Escape the Room is a crossroads for production in interior decoration, site-specific art installation and multimedia gaming organized by artist Michelle Weinberg for the Farside Gallery, a Miami alternative space. A typical house located in a nondescript residential neighborhood in Miami, the Far Side is a setting for interacting with contemporary art beyond traditional museum and gallery spaces. It is located in a “bedroom community” rather than in a prominent cultural center. Four artists (Bailey Bob Bailey, MA, Karen Combs, IN/NY, Mike Genovese and Michelle Weinberg, Miami) will transform rooms of Far Side’s interior using wallpaper, furnishings and other domestic objects. Visitors will feel that they are intruding on inhabited rooms whose occupants are away. Arrangements in each room will dare guests to open a closet door, pull back curtains, look behind the easy chair, to discover everyday objects that provoke curiosity.
The rooms will emulate popular online and video games in which clickable icons move a player through the spaces - or levels. Using imagery from each artist’s room, a game designer will create an online play-able version of Escape the Room, extending the exhibition into an interactive multimedia format. Artist Bailey Bob Bailey configures found flotsam into sculptures and mock-modernist furniture. Karen Combs is a painter/designer who produces hand-printed sheets of hyper-animated wallpaper. Mike Genovese translates texts from street signs and the plethora of fine print that engulfs us into elegant litanies. Weinberg applies pattern and typography to architectural surfaces to de-stabilize. All four will penetrate the banal veneer of domesticity to discover the surprising, subversive, and esoteric possibilities within home decor.
Miami has been associated with rapid art world growth recently, however, the context for art continues to favor a static dealer/artist/collector model of commerce. Escape the Room will reward viewer/participants with a new model for consuming art - where they live and play.