This past Thursday morning I crawled through a hole in a wall, entered a condemned house and proceeded to help myself to porridge. In one room were the bowls. In another, the spoons. In yet others were bubbling pots of oatmeal and stacks of brown sugar and raisins. While the victuals were tasty, in a fiber-rich, heart-healthy kind of way, the whole thing felt seriously overwrought. Beginning with the warning sign, at the entrance, which cautioned that the installation could be “physically dangerous.” (Clearly, these art nerds have no idea what it really takes to get into a derelict building.)
All of this was part of Jennifer Rubell’s latest food piece, Just Right, at the opening of her family’s art collection space, the Rubell Family Collection, in Miami’s arts district this week. Three years ago, I partook of her hard-boiled egg extravaganza. And as much as I abhor the idea of eating hard boiled eggs with a latex glove, there was a certain freakiness to the installation that I had to respect. This piece, however, felt frivolous - a way for a very well-to-do family to occupy a crestfallen old home within range of their imposing compound. An unwitting metaphor of Miami’s complicated issues of poverty, race, class and real estate.