Just in time for Art Basel, Alan Faena officially unveiled the newly completed, 43,000-square-foot Faena Forum.
Located in the heart of the six-block Faena District Miami Beach and home to Faena Art, this monumental construction, designed by Pritzker Prize-winning Rem Koolhaas/OMA, is Miami’s new cultural cornerstone.
Endowed with the mission of inspiring, nourishing and showcasing cutting-edge creative collaborations, the Faena Forum enjoyed an inaugural celebration that was fully aligned with its ambitious mission.
On November 28th Once With Me, Once Without Me—the world-premiere dance commission by Pam Tanowitz created in collaboration with architect Sho Shigematsu from OMA—took center stage. Faena Art commissioned this piece with the idea of conjuring an act of cultural acupuncture to mark the opening of Faena Forum.
The result of this collaboration—an exercise that neither party had tried ever before—was an awakening of the building, a new addition to the city’s landscape conceived as a place to be occupied and lived in through the ritual of performance.
As architects of the Forum, OMA is uniquely positioned to create a site-sensitive scenic design that highlights the building as a work of art in and of itself. Tanowitz, approaching her choreography with the mind of a dance historian, rearranged chronology and narrative through her use of moving bodies, allowing steps and breath to activate dormant stories within architectural structures.
While the scenography approximated the passage of light and shadow throughout the Forum, Tanowitz’s choreography allowed viewers to find their experience of movement, a reminder of our potential and that of the structures that surround us. This time-based experiment exposed the present as a visible echo of the past and the future.
Renowned fashion designer Sybilla designed the costumes that functioned as mobile sculptures intervened by dancing bodies, while an original musical composition by Dan Siegler resonated with the sounds of the urban landscape while been remixed live. Lighting designer Davison Scandrett heightened the play of light and darkness, and the young students of the Miami City Ballet School reinforced the fusion of past and future, tradition and experimentation.
Alan Faena and curator Ximena Caminos, Chair of Faena Art, hope to blur the traditional lines of art and performance by using the Forum as an “alchemical collaboratory” where artists and innovators will have space and freedom to dream, play and produce. “We will put all the best minds in the world to work to create a Utopian place,” Faena said as he cut the ribbon next to Len Blavatnik and Mayor Philip Levine.
Inside the Forum itself, Argentinean artist Graciela Hasper unveiled a site-specific monumental mural and Iranian thinker Reza Negarestani kicked-off the ongoing Soledades program, a series of one-time-only performances from cultural practitioners across a broad scope of disciplines.
We will put all the best minds in the world to work to create a Utopian place.