Breaking Barriers at Art Basel Miami
 

Text by Joseph Gregory

Photography by Jasper Soloff

 

 

The DRØME team headed down to Miami last week for a run at NADA’s Art Basel fair, hosting a panel and a party in South Beach. Here is what we got up to.

On Thursday night, guests gathered in the basement at the Miami Beach EDITION for a night of bowling, skating, and dancing. Sarah Von H opened the night with runway hits that had everyone moving as they waited for their turn to bowl or stepped out onto the ice. Two professional skaters dressed in Official Rebrand performed dazzling lifts and jumps, setting a surreal backdrop for Le1f as he took the stage.

At 11 PM, the bowling alley had been cleared and guests crowded around in anticipation. Le1f, dressed in a black singlet, wrapped in a sleek cream fur coat got the crowd roaring as he slinked out of his coat and onto stage. His set was twenty minutes of fire, energy, and lyrical mastery. He performed hits “Wut” and “Umami” as he danced and spun through the space, climbing on tables and banquettes, making sure even those in the back caught a good glimpse.

After what felt like a steady two minutes of applause, Le1f joined the party, and Blu Detiger kept everyone dancing with disco anthems enhanced by live bass riffs. Guests bowled a few more games, stepped onto the ice once more, and then found their way down the hall to the adjacent club, which was free for anyone that had attended the party.

On Friday afternoon, guests assembled again, this time at Ice Palace Studios for a special panel organized by DRØME at NADA’s fair. Under a tent on a magnificent, breezy Miami day, moderators Ari Fitz and Julia Cumming and panelists Alok Vaid-Menon, Gabby Richardson, Carly Mark, Chella Man, Arianna Gil, and MI Leggett sat together to discuss how they break the barriers that are put in place to hold artists to one medium, genre, or identity. The ninety minute discussion, live streamed by Know Wave, was an incredible coming together of gifted minds from a variety of artistic and personal backgrounds.

The panelists talked about how their work has changed over the past year under the weight of an oppressive administration that has been doing everything in its power to silence people of color, queer people, and women. They talked about mental health and the expectation of producing work that shows hardship while highlighting the importance of producing work that shows joy and happiness. The panel closed out with Q & A, so that all of those who had been on the edge of their seats (or picnic benches) for the duration could enter the discourse and continue the conversation.

Miami was a huge success thanks to the wonderful people who came out to support DRØME. We had a blast and can’t wait to return next year!

Le1f performs at The Edition.jpg
Ari Fitz, Julia Cumming.jpg
 

In the making of DRØME we hope to showcase a community of doers and nourish an attitude of empathy in a world that teaches us to pass judgment rather than practice kindness. The stories, images, and people shared in this magazine are an amalgamation of perspectives often overlooked or explicitly excluded from art and media worlds. The dearth of diverse identities and viewpoints within the arts is harrowing, especially for a young generation that is fighting its hardest to overcome conservative notions of order ultimately practiced as acts of discrimination against the very people and things we find most inspiring. In DRØME, the featured creators and creations encourage us to never shy away from who we are and what we want. Each artist, in sharing their story, embodies their own definition of agency. Against a mainstream ideology that indoctrinates patriarchal, capitalist, and hateful theories turned into policy, the artists in our first issue represent the ways in which art can take power back from society's denigrating control.