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Facing Your Past

To people who remember their first heartbreak or pine to reconstruct a fading face lingering in the corridors of a forlorn passion, go to the new exhibit opening Sunday at the Miami Art Museum (101 W. Flagler St., Miami). Rivane Neuenschwander will re-create the mug of your youthful source of ardor with the help of a police sketch artist. Neuenschwander’s First Love, a 2005 installation inspired by Samuel Beckett’s novella by the same name, is on view as part of “A Day Like Any Other,” the first midcareer survey of the Brazilian artist’s work.

Along with this arresting perp walk of former flames, the museum’s galleries overflow with some of the more enigmatic and poetically evocative works Neuenschwander has become widely known for. Soak in Rain Rains, a gallery-flooding environment of dripping buckets suspended from the ceiling to create an artificial downpour, was first shown in 2002. Or you can swap your secret desires with a stranger in I Wish Your Wish, a 2003 installation of thousands of colorful ribbons printed with the hopes of others who have previously visited the installation. Simply remove one of the votive offerings and replace it with your own. Neuenschwander’s inspiration comes from the tradition of a church in Bahia, Brazil, where the faithful bind ribbons to their wrists and believe their dreams become manifest once the ribbons wear away. With these and others on view at MAM, Neuenschwander offers a sure bet to art lovers seeking memories that linger long after one leaves the building. The exhibition runs through October 16. Call 305-375-3000, or visit miamiartmuseum.org.
Tuesdays-Sundays. Starts: July 17. Continues through Oct. 16, 2011

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Carlos Suarez De Jesus

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