2270 NW 23rd St.
Miami, Florida

Time For Change: Art and Social Unrest in the Jorge M. Pérez Collection

December 2019 – March 2020

The inaugural exhibition Time for Change: Art and Social Unrest in the Jorge M. Pérez Collection uses contemporary art to explore conflicts and contradictions of contemporary society, as well as analyze the historical events and reframe them within the present. An interest in the marginalized, the marginal and the margins (of society, of history) is what brings together the works in the exhibition. Curated by Jose Roca, Founder and Director of FLORA ars+natura, Bogota in collaboration with Pérez Collection stewards Patricia M. Hanna and Anelys Alvarez, the show features close to 100 works by over 80 artists from around the world. Many of the works in the exhibition, due to their size or complexity, have never been exhibited and will be shown together for the first time.

Installation views: Photos: Nick Garcia

“It is enough for the poet to be the bad conscience of his age”, stated Saint-John Perse in his Nobel Prize acceptance speech. Something similar could be said when artists address the vicissitudes of society. We should not ask for measurable political action when their role is to point out, to render evident, to shake us from indifference. Art may not provide answers, but most of the time it interrogates, proposes uncomfortable issues, almost like rubbing salt in a wound. Artists are seldom celebratory, nor do they usually provide solutions- art’s potency lays in the symbolic efficacy of the actions it proposes more than in the practical effects they entail. Paraphrasing Ferreira Gullar, art exists because life is not enough…

A comprehensive look at the Jorge M. Pérez Collection reveals a tendency towards art with an interest in social change, art that examines the conflicts and contradictions of contemporary society, art that critically analyzes historical events and reframes them in the present. An interest in the marginalized, the marginal and the margins (of society, of History) is what brings together the works in this exhibition. We have highlighted those works that address these issues through allegory, metaphor or veiled allusion, thus eluding direct illustration. Many of the works included in the exhibition, due to their size or complexity have never been exhibited and will be shown together for the first time.

The exhibition is structured around themes or nuclei that are organically linked and establish dialogue and correlations among artworks that do not necessarily illustrate an argument nor are they contained by one. Entangled Histories proposes essential questions: how do we remember as a society? Who is forgotten by History, and for what reasons? how is a traumatic event inscribed in the (social) body? Extraction and flows examines displacement of peoples (usually forced), as well as the unequal logic on the territory; Artivism: art in the social sphere focuses on political unrest and public protest on the streets, an essential expression of Democracy which is more and more ineffective in an inexorably reduced public sphere. In a world of generalized surveillance in real time, State Terror signals how protest is countered with repression and violence. Social control manifests itself in a less conspicuous but equally effective way with spatial segregation policies. This fifth section: Spatial Politics reflects on Modern architecture and its role in creating segregated communities, buildings to place the “undesirable,” namely, people of other races, class and nationalities, among them immigrants. Finally, Emancipatory Calls summons to revendicate difference, in the understanding that a more just society can only be built on respect for one’s right to be different.

But social change cannot be just a theme: it needs to be a strategy. As critic and philosopher Boris Groys has remarked, activists working from within art (or artivists) “do not want to merely criticize the art system or the general political and social conditions under which this system functions. Rather, they want to change these conditions by means of art—not so much inside the art system but outside it, in reality itself”. Therefore, we propose a series of activations by artists working in the community, with the intention of establishing long-term relationships with the neighbors of Allapattah, where El Espacio 23 is located.

Artists included in the exhibition
  • Miguel Aguirre
  • Ai Weiwei
  • Juan Carlos Alom
  • Jonathas de Andrade
  • Eddie Rodolfo Aparicio
  • Alexander Apóstol
  • Firelei Báez
  • Miroslaw Balka
  • Juan Becú
  • Karen Paulina Biswell
  • Fernando Bryce
  • Teresa Burga
  • Alejandro Campins
  • Tania Candiani
  • Fernando Sánchez Castillo
  • Raimond Chaves /
    Gilda Mantilla
  • Iván Capote
  • Claudia Coca
  • Daniel Corvino
  • Ana María Devis
  • Eugenio Dittborn
  • Edouard Duval-Carrié
  • Matías Duville
  • Felipe Ehremberg
  • Antonia Eiriz
  • Marisol Escobar
  • Walker Evans
  • León Ferrari
  • Forhawk Two Feathers (Umar Rashid)
  • Fernanda Fragateiro
  • Gonzalo Fuenmayor
  • Génévieve Gaignard
  • Sandra Gamarra
  • Carlos Garaicoa
  • Ximena Garrido-Lecca
  • Juan Genovés
  • David Goldblatt
  • Pierre Gonnord
  • Nicolas Grospierre
  • Kulianji Kia Henda
  • Inti Hermández
  • Donna Huanca
  • Alfredo Jaar
  • Rashid Johnson
  • Samuel Levi Jones
  • William Kentridge
  • Gonzalo Lebrija
  • Glenda León
  • Reynier Leyva Novo
  • Robert Longo
  • Rafael Lozano-Hemmer
  • Ibrahim Mahama
  • Mangle
  • Francisco Masó
  • Teresa Margolles
  • Jose Carlos Martinat
  • Ana Mendieta
  • Jonathan Meese
  • Priscilla Monge
  • Moris (Israel Meza Moreno)
  • Carlos Motta
  • Julian Opie
  • Nadín Ospina
  • Daniel Otero Torres
  • Michelangelo Pistoletto
  • Gala Porras-Kim
  • Camilo Restrepo
  • Pedro Reyes
  • Lester Rodríguez
  • René Francisco Rodríguez
  • Tracey Rose
  • Ed Ruscha
  • Doris Salcedo
  • Giancarlo Scaglia
  • Esterio Segura
  • Andrés Serrano
  • Yinka Shonibare
  • Mikhael Subotzky
  • Rirkrit Tiravanija
  • Barthélémy Toguo
  • José Ángel Toirac / Octavio Marín
  • Kara Walker
  • Hank Willis Thomas

Artist in Residence

  • Alberto Baraya
  • Agustina Woodgate
  • Raimond Chaves /
    Gilda Mantilla
Virtual Tour

José Roca is the Artistic Director of the non-for-profit contemporary art space FLORA ars+natura in his home city of Bogotá. He was the Estrellita B. Brodsky Adjunct Curator of Latin American Art for the Tate, London (2012-2015) and for a decade managed the arts program at the Museo del Banco de la República (MAMU) in Bogotá, establishing it as one of the most respected institutions in Latin America. He was the chief curator of the 8th Bienal do Mercosul (2011) in Porto Alegre, Brazil and co-curator of the I Poly/graphic Triennial in San Juan, Puerto Rico (2004), the 27th Bienal de São Paulo, Brazil (2006) and the Encuentro de Medellín MDE07 (2007). He was the Artistic Director of Philagrafika 2010, Philadelphia’s international Triennial celebrating print in contemporary art, and served on the awards jury for the 52nd Venice Biennial (2007), and was the chief curator of the 8 Bienal do Mercosul in Porto Alegre, Brazil (2011). He is the author of Transpolitical: art in Colombia 1992-2012 (with Sylvia Suárez), and Waterweavers: A Chronicle of Rivers (with Alejandro Martín), published by the Bard Graduate Center in New York in conjunction with the exhibition Waterweavers: The River in Contemporary Colombian Visual and Material Culture (2014). Being appointed as Artistic Director of the 23rd Biennale of Sydney, which will take place 12 March – 13 June 2022, Roca is currently based in Sydney, Australia.