The Miami Rail/ General Practice

Design Miami/
Mar 19, 2013 10:10PM

“There’s a large two-story house just north of 36th Street on the borders of Little Haiti and the Design District painted Port-Au-Prince baby blue and surrounded by unruly bougainvillea, morning glory vines, and empty cognac bottles. The downstairs has been claustrophobic since the windows were covered with concrete; the wood floors have gone scuffed and scratched and a steep, groaning staircase leads to the rooms on the second floor.

It was bought by Leonard Tachmes, a board-certified plastic surgeon who, according to his website, specializes in “Brazilian butt-lifts, mommy-makeovers, and breast augmentations.” Purchased for half-a-million dollars at the frantic peak of the housing market boom, the house went into foreclosure and remains in legal limbo, owned by multiple banks and now worth significantly less. Like the sea of foreclosed homes across Miami-Dade County, the house exists for an indefinite time under uncertain circumstances. But unlike most of those homes, it’s been claimed as a place for refuge, community exchange, and cultural production.

Tachmes, who is also a part-time gallerist, asked artist and curator Carlos Rigau to live in the house and use it as a gallery. Rigau was joined by the art collective Viking Funeral (Carlos Ascurra and Juan González), and de la Cruz Collection Director Ibett Yanez. The group founded the space and Ascurra coined it General Practice after seeing the phrase on a billboard. Openness and experimentalism are its guiding concepts, with a dedication to artistic content that is dark, malevolent, and feel-bad. They wanted a space freer of the constraints found in typical art settings, one unencumbered by the drive to make a profit or a name for itself. They got it, and then some: the house has proven to have a value and a power outside of anyone’s control…”

The previous selection previews an article written by Rob Goyanes for the Miami Rail about General Practice, a foreclosed home-cum-gallery in Miami that acts as an experimental space for artists of all stripes. Read the complete article here.

Founded and published by Nina Johnson-Milewski and edited by Hunter Braithwaite, The Miami Rail is an editorially independent expansion of the Brooklyn Rail founded in 2012. Produced four times a year in print and online, the Miami Rail provides critical coverage of art and culture.

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