'The idea is that art can help': how Art Basel Miami tackled the climate crisis
But beyond the silliness, sustainability was a dominating theme this year at the 17th edition of the week-long art event, which always draws art lovers to over 300 exhibitions, a dozen art fairs and hundreds of VIP parties. Which is ironic, considering Miami art week is probably the most excessive contemporary art event in America; champagne bottles are strewn across South Beach with locals picking up the litter after partygoers, celebrities and art aficionados are long gone.
The climate emergency is making a statement at the art fair circuit, pointing fingers at yachts, the luxury lifestyle, automobile pollution and water bottles. But is it sellable? One curator says that protest art isn’t commercial but artists have invested their time regardless. As the Norwegian artist Thale Fastvold recently said: “Science has a communication problem that art can solve.” Here are some artworks doing that precisely.
Potentially the first ever zero-waste art party in Miami featured locally sourced food, biodegradable plastic forks and wooden plates. The table flowers were donated to the local botanical garden, with the leftover food donated to local missions. Set inside the Miami Beach Botanical Garden, it was hosted by Brooklyn artist Shinique Smith, who creates sculptures from secondhand clothing. The aim was to celebrate the United Nations’ sustainability goals; responsible consumption and production, and was co-presented by UBS and the #TogetherBand campaign, which helps the world move towards sustainability goals.