Laundromat Art Space is an artist-run studio and exhibition complex located in Miami’s Little Haiti neighborhood. Founded in 2015 by a collective of alumni from Wynwood Arts District sites, the art complex focuses on the development of regional and local contemporary artists. Currently on view at the studio is “The Center for Post-Capitalist History” (CPCH), an exhibition created by artist Leah Sandler.
“The CPCH Staging Area at Laundromat Art Space,” explains director Ron Sanchez, “is an exhibition of video, text, photographs, and digital elements that guide the viewer into a possible future dealing with the urgencies of today through the voice of the fictional museum.”
Sanchez continues, defining the CPCH as a fictional museum that introduces the viewer to an ambiguous archiving process, describing a future landscape of disruption and itinerancy inherited from current conditions. With specific writing, production, and design strategies, Sanchez says this project presents itself as an institution and intervenes in our lived reality through its voice.
According to Orlando-based interdisciplinary artist, writer, and educator Leah Sandler, the CPCH is a conceptual project that plays with the lines between fact and fiction.
“It presents viewers with speculations on possible futures in a few different forms,” she explains. “It’s been shown as storefront window installations, guerrilla radio interventions, print publications, and exhibitions.”
Sandler considers herself an artist and a writer who works across various disciplines and media.
“I am influenced by my locality in Florida and experiences I’ve had navigating inadequate public systems in a state dangerously vulnerable to climate change, with a visible wealth gap and impending housing crises in major cities,” she says.
By combining video, text, drawing, flags, and collaborative interdisciplinary projects, she creates parafictional worlds. These parafictions flesh out imagined institutions, histories, manifestos, and landscapes.
In its manifestos and strategies, CPCH encourages the understanding of human history as a species history within the geological timescale. One such fictional strategy, “Embodied Archiving,” is a poetic description of an interconnected and entangled human body functioning as an archival repository.
The project was realized through collaborations between Sandler and a network of other creatives such as designer Britta Seisums Davis, photographer Steve Gula, designer Casandra Hill, voice actor Wes Keeley, fashion designer Bethany Mikell, audio engineer/voice actor Jared Silvia, photographer and videographer Kyle Robert Smith, voice actor Genevieve Steele, and video editor Zach Trebino.
As an artist evolving in the heart of capitalism, the multidisciplinary artist confesses that post-capitalism is a topic she approaches “with great trepidation.” Sandler also holds “a hopeful recognition that we plant the seeds of the future in the present, but also a realization of many of the contradictions, ironies, and inescapable complicities of working as an artist in the thick of it.”
– Jonel Juste, ArtburstMiami.com
“The Center for Post-Capitalist History.” On view through May 5, at Laundromat Art Space, 185 NE 59th St., Miami; laundromatartspace.com. Tuesday through Saturday 11 am to 4 pm, Sunday and Monday by appointment only.