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Open now and running until 10 December 2021 as part of Miami Art Week, Skin in the Game is a group exhibition curated by Zoe Lukov and presented by Grand Cayman-based cultural centre Palm Heights. Gabriella Khalil, Palm Heights’ Creative Director, notes, “In keeping with our commitment to provide alternative formats for contemporary culture around the world, we support programmes that are aligned with our mission and encourage cross-cultural collaboration. We are excited to support for the first time a major exhibition during Miami Art Week.” The newly unveiled show includes works by 30 international artists hailing from Argentina, Barbados, China, Colombia, Cuba, France, Japan, Mexico, the UK and US.

Skin in the Game, Installation view. 30 Nov–10 Dec 2021. 1620 Washington Avenue, Miami. Photo: Diana Larrea

“The artworks included are a proposal to exfoliate the exoskeletons of our collective desire and fear, to circumnavigate the edges of our hungering, our wanting”, tells Lukov, an independent curator based in Los Angeles. “This is about indulgence amidst scarcity. There is pornography with sanctity, hedonism with decadence, but there are also tidal waves of swelling climactic joy,” she continues. Installed in an Art Deco space in the heart of South Beach, where Lincoln Road meets Washington Avenue, amidst the vestiges of a bygone past of tattoo parlours, sex shops and strip clubs, the exhibition presents a multiplicity of interpretations on skin.

Skin in the Game, Installation view. 30 Nov–10 Dec 2021. 1620 Washington Avenue, Miami. Photo: Diana Larrea

Tangentially exploring ideas of touch and transmission, as well as the potential and vulnerability of skin as a boundary to protect from danger while being a porous border to receive, the group show seeks to establish a dialogue with the erotic, while broaching topics as vast as religion, race, and competition. Expanding on her inspiration for the show, Lukov says: “Having skin in the game is about power, danger, currency, play, joy, indulgence as well as the taboo, the voyeuristic and the hedonistic. There is an inherent violence and vulnerability, as well as a promise of pleasure, that comes with being in one’s skin. This is an opportunity to explore skin as a site of potential transmission, of hand-sanitised stickiness, of lost contact. There is a desire to understand what touch can be now—the ecstasy after global isolation.”

Skin in the Game, Installation view. 30 Nov–10 Dec 2021. 1620 Washington Avenue, Miami. Photo: Diana Larrea

Alongside the historic works on loan to the exhibition, such as Zhang Huan’s 1⁄2 (Meat + Text) (1998) and Jane Dickson’s Peep series (1992-96), are new pieces created specifically for the exhibition by Raúl de Nieves, Moises Salazar, Gonzalo Fuenmayor, Eduardo Sarabia and Sheena Rose. Early and rarely seen works by Carlos Motta and Carlos Betancourt are also on show, as well as new works by Gabriel Rico and never-before-seen photographs by Tosh Basco. Other exhibiting artists include Derrick Adams, Isabelle Albuquerque, Amir H. Fallah, Theaster Gates, Generic Art Solutions, Clarity Haynes, Camille Henrot, Jesse Krimes, Marilyn Minter, Maynard Monrow, Paul Pfeiffer, Elizabeth Prentis, Erin M. Riley, Florencia Rodriguez Giles, Hank Willis Thomas, Urara Tsuchiya, Juana Valdes and Kennedy Yanko.

Skin in the Game runs from 30 November – 10 December 2021 at 1620 Washington Avenue (between Lincoln Road & 16th Street), Miami, Fl 33139.

Feature image: Isabelle Albuquerque, Orgy for 10 People in One Body: 5, 2020. Courtesy of the Artist and Nicodim Gallery.

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