‘Stadtluft Macht Frei’ and ‘Still’ Draw Huge Gathering on Opening Night


The opening reception for Stadtluft Macht Frei (Urban Air Makes You Free) and Still drew a large crowd at the Patricia & Phillip Frost Art Museum on Wednesday, September 10th. In attendance were many FIU College of Architecture + The Arts faculty and friends, including CARTA Dean Brian Schriner.

Stadtluft Macht Frei (Urban Air Makes You Free) is a new exhibition by Jacek Kolasinski (Chair, FIU Art + Art History), Roberto Rovira (Chair, FIU Landscape Architecture + Environmental and Urban Design), and Orlando Garcia (Composer-in-Residence, The College of Architecture + The Arts | Miami Beach Urban Studios and former Director of the FIU School of Music). The exhibit focuses on Medieval socio-economic landscapes and New World ecological urban migration and identity.

Stadtluft macht frei (urban air makes you free) is a German Mediaeval dictum describing a principle of law that offered freedom and land to settlers who took up urban residence for more than “a year and a day.”  Broadly speaking, this principle allowed the rising burger class to seek self-governance and economic autonomy.  The proliferations of the city communes redefined the socio-economic landscape of Mediaeval Europe.

Migration to cities, whether catalyzed by political dictum or by the promise of socioeconomic betterment, powerfully informs the many transformations that have shaped contemporary cities, nations, and landscapes. Migration, as a human and ecological phenomenon, profoundly reshapes its context and is a conduit by which identity is routinely questioned.

This collaborative multimedia enquiry brings together voices of three discrete academic disciplines to offer a unique artistic interpretation of this complex historic process.  This project employs an array of techniques including 3-d fabrication, video, printmaking and digital sound composition. (Source: CARTA News, September 4th, 2014)

Still by Marisa Tellería (FIU BFA ’93) explores an interest in perception as well as introspective and sensorial experiences.

Still is a compilation of new works of various scales, from medium size room-installations to stand alone objects, in an attempt to create a contemplative, circular space that allows room for introspection and sensorial experience.

The gallery is intervened by three immersive temporary environments made up of countless small, layered gestures with various materials creating a space of much silence and interiority. In between these larger pieces, other smaller works, equally elaborate and layered, function as a pause of fleeting, “whispering” moments alluding to larger psychological spaces as an invitation to slow down and look deeper, even in seemingly empty or unaltered scenarios.

In these works as well as throughout my trajectory, my interest in perception persists; in understanding the way we see (and not) and how we respond to physical phenomena; the selection of materials play an important role as a personal vocabulary to engage viewers into intimate sensorial experiences, so they can relate to objects, environments and situations at a corporeal level and expand their own process of observation and conceptualization; so they can hopefully understand things by their intensity of existence unencumbered by preconceived notions of meaning, if only briefly.” (Source: CARTA News, September 8th, 2014)

Both Stadtluft Macht Frei (Urban Air Makes You Free) and Still will run until Sunday, October 19, 2014 at the Patricia & Phillip Frost Art Museum: 10975 SW 17th Street, Miami, FL 33199. Free and open to the public.

The featured header image was taken by Manuel Perez-Trujillo.

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