A Day At The Miami Art Museum

“I wish for a turtle and world peace” – A wish printed on a ribbon for Rivane Neuenschwander’s I Wish Your Wish installation

On Saturday I visited the Miami Art Museum (MAM) exhibit “Focus Gallery: Joel Meyerowitz – Aftermath” as a way to remember those we lost on 9/11. I expected to see a touching (understatement) exhibit commemorating the 10 year anniversary of this event, but what I did not expect was to leave the museum so refreshed.

The exhibit features photography by Joel Meyerowitz. As the only photographer allowed on Ground Zero after 9/11, he chronicled the cleanup efforts for 9 months. The collection of photographs displayed at the MAM communicated what he intended:  “what it felt like to be in there as well as what it looked like: to show the pile’s incredible intricacy and visceral power”.  Looking at the photographs and reading the story behind some of them, was sobering. The photographs themselves were moving, but the exhibit seemed to take on a three-dimensional feel as I overheard a mother explain the exhibit to her little girl in a way she could understand.

While this exhibit is clearly extraordinary on its own, I think it was the opportunity to view Meyerowitz’s photographs AND Neuenschwander’s installation in the same day that made Saturday special. Ravine Neuenschwander’s I Wish Your Wish is an interactive installation that allows you to swap wishes with someone you have never met. Their wishes are printed on ribbons and hung on the wall for you to choose and then replace with your own. They range from the innocent “I wish for a turtle and world peace” to the chilling “I wish it was benign”. It is definitely a special and intimate experience to be able to read and adopt someone else’s wish as your own.

Together, these exhibits show us mankind’s resilience, hope, strength, vulnerability, tenderness, creativity and diversity. I thought I was going to leave the museum saddened by the memory of what happened 10 years ago, but instead I left both sobered and refreshed.  If you haven’t visited the MAM recently, I would encourage you to do so while both of these exhibits are being displayed. It’s definitely worth it.

PS – You can also participate in the Neushwander’s I Wish Your Wish installation online

Visit www.miamiartmuseum.org  for more info on how you can support the museum.




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