MOCA Announces Fall 2022 and Miami Art Week Programming
The Museum of Contemporary Art, North Miami (MOCA) is proud to announce its Fall 2022 and Miami Art Week programming: Didier William: Nou Kite Tout Sa Dèyè, Leah Gordon Kanaval, and Chire “VantaBlack” Regans: To What Lengths. The exhibitions, which open throughout the Fall, will also be celebrated during Miami Art Week with a public opening December 1, as well as additional programming (full list below).
Didier William, Mosaic Pool, Miami, 2021 Acrylic, collage, ink, wood carving on panel, 68 x 104 inches
“We are pleased to showcase these impactful and timely exhibitions during Miami Art Week, when the eyes of the global art world are focused on our community,” said Chana Sheldon, Executive Director of MOCA. “Each of these artists aligns with the museum’s mission to offer fresh perspectives, which challenge established narratives and connect diverse audiences to underexplored artists and ideas.”
Debuting on November 2, 2022, Didier William: Nou Kite Tout Sa Dèyè (through April 16, 2023) is the largest retrospective of Didier William’s career. Translated as “We’ve Left That All Behind,” the show presents an in-depth look at the Haitian-born, North Miami-raised artist’s career and memory among the very neighborhood where he once grew up.
Curated by Erica Moiah James, Ph.D, the exhibition will feature over forty works spanning multiple mediums, and including some of his newest paintings. Complementing the painted work, and speaking to the close relationship of painting and printmaking in William’s practice, are new drawings and artist books. The show also includes William’s first monumental sculpture: a 12-ft.-tall wooden body emblematic of a religious column present in Haitian worship rituals.
In a blend of personal reflections, biographical anecdotes, and art historical moments, some of the works in the show recontextualize historical iconographies and ideas, stripping them of their “known” truths and transforming each into something entirely new. By doing so, William playfully and unapologetically reclaims autonomy over a fragmented record of history, engaging his personal connection to the complexity of immigrant narratives and queer identity to create opportunity for investigation and redemption.
“I want the audience to be involved in that complexity that sometimes will resolve and sometimes won't resolve,” said William. “For which sometimes there might be a translation and other times there might not be a translation. Those moments of failed translation are just as important for me and just as powerful.”
In conjunction with the exhibition, the museum will partner with ten-time Emmy award-winning producer and director Marlon Johnson to produce a documentary highlighting the artist and will partner with a vast network of scholars to present a series of public programs. The museum will also publish an accompanying exhibition catalogue.
Opening November 6, 2022 is Kanaval, a retrospective by photographer, filmmaker, curator, and writer Leah Gordon that documents twenty years of Carnival in Haiti. Curated by MOCA Curator Adeze Wilford, the exhibition consists of a series of black-and-white photographs taken on a mechanical medium format camera.
The images are contextualized by a series of oral histories relayed by various troupe leaders, who also oversee the design of the costume and generate the narratives surrounding Carnival.Their stories reflect the wealth of invention, fable, and self-generated mythology prevalent in much of Haitian culture. The photographs will be accompanied by a new feature-length documentary on the carnival providing a kinetic counterpoint to the portraits.
“I’m excited to bring Kanaval to MOCA,” said Adeze Wilford, MOCA Curator. “For decades Leah has documented and helped to platform a people’s history of Haiti through her photographs. This exhibition brings that practice further through her new film that provides an incredible perspective to an intergenerational conversation about tradition that is ever evolving.”
Also on view will be VantaBlack’s To What Lengths, which will be open to the public on MOCA Plaza from October 14, 2022 through Jan. 20, 2023. Selected in MOCA’s 2022 Open Call to artists for its “Art on the Plaza” series, To What Lengths will showcase a key component of VantaBlack’s artistic practice by reflecting on legacy building and preservation as foundational to Black culture and other diasporic peoples. The South Florida-based artist will explore how ideas about legacy are woven into everyday actions by activating five palm trees on the MOCA Plaza with large-scale braids, adorned with beads, metal, and artificial sunflowers and gardenias. The braids of each tree will follow stylings representative of the women in VantaBlack’s family.
“Hair grooming through different braiding techniques has been passed down through the matriarchs of my family,” said VantaBlack. “It is a vehicle for sharing oral history, bond building between generations, and a form of caregiving, amongst many other traditions. The positioning of one body between another creates a space of vulnerability. Valuable memories are created and exchanged through this process which also helps develop a lifelong skill.”
Miami Art Week Programming and Schedule MOCA will celebrate the exhibitions with a Miami Art Week reception on Thursday, Dec. 1 to include a VIP reception (invitation only) from 6–8 p.m., and open to the public from 8–10 p.m. The museum will also hold an Artist and Curator-led Exhibition Tour on Saturday, Dec. 3 at 11 a.m. The museum will also offer extended hours throughout the week. In MOCA’s continued efforts to include diverse voices and perspectives, the exhibitions will be accompanied by a robust series of educational and public programming.
The museum’s extended hours for Miami Art Week:
Sunday, Nov. 27 – Tuesday, Nov. 29: 10 a.m.–5 p.m.
Wednesday, Nov. 30.: 10 a.m.–7 p.m.
