Saturday, July 18, 2009

ART IMITATES LIFE IN A CELEBRATION OF CHANGE A DOZEN ARTISTS TO PARTICIPATE IN SOLAR CYCLES



As the years go by and I look back I realize that I can pin point parts of my life where I learned great lessons.

It was during my years spent with Marilyn Gottlieb-Roberts that I leaned about collaboration, unity, altruism, but most of all I learned how to have fun.

I don't recall if any of those gifts were on the curriculum per se, but teaching by example seemed to work for this life long student.



January 14, 1988

Section: NEIGHBORS MB

Edition: FINAL

Page: 18

Memo:LIFE STYLES


Miami Herald, The (FL)


ART IMITATES LIFE IN A CELEBRATION OF CHANGE A DOZEN ARTISTS TO PARTICIPATE IN SOLAR CYCLES

IRENE LACHER Herald Staff Writer


Marilyn Arsem is looking for a few good ironers.

Here's her vision: At precisely 8:57 a.m. Sunday, armies of people will iron and mutter in front of Woolworth's on the Lincoln Road Mall.

Arsem has been recruiting people off the street for her volunteer army. That's where she met aspiring ironer Ruth Martin, 60, a woman expansive and old enough to say

what's on her mind. Which is precisely what she did when she spotted Arsem sipping coffee at a restaurant on the mall last week.

"Oh, you're having a snik-snack," Martin called out.

"I just want her to talk to people," Arsem confided.

Turning Lincoln Road askew is on the menu when Arsem, a Boston artist, orchestrates a 13-hour performance art piece on the mall as part of the Miami Waves avant-garde

art festival.

Solar Cycles will involve a dozen artists and countless passers-by when it unfolds from exactly 6:25 a.m. to 5:53 p.m.

"It's a sunrise-to-sunset event from Miami Beach to Biscayne Bay," said Arsem, 36, founder of Mobius Inc., a performance art space in Boston.

"It celebrates change. We all try to pretend change doesn't happen or avoid it or resist it and it is the way of the world."

The piece springs out of the new Lincoln Road presence of Miami-Dade Community College, which sponsors the Miami Waves Festival. The college wanted to spur more arts

events on the mall, said Marilyn Gottlieb-Roberts, an Miami-Dade Arts Department associate professor.

"It's not just a cultural decision," said Gottliebd -Roberts. "It's become part of the piece now, the notion of moving from sunrise to sunset and using Lincoln Road as a giant

gnomon, a sundial. It's beautiful.

"Sometimes you start off with a bureaucratic decision and bureaucracy melts into poetry and that's what you want."

To compose the piece, Arsem made a chart, first listing every kind of cycle she could think of -- lunar and solar cycles, the color spectrum, life cycles and Chinese year cycles,

cycles built around how we spend our days and weeks.

She divided the day into 13 parts, "which makes odd times for the performance," and assigned participating artists to create an event that correlates with their point in these

various cycles.

The events move across the mall, starting with Charles Recher's arrival by boat on the beach at 6:25 a.m. and ending with the two Marilyns performing at the bayside park at

5:53 p.m.

"So you get birth and waking up at sunrise and death and rebirth at sunset," said Arsem, who worked with Miami-Dade student Roly Chang.

Ironing day is the second stop, inspired by an old nursery rhyme that assigns that task to Tuesday. Later, at 12:31 p.m., Celeste Miller, an Atlanta artist who flies in each year

for Miami Waves, will do a summer solstice dance at Euclid Avenue.

Kim Irwin, a North Carolina artist whose daily cycle point hits coffee break at 9:50 a.m., will serve the brew to an audience at Burger King, where she will interview people

about their jobs. That's because her life-cycle point hits the age of 18, when young people set out in the working world.

"The idea is to have fun, to think about cycles in your life, to recognize more of the world functions in cycles rather than literally," Arsem said.

The seed for the piece was Vulture Kulture, Beach artist Gottlieb-Roberts' tongue-in-cheek homage to Miami vultures' annual return from Hinckley, Ohio.

"The truth is they don't migrate farther than 80 miles radius, but it's wonderful to think they go as far as Hinckley, Ohio."

Miami Herald: Document View http://nl.newsbank.com/nl-search/we/Archives?p_action=doc&p_d...

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