NiteTalk: Sleeptalking to Beethoven

Last night a large contingent of our town’s most active and illustrious art ops swarmed Miami Art Museum to celebrate the opening of Cuban-born conjurer Enrique Martinez Celaya’s Schneebett. Among those on hand were the Rubell Collection’s Donald and Mera Rubell, the Bass Museum’s Megan Riley, gallerist Carol Jazzar, ace publicist Cece Feinberg, perennial scene-maker Myra Wexler, Whale & Star's Tessa Blumenberg, Peter Tunney Experience chief Carl Hildebrand and Flavorpill Miami’s Omar Sommereyns, not to mention the usual assortment of MAM magnificos, including Tracy Belcher and Naomi Patterson, as well as Senior Curator Peter Boswell and Director Thom Collins, both of whom led the festivities with prescient opening remarks.

What they saw: Schneebett (“Snow-bed”), a three-part installation consisting of “a long narrow corridor that contains an electric compressor and water tower; an empty “antechamber” occupied by a single chair and a poem by Martinez Celaya entitled “Poisonwood” scrawled on the wall; and a room containing a sculptured bed and a large painting of a snowy forest landscape.”

What they heard: Beethoven’s Quartet No 15 in A Minor, Op 132, subtitled “A Sacred Song of Thanks from One Made Well, to the Divine, in the Lydian Mode,” performed by members of the Miami Symphony Orchestra. As Matthew Taylor wrote in the program notes: “Just before he wrote this quartet, a very ill Beethoven was convinced that he was on the brink of death. When his health suddenly improved enough for him to work again, this is the music he wrote.”

What they experienced: A near-mystic meditation on Beethoven’s mythic last days, which were spent in Vienna, far from his Bonn birthplace.

Enrique Martinez Celaya’s Schneebett will be on exhibit at MAM through January 1, 2012.

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