Daniel Arsham returns to Miami to transform Locust Projects into an art-world excavation site.
Welcome to the Future, 2014, by Daniel Arsham (installation view).
Call it a homecoming: For his Locust Projects installation Welcome to the Future, Miami expat Daniel Arsham returns from Brooklyn to his early stomping grounds—literally. A decade ago, Locust Projects’ Design District building was the site of Arsham’s own Placemaker gallery, where he exhibited his inventive forays into the realm of architectural decay, as well as the handiwork of a kindred local crew. But Welcome to the Future is less a walk down memory lane than an amble through an invented past. Arsham is burrowing into Locust Projects’ floor to create a faux-archeological dig, revealing an array of iconic ’80s consumer items.
However, Arsham isn’t taking the ready-made path of least resistance. His installation’s make-believe fossils are all hand-cast from obsidian, ash, or quartz. “I want to question what linear time means, and what your place in it is,” Arsham explains.
So is his show a warning to start heading for higher ground? After all, alarmed climatologists have already moved a submerged Locust Projects—and all of greater Miami—out of the realm of science fiction and firmly onto the looming horizon. “I don’t prescribe what viewers take away; it’s an invitation,” Arsham says of his work.
Still, he’ll concede that South Florida serves as fertile grist for his imagination. “You can fly into Miami on a plane, look down, and see the edge of the Everglades. You can see communities with houses, pools, and roads. And then there’s a line. Beyond it is only swamp,” he muses. “That line has always fascinated me—the idea of competition and conflict between man-made and natural things.” Welcome to the Future is on view through January 2015 at Locust Projects, 3852 N. Miami Ave., Miami, 305-576- 8570