Into The Everglades
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Presented by Bas Fisher Invitational (BFI) and Bridge Initiative at InterContinental Miami,
100 Chopin Plaza, Miami, FL 33131
November 16th, 2021
6:30PM - 8:00PM
Tickets Available Here If the $15 dollars admission to this event is cost prohibitive please email email@example.com for a discounted option.
On View Nightly:
Through March 31st, 2022.
“Into the Everglades” is back on the Miami skyline!
From January through March 2022, one of the most recognizable buildings on Miami’s skyline will be transformed as InterContinental Miami lights up with visions of panthers, birds, and other creatures that call Florida home, as part of a large new video installation that was first presented in November by Miami-based artist, Carlos Betancourt. Adapting characteristics from his Cut-Out Series (2009-2010), and his Re-Collections Series (2003-ongoing), Betancourt’s new installation, Into The Everglades, features silhouettes of Florida's most recognizable wildlife. Leading up to the Aspen Ideas Conference on Miami Beach in March, the work could not be more timely, capping a year of unprecedented achievements in wildlife conservation for the State of Florida.
Betancourt’s exuberant imagery in this installation reflects how one's immediate surroundings, in this case the Everglades, can serve as a muse (inspiration) to artists, while it is also meant to highlight the vital need to protect the Florida Wildlife Corridor. The “Florida Wildlife Corridor” refers to a vital network of inland scrub, palmetto prairies, riparian forests, and other necessary habitats for some of the state's most at-risk species. Referred to as “The spine of Florida”, this collection of existing public parks and working lands like rural ranches and timberlands, is a top priority for statewide conservation. Protecting and enhancing these lands will increase the survival chances for the Florida Panther, and countless other species like otters, manatees, alligators, and snail kites.
Carlos Betancourt’s work often takes inspiration from his relationship with nature, using at times kaleidoscopic imagery and lush, flamboyant compositions, to depict the flora and fauna of Florida and the Caribbean in transformative ways. Into the Everglades is put together through a process of collage that Betancourt uses throughout his works, uniting iconography from disparate sources. It is through this symbolic layering that collage becomes ecological, as all parts of the composition build upon each other. In this artwork, Betancourt makes visible the deep interconnection between contrasting visual references, in a way that reflects the interdependence of Miami’s urban core and it’s surrounding ecosystems. The Florida Panther, and the Miami Skyline, are two of the most recognizable icons in Florida and Betancourt brings both together in Into the Everglades to remind locals of the rich biodiverse community they are an integral part of.
Video by Carlton Ward, National Geographer Explorer.
Courtesy of Path of the Panther.
Into the Everglades will be on view on the facade of the InterContinental from January 1, 2022 through March 31, 2022. The video artwork was created in collaboration with Miami-based filmmaker and animator Milly Cohen, and will play nightly on the InterContinental through March 31st. Alongside this project, Bas Fisher Invitational worked with Carlos Betancourt to produce a Weird Miami Zine, Secrets of El Portal, published with Exile Books. Betancourt’s zine, downloadable here, presents audiences with a self-guided tour through El Portal, a small, intimate enclave between Miami Shores and the City of Miami where the artist currently lives. The tour highlights parts of the neighborhood that have left a lasting impression on Betancourt.
The event is produced in partnership with Path of the Panther. Through impactful storytelling in collaboration with the National Geographic Society and a network of partners, Path of the Panther works to inspire the conservation of the land the Florida panther needs to survive — the Florida Wildlife Corridor — which serves both humans and wildlife. Illuminating the building for 2 weeks, Carlos’s work will be visible nightly from vantage points across downtown Miami, bringing the whole city into celebration for this historic investment to “Keep Florida Wild!”.
Into the Everglades is produced in partnership with Path of the Panther. Through impactful storytelling in collaboration with the National Geographic Society and a network of partners, Path of the Panther works to inspire the conservation of the land the Florida panther needs to survive — the Florida Wildlife Corridor — which serves both humans and wildlife. Illuminating the building for 3 months, Carlos’s work will be visible nightly from vantage points across downtown Miami, bringing the whole city into celebration for this historic investment to “Keep Florida Wild!”.
This installation is part of WATERPROOF MIAMI, an initiative organized by Bas Fisher Invitational and Bridge Initiative. WATERPROOF is a series of site-specific artists' projects presented in unexpected public spaces developed in direct response to the environmental issues facing South Florida. Each WATERPROOF project presents an opportunity for outreach, engagement, and action.
Carlos Betancourt is a multi-disciplinary artist whose works explore issues of memory, as well as matters of beauty, identity, and communication. By means of re-examination, he recycles and reinterprets the past by delivering it in a fresh and new relevant context; skillfully bending the lines between art, photography, and nature in large format vinyls, photographs, collages, and installations. Influenced by personal memories, he believes that art can be informed by one's own experiences, not necessarily the other way around.
Betancourt's artwork is part of public collections such as the Smithsonian' National Portrait Gallery in Washington, D.C., the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York, NSU Art Museum Fort Lauderdale, San Antonio Museum of Art, Texas, New Orleans Museum of Art, Louisiana, Palm Springs Arts Museum, California, Bass Museum of Art, Florida, PAMM Perez Art Museum, Florida, Museo de Arte Ponde, Puerto Rico. His work is exhibited in various galleries as well as art fairs such as Art Basel and Arco. He is the recipient of numerous awards and grants, including the Florida Department of State Millennium Cultural Recognition Award, a National Endowment for the Arts Grant, and the Miami Beach Arts Council Grant. He has worked as a curator, furniture designer and has collaborated in architectural and site-specific commissions with architect Alberto Latorre in several large-scale public art commissions. Betancourt, together with Latorre established the Betancourt-Latorre foundation, a 501(c) non-for profit organization that helps support projects by artists working in Miami and the Caribbean basin.
Bas Fisher Invitational (BFI)
BFI is an artist-run presenting organization dedicated to creativity, experimentation, and discourse in contemporary art. BFI creates a bridge between Miami and the international art world by curating programs featuring both local and global artists at sites throughout Miami-Dade County, and in collaboration with national and international partnering organizations.
By bringing artists and scientists together, Bridge curates public art that draws attention to the impacts of climate change in unique and engaging ways. As such, artists become cultural ambassadors and environmental advocates, inspiring a new generation to take action, while strengthening their own relationship to the natural world.
Path of the Panther
Telling the story of the Florida panther and the land it needs to survive. As the last big cat surviving in the eastern United States, and the state animal of Florida, the panther is an icon of Florida’s last wild places. Through impactful storytelling in collaboration with the National Geographic Society and a network of partners, Path of the Panther works to inspire the conservation of the land the Florida panther needs to survive — the Florida Wildlife Corridor — which serves both humans and wildlife.
Additional support for this project has been generously provided by a Knight Arts Challenge grant, from the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, the Andy Warhol Foundation, the Department of State, Division of Cultural Affairs, the Florida Council of Arts and Culture and the State of Florida, The Miami-Dade County Department of Cultural Affairs and the Cultural Affairs Council, the Miami-Dade County Mayor and Board of County Commissioners, the Cowles Charitable Trust, and InterContinental Miami.
Into the Everglades first launched on November 16, 2021 and ran for two weeks before coming back on view in January 2022.