Kanye West is making his way down to Art Basel Miami Beach this year as a participant, along with one of his more frequent collaborators, the artist Vanessa Beecroft. Tonight, December 4, Yeezus and Beecroft will present a new piece as part of the Flaunt Magazine “Affordable Care” group show, at the Mana Wynwood, reported in both Vanity Fair and The New York Times. According to one Noisey writer, this will be a performance art piece. “I know this for sure because my cousin will be participating in it,” she wrote.
West and Beecroft worked together often in the past: She led the art direction for Kanye’s short film for Runaway, as well as private listening parties for 808s and Heartbreak. Most recently, she acted as artistic director for the Yeezus tour, as well as choreographer. Beecroft’s work is often controversial for straddling a divide between exploitation and expression, as live models often put themselves in positions perceived as precarious. In 1998, she assembled 15 models to stand for hours in the rotunda of the Guggenheim, nude; in 2009, she had African immigrants, some of them in the performance—and country—illegally, eat a meal with their hands for hours.
The theme of the “Affordable Care” show is the discrepancy between those two ideas and how they might interact or contradict—one example might be the inaccessibility of healthcare through a malfunctioning website. This makes sense in Kanye’s outsider, underdog milieu, particularly his recent complaints of being exempted from upper-echelon design and fashion circles, going back to his days of mortifying Mike Meyers.
Other artists in the “Affordable Care” show include Ben Jones, Melanie Pullen, David LaChapelle, Rob Montgomery, Petra Cortright, Vance Lorenzini, Yung Jake, and Jeanette Hayes. A special pavilion presented by Opus Reps will hold work from Mary Ellen Mark, Bert Stern, Hunter and Gatti, and Paul Solomons.
Kanye is also purported to participate in the Surface Magazine-hosted Design Dialogues tonight, at the Moore Building in Miami’s Design District.
We’ll see what goes down and keep you updated.
UPDATE December 4, 2013 6:00 p.m: Here is the program for the show posted by Flaunt Magazine via Twitter: