“Faena Festival: This is Not America”, was keyed to Miami’s enduring role as a port that welcomes migrants, refugees, and tourists from across the US and the Americas, and from countries throughout the world.

The festival engaged with the multiplicity of communities and cultures and the palimpsest of histories that have created the Americas while responding specifically to Miami as its hemispheric hub.

All programming was free and open to the public.

This is Not America proposed a new curatorial format for presentation that occupied and engaged the entire Faena District and extended beyond into public spaces of the city of Miami Beach as an experiential platform. The diverse venues of the Faena District Miami Beach were activated, including the public areas of the street, sidewalk and beach; the Faena Hotel, including its theater and screening room; and Faena Forum – the OMA-designed cultural centerpiece of Faena District Miami Beach.

“It has always been my dream to have our international cultural festival —a polyphonic platform to amplify voices, bringing together practitioners from different artistic fields. Artists are not limited by geopolitical divides, so in this inaugural edition we’ve decided to explore diverse interpretations of the Americas, what unifies and ultimately connects us. Each future edition will have a unique theme, organized under a different concept that I personally find relevant and will develop working in collaboration with the worlds most recognized and emerging talents, artists , thinkers and curators,” stated Alan Faena.

The 2018 Faena Festival took Alfredo Jaar’s prescient 1987 work A Logo for America, as a point of departure for the exploration of America as a place, concept and myth. The piece was presented on an LED jumbotron mounted on a boat navigating the Miami Beach shoreline. The monumental, text-and-and-image-based animated work, originally commissioned by The Public Art Fund for the giant electronic billboard marking the heart of New York’s Times Square, featured the text “This is Not America” emblazoned across an outline map of the US that morphs into an outline of the entire western hemisphere from a variety of perspectives, including from South to North, challenging the traditional view of the North at the top of the map. For the Faena presentation, the boat (which generally interrupts lazy beach days with advertisements for bars and clubs) travelled the entire coastline of Miami Beach each day throughout the Festival so that the public work was experienced by the entire city.

“This is Not America addressed America as concept more than a place, a contested and powerful idea that is greater than the waters and borders that frame it,” noted Zoe Lukov, curator of Faena Art. “Artists in the Festival have been invited to explore the concept of America as a myth and a narrative that has at times bound and divided us but ultimately has the power to unify. By occupying the interstitial zone between land and sea many of these site-specific installations reimagined porous and transitional spaces as places of refuge and safe harbor that are representative of what our ‘America’ is and can become.”

Works in the festival reflected the continuities and changes across the Americas—from South to North—based on shared histories and the interchange of contemporary cultures.


Faena Art thanks Perrier-Jouët for their generous support of the inaugural Faena Festival.

Faena Art would like to thank it's Board of Directors for its continuous support: Sarah Arison, Neisen Kasdin, Gita Shamdasani, and Olga Blavatnik.

Special thanks to Alexandre Ricard and Cesar Giron for their generous support.

Chief Curator: Zoe Lukov
Director of Exhibitions: Direlia Lazo
Executive Director: Nicole Comotti
Executive Producer: Jerry Torres
Production Manager / Films & Videos Series: Cecilia Kuska Production Manager: Katerina Llanes
Coordinator: Elizabeth Blotta
Controller: Jose Soto

Creative Team
Creative Design Director: Mariana Pariani
Editorial Director: Gastón Guaglianone
Art Director: Rafael Olarra
Designers: Alejandra Román, Sean Mac Allister, Sebastián Gagin

Production Logistics Team
On-Site Producer: Erin Stacey Visslailli
Production Manager: David Wright
Production Manager: Bean Elene
Fabrication Manager: Glenn Chee
Production: Alejandro Porta Fracchia
Fabrication: Anderson Moraes
AV Manager: Julian Cardozo
On-Site Production Team: Reinaldo Azuaje, Ely Lords, Merika Palmiste, Stephanie Swanson.
Music Programming curated by Molly Hawkins & Zack Tetreault
Faena Festival song by José Conde
Photographers: Carolina Bonfanti, Chris Tamburello, Anita Posada, Oriol Tarridas, Juan Gonz
Drone footage: UAshot Aereal Filmworks

Derrick Adams. America’s Playground, 2018
Project Assistant: Michael Chuapoco
Technical Assistant: Jelisa Blumberg

Cecilia Bengolea. La danza de la esponja. Philosophy of Joy. Favorite position, 2018
Guest Choreographer: Nancy St. Leger
Dancers: Amanda Backer, Jac’lene Conklin, Iccy, Manoucheka Luma, Rhoda Moise, Dayanis Mondeja, Sherrieka Othello, and Evelyn Robaina
Music: African Watoto Dance Theatre / BamiDele Dance of African Arts / Equinoxx Music Jamaica.
Animation Designer: Robert Montenegro
3D Scans: effigy studio, Paris
Videographer: Anita Posada Visuals: Rick Solari

Alfredo Jaar. A Logo for America, 1987
Alfredo Jaar Studio: Laure Poupard, Jee Eun Esther Jang, Masahito Ono, Pablo Montealegre, Ballyhoo Media

An occasion hosted by Isabel Lewis (“classic” occasion excerpts 2014-2018)
Dancers: Marion-Skye Brooke Logan Kayla Castellon, Julia Gladstone, Ayman Harper, LaMichael Leonard Jr., Nadina Liberatore, Vanessa Marie, and Weiselande ‘Yanui’ César. Production Manager: Tainá Moreno
Assistant: Lilly Pfalzer Dramaturg: Marcelo Alcaide

Tavares Strachan. We Belong Here, 2018
Isolated Labs: Christophe Thompson, Mariko Tanaka, Luke Kooper, and Erica Sellers.

Wu Tsang and boychild. Love is a Rebellious Bird, 2018
Directed by Wu Tsang
Starring boychild
Featuring Larry B.
Music by Asma Maroof and Patrick Belaga
Costumes by Mischa Notcutt
Cinematographer: Antonio Cisneros
First Camera Assistant: Ezra Riley
Second Camera Assistant: Robin Pabello
Producer: Joyce Keokham
Makeup Artist: Raisa Flowers
Faena Theater Staff: Brian Forti, Geraldine Fitzgerald, Douglas Perez, Leandro O’brien, and Ryan Badeaux.

George Sánchez-Calderón. How to win friends and influence people, 2018
Pyrotech Fireworks

Luna Paiva. A Matter of Time, 2018
Fundición Buchhass: Rodolfo Buchhass, Ricardo Buchhass, Roberto Bucchass, Iara Erlich, Romeo Erlich, and Inés Decloux.

Faena Art would like to express sincere gratitude to the individuals and organizations who make this program a reality and without whom, none of this would be possible: Len and Emily Blavatnik, Perrier Jouët, and the City of Miami Beach Mayor Dan Gelber and City Commissioners.

Special thanks to Ximena Caminos for her founding vision.

Many thanks to the following individuals, community groups, cultural and educational institutions in the city, and the many partners who have worked alongside us to realize the Faena Art vision: Scott Geraghty, Benjamin Sinclar, Marisol Blanco, Dejha Carrington, Stella Ford, Lourdes Lopez, Marcelo Pallarols, Jaie Laplante, Adam Shapiro, Neville Wakefield, Sarah Payton, Amy Sacco, Romilda De Luca, Jean Marc Lazo, Anthony Spinello, Tonya Sanchez, Damaris Cruz, Christian Viveros-Fauné, Juan Fernando Ayora, Juan Fernandez, Lyn Winter, Nadine Johnson, Susan Davis, David Resnicow, Maria May, Meg Connolly, Caitlin Driscoll, Paris Kain, Alejandra Martinez, Laura Muchnik, Taylor Moore, Lauren Cramer, Rich Kellner, Casey Fremont, Jocelyn Hurtado, Andrew Berardini, and Florencio Noceti.

City of Miami Beach Administration and City of Miami Beach Commission, Artsy, Daily Front Row, Bvlgari, Art Production Fund, Anónimo, Bellak Color, Black Archives, History and Research Foundation of South Florida, United Iron Works, Skowhegan School of Painting & Sculpture, National YoungArts Foundation, Project for Empty Space, Desert X, Thomas Printworks, and Miami City Ballet.

A very special thank you to the neighbors of the Faena District and the residents of the City of Miami Beach who we hope to serve in our mission to create an innovative cultural program that serves the multitude of diverse communities within our city.