Ryan McNamara’s Booty-Shaking Performance Excites Miami Crowds
The performance with Devonte Hynes was the culmination of a year-long residency.
For the second year in a row, artist Ryan McNamara has taken Art Basel in Miami Beach by storm with a much talked about performance. While last year’s “ME3M 4 Miami” at the Playboy theater explored—what else?—the Internet, this year’s took place at the Pérez Art Museum Miami (PAMM), where McNamara teamed up with musician Devonté Hynes (better known as Blood Orange), on a series of performative vignettes called “Dimensions.”
Set on the museum’s expansive terrace, “Directions” is the culmination of the pair’s year-long residency at PAMM, combining sound, sculptural elements, and choreography blended together to explore Miami’s complex history.
Art worlders including the singer Solange Knowles, gallerist Andrea Rosen, the Guggenheim’s JiaJia Fei, designer Mara Hoffman, and editor Dorian Grinspan, who explored the evening’s many small performances, as McNamara and Hynes grooved alongside Miami-based dancers and musicians in brightly colored neoprene suits. It was a fitting choice for the weather, which was initially rainy, but then cleared up through the evening’s end.
Both Hynes and McNamara were clearly in the zone—despite the crowds and cameras, their individual performances were unflinching. Hynes wore an all-white suit and casually jammed on his guitar, while McNamara donned an orange bodysuit and danced on a moving platform.
McNamara’s writhing, booty-shaking performance even prompted one audience member to scream “work bitch!”—a reference to the 2013 Britney Spears hit.
But despite the evening’s fun and carefree vibe—it is Art Basel after all—the evening wasn’t without a greater message. The pair were tasked with responding to the “sites of displacement and fantasy,” according to a statement, and were thus inspired by everything from high-rise hotels to strip clubs.
While locals do attend Miami Beach events, “Directions” provided a much-needed window into the city for many out-of-towners.
“Hynes and McNamara maintain practices defined by a wide spectrum of influences,” said PAMM chief curator Tobias Ostrander. “Their approach to the Miami landscape brings a sensitivity to the multiple ways that built environments shape our imaginations.”
See images from the performance below.
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