Skin in the Game, an exhibition of work by 35 diverse artists, curated by Zoe Lukov and presented by Palm Heights, is a collective offering. The exhibition is about touch, transmission, and skin—the potential, vulnerability and risk contained therein—as a boundary to protect from danger or as a porous border to receive. It seeks to establish a dialogue with the erotic and has through lines that touch on game, color, race, the hunt, sport, religious iconography and competition. The exhibition, which is free and open to the public, will be on view from November 29–December 10, 2021.
“Having skin in the game is about power, danger, currency, play, joy, indulgence as well as the taboo, the voyeuristic and the hedonistic," said Lukov, an independent curator based in Los Angeles on her inspiration for the exhibition. “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-sanitized stickiness, of lost contact. There is a desire to understand what touch can be now—the ecstasy after global isolation.”
An international roster of artists from Argentina, Barbados, China, Colombia, Cuba, France, Japan, Mexico, Syria, U.K. and USA, whose work is diverse in terms of genre, trajectory, and perspective include Derrick Adams, Isabelle Albuquerque, Tosh Basco, Lynda Benglis, Carlos Betancourt, Raúl de Nieves, Jen DeNike, Jane Dickson, Amir H. Fallah, Gonzalo Fuenmayor, Nicholas Galanin X Merritt Johnson, Theaster Gates, Generic Art Solutions, Clarity Haynes, Micol Hebron, Camille Henrot, Zhang Huan, Jesse Krimes, Marilyn Minter, Maynard Monrow, Carlos Motta, Paul Pfeiffer, Elizabeth Prentis, Gabriel Rico, Erin M. Riley, Florencia Rodriguez Giles, Sheena Rose, Moises Salazar, Eduardo Sarabia, Hank Willis Thomas, Urara Tsuchiya, Juana Valdes, Kennedy Yanko and Jwan Yosef.
Taking over an unlikely Art Deco space in the heart of South Beach, where Lincoln Road meets Washington Avenue, where anesthetized urban mall shopping meets bikini-clad bombshells and boxing buffs, amidst the vestiges of a bygone south beach-past of tattoo parlors, sex shops and strip clubs, the exhibition presents a multiplicity of interpretations on skin.
Among the historic works on loan to the exhibition like Lynda Benglis’s Eat Meat (1969/1975), Jane Dickson’s Peepseries (1992-96) and Zhang Huan’s 1⁄2 (Meat + Text) (1998), are new pieces created specifically for the exhibition by Raúl de Nieves, Gonzalo Fuenmayor, Sheena Rose, Moises Salazar and Eduardo Sarabia. Early and rarely-seen works by Carlos Betancourt and Carlos Motta will be presented, as well as new works by Gabriel Rico and new, never-before-seen photographs by Tosh Basco. Works on loan from major private collections will be on view such as Theaster Gates’s Reliquary, Clarity Hayne’s Genesis, Marilyn Minter’s Pamela Anderson and works from the iconic series Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse by Paul Pfeiffer as well as his Caryatid (Rios).
“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”, continued Lukov. “This is about indulgence amidst scarcity. There is pornography with sanctity, hedonism with decadence, but there are also tidal waves of swelling climactic joy.”
Gabriella Khalil stated, “In keeping with our commitment to provide alternative formats for contemporary culture around the world, we support programs 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. Now, more than ever we need to come together around arts and culture that bucks the general norms and opens up new dialogue.”
The exhibition is presented by Palm Heights, a hub for arts and culture. Founded in 2019 by Creative Director Gabriella Khalil, Palm Heights maintains a rigorous year-round arts and choreography residency that provides space for diverse cultural practitioners to create without limits and explore the hybrid cultural currents of the Caribbean.