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Faena Art Commissions Monumental Site-Specific Installation by Alexandre Arrechea

Faena Art announces a new commission and program for Miami Art Week 2020.


The monumental site-specific installation entitled ‘Dreaming with Lions’ by Cuban artist Alexandre Arrechea will be located on Miami Beach to open Sunday, 29 November to Sunday, 6 December 2020.

A drawing of ‘Dreaming with Lions’, a monumental site-specific installation by Alexandre Arrechea for Faena Art


For Miami Art Week 2020, Faena Art aims to inspire hope and reinforce its commitment to shaping Miami’s cultural landscape through art. The public spaces within the Faena District will allow for a safe environment to view and interact with the artworks, bringing together the local community.


‘Dreaming with Lions’ is the product of a year-long reflection by Arrechea inspired by Ernest Hemingway’s seminal literary work, The Old Man and the Sea. Erected directly on the beach in front of Faena Hotel, ‘Dreaming with Lions’ is an existential work, while also serving as a living monument to the sheer force of the human spirit. The artwork in itself tries to reconstruct the symbols: hope, faith and strength of the human spirit that in the face of the moral challenges we are confronted with today, still prevail.


Constructing a 62’ diameter rotunda resembling an enormous, forum-style library, Arrechea incorporates beach towels, illustrated with phrases “Now is no time to think of what you do not have. Think of what you can do with what there is,” and “But man is not made for defeat. A man can be destroyed but not defeated,” taken directly from Hemingway’s text.


Aptly, this new commission embodies our ability to withstand relentless and enormous challenges and persist, even in the face of defeat. Relying on the architectural potential of a forum-style structure to reinforce these ideological messages, the installation is a continuation of Arrechea’s investigation of public spaces and their philosophical legacy as interpretative centers of power, hierarchy and social progress.


“It’s important for me to integrate the spirit and energy of the city by identifying an object that forms part of its real cultural identity,” Arrechea says. “In a time where culture is trivialized and our symbols as we know them are being devalued, we require a gesture of greater faith, “Dreaming with Lions” proposes action and reflection. That we reflect upon coherence and respect of oneself and others, and that we continue to invent ways to confront our destiny while maintaining integrity and grandeur.”


Since 2004 in Buenos Aires and 2012 in Miami, Faena Art has been consistently dedicated to showcasing artwork inspired by and for those communities. The significance of this year’s commission, particularly in a moment where outdoor public art is critical to inspire audiences while maintaining a safe social distance, will preserve Faena Art’s cultural agenda, honor the continued contributions of Miami’s thriving cultural community, and celebrate the impact art makes year-round on the city.


“Despite the absence of Art Basel Miami Beach, these perilous times call for art and culture to unite the community in conversations that transform ideas into positive action,” says Alan Faena. “We take our position to support the cultural pulse of the city very seriously and are pleased to be able to unite our communities by commissioning such a hopeful and inspiring artwork that speaks about human resilience, from an important Miami-based artist.”


Faena Art unveils Arrechea’s ‘Dreaming with Lions’ as the Faena Miami Beach hotel reopens to the public from November 29, 2020.


This year’s program for Faena Art at Miami Art Week 2020 is being generously supported by Alfa Romeo and Perrier.


MORE ON Alexandre Arrechea


Alexandre Arrechea (b. 1970, Trinidad, Cuba) is a Cuban artist whose work involves concepts of power and its network of hierarchies, surveillance, control, prohibitions, and subjection. For twelve years he was a member of the art collective Los Carpinteros, until he left the group in July 2003 to continue his career as a solo artist. He graduated from the Instituto Superior de Arte (ISA) in Havana in 1994. Arrechea’s work is remarkable in its interdisciplinary and inclusive nature, often creating pieces such as large installation works in museums or commissions for public spaces that invite the viewer to participate and physically engage with the works. The interdisciplinary quality of Arrechea’s work reveals a profound interest in the exploration of both public and domestic spaces. This quest has led him to produce 10 monumental sculptures of iconic New York buildings to emerge along the Park Avenue Malls (2013) and most recently a four building-like forms reposing within massive canary- yellow chairs, installed at the Coachella Valley (2016).


By ML Staff. Image courtesy of Faena Art