collins Park, the green space in which the museum is located.

The work, a stepped, perforated, metal altar-like shape that from certain angles may resemble a face in profile, is entitled I am here: Translation of Mystic Symbols in an Age of New Subjectivity and is displayed in the park in. installed in March 2022 and will remain on view for ten to twelve months.

For Oquet, who has a Dominican background, the commission is an opportunity to connect with her immediate community and highlight the Caribbean communities in South Florida.

“My work is very much about Afro-Caribbean culture and religion, so I wanted that presence,” says the artist. “I am here – as in: We are here, we are present and we are visible.”

The “new monuments” of the bass“Is a response to recent debates about monuments, the people, communities and events they commemorate, and the people who have long been invisible in public monuments.

These debates were particularly fought in the southern United States, including Florida, where many statues and monuments commemorating the Confederation still survive. A balance was found in summer 2020 Florida had the tenth most Confederate monuments of any state at 62.

Installation view of Entering Sacred Grounds (2020) by Charo Oquet at Dimensions Variabe, Miami Courtesy of the artist and Dimensions Variable, Miami

Amid these debates about the politics of monuments, Oquet sees their assignment as an opportunity to simultaneously speak to their community – residents of Miami Beach and members of the city’s Caribbean diaspora – while using shapes and symbols that are recognizable to a much larger audience are .

“It will be very contemporary, but at the same time it will have these archaic forms; this sacred imagery, which is very old, “she says.” Even if you are not interested in contemporary art, you will understand it. “

Oquet’s commission follows the opening sculpture “New Monuments” by Miami-based artist Najja Moon, Your Mommas Voice in the Back of Your Head (2021), which will be on view in the park until January.

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