Thursday, Dec. 1: 10 a.m.–5 p.m. (Open Hours), 6 p.m.–8 p.m. (VIP Reception by invitation),
8 p.m.–10 p.m. (Public Reception)
Friday Dec. 2-Sunday, Dec. 4: 10 a.m.–5 p.m.
Saturday Dec. 3: 11 a.m. (Artist and Curator-Led Exhibition Tour)
General admission is $10 for adults; $5 for seniors, students and visitors with disabilities; and free for MOCA Members, City of North Miami residents and children under 12.
About the Museum of Contemporary Art North Miami
MOCA North Miami presents contemporary art and its historical influences through exhibitions, educational programs, and collections. Inspired by its surrounding communities, MOCA connects diverse audiences and cultures by providing a welcoming place to encounter new ideas and voices and nurturing a lifelong love of the arts. MOCA developed from the Center of Contemporary Art which was inaugurated in 1981. The establishment of the permanent collection coincided with the institution’s move into their current building designed by Charles Gwathmey of GSNY in 1996.
Under the direction of Executive Director Chana Sheldon and a newly installed Board of Trustees, MOCA showcased My Name is Maryan curated by Alison Gingeras during Miami Art Week in 2021, which will travel to the Tel Aviv Museum of Art in late 2022. An accompanying exhibition catalog highlighting key works will be published, along with other archival imagery and critical essays. The museum also premiered AFRICOBRA: Messages to the People during Art Basel Miami Beach in 2018. AFRICOBRA: Nation Time, the next chapter of the exhibition, was selected as an official Collateral Event of Biennale Arte 2019 in Venice, Italy. Other original exhibitions include: Michael Richards: Are You Down? co-curated by Alex Fialho and Melissa Levin (2021), Raul de Nieves: Eternal Return and The Obsidian Heart curated by Risa Puleo (2020), and Alice Rahon: Poetic Invocations curated by Teresa Arcq (2019).
About Didier William
William earned his BFA in painting from The Maryland Institute College of Art and an MFA in Painting and Printmaking from Yale University, School of Art. His exhibitions include the Bronx Museum of Art, the Museum of Latin American Art, the Museum at the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts, and Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art. William was a 2020 recipient of the Joan Mitchell Foundation Painters & Sculptors Grant, and a 2021 Pew Fellow at The Pew Center for Arts and Heritage. He has taught at several institutions including Yale School of Art, Vassar College, Columbia University, University of Pennsylvania and SUNY Purchase. He is currently Assistant Professor at Rutgers University.
About Leah Gordon
Gordon is the co-director of the “Ghetto Biennale in Port-au-Prince, Haiti” and was a curator for the Haitian Pavilion at the 54th Venice Biennale. She was also the co-curator of “Kafou: Haiti, History & Art” at Nottingham Contemporary, UK, and was on the curatorial team for “In Extremis: Death and Life in 21st Century Haitian Art” at the Fowler Museum, UCLA. Gordon first collaborated with MOCA as co-curator of “PÒTOPRENS: The Urban Artists of Port-au-Prince,” presented at MOCA in 2019.
Chire Regans aka VantaBlack was born in Saint Louis, Missouri and works in Miami, Florida. VantaBlack received a Bachelor’s degree from Florida A&M University in (2005). Her work responds to urgent societal concerns and functions as a critical platform to amplify the voices of the communities she engages with. Selected solo exhibitions include “A Reflection of the Times” (2021), Bakehouse Art Complex, Wynwood, Florida. “I felt your gaze upon me, I knew you were watching”, (2021), Hollywood Art & Culture Center, Hollywood, Florida. She received the Home & Away Residency at Anderson Ranch (2021), the Inaugural Ellies Social Justice Award (2020), and the Racial Equity Initiative Award (2021).
MOCA North Miami is generously funded by the North Miami Mayor and Council and the City of North Miami; the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation; the Miami-Dade County Department of Cultural Affairs and the Cultural Affairs Council, the Miami-Dade County Mayor and Board of County Commissioners; and the State of Florida, Department of State, Division of Arts and Culture and the Florida Council on Arts and Culture (Section 286.25, Florida Statutes). MOCA is supported in part by an American Rescue Plan Act grant from the National Endowment for the Arts to support general operating expenses in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Additional support is provided by the Fine & Greenwald Foundation; The Nathan Cummings Foundation; and the Sol Taplin Charitable Foundation. Founding support for the MOCA Sustainability Fund provided by the Green Family Foundation Trust. Major support provided by Shirley and William M. Lehman, Jr. We also thank our Board of Trustees, Curator’s Circle, and MOCA Members for their meaningful support.
“Art on the Plaza” is presented by MOCA, with major support from the North Miami Community Redevelopment Agency.
Didier William: Nou Kite Tout Sa Dèyè is made possible with major support from the National Endowment for the Arts, The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, and The Wege Foundation. Additional support was provided by the Funding Arts Network and the Harpo Foundation. We thank the University of Miami School of Communication, the University of Miami Center for Black Global Studies, and Beth Rudin DeWoody for their generous support. We are also grateful to Kes and Laura Narbutas.
Leah Gordon: Kanaval is made possible with support from Victoire and Owsley Brown and MOCA Visionaries.