The World’s Headline Writers Are Divided on What Event Just Happened in Miami Beach
And also on whether it happened in Miami Beach.
Well, Miami Art Week has come and gone. It’s that special time each year when the eyes of culture watchers worldwide turn to the Miami Beach Convention Center and say with one voice… what is the name of this event again?
Reviewing the 2022 coverage, we discover that if you still write “Art Basel Miami Beach,” you are almost certainly an art magazine. That’s how Artnet News does it. It’s how Artforum, ARTnews, the Art Newspaper, and all the rest of the art gang all do it.
Generally, the other publications who feel the need to give you the grandeur of the full, four-word official name are publications that cover the art market regularly (or writers who do, in the case of Axios’s Felix Salmon).
So, that’s the way the real nerds do it. What about just the more generally art-curious onlookers?
As far as what more general-interest U.S. publications go, it seems, there is only one “Art Basel“—it just ain’t the one in Basel, Switzerland.
Ditching the “beach” at the price of getting the city wrong, “Art Basel Miami” pops up quite a bit on the lifestyle beat.
Even more emphatic about claiming the event for the big city across Biscayne Bay is the rare variant “Miami’s Art Basel.”
And, finally, in corners where the fair is not just a fair but a whole vibe, a state of mind, a “place to wear leather pants two ways”—there’s “Miami Art Basel.”
None of this addresses that brief period of time a few years ago when Art Basel committed to rebranding itself with a pesky preposition: Art Basel in Basel, Art Basel in Miami Beach, Art Basel in Hong Kong. (After a while, the PRs stopped emailing to ask for that branding to be used.)
It also doesn’t even begin to touch the confusion over whatever Art Basel was doing this fall in Paris, which was officially dubbed Paris + par Art Basel. And don’t get us started on the event known as Design Miami/ Basel.
Luckily, now that the book has officially closed on this year’s Art Basel Miami Beach/Miami Basel/Art Basel’s Miami, we don’t have to face the great onomatological question for another year.
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