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So far Anja Marais has created 120 blog entries.

Florida Prize 2019 [Write-ups]

florida Prize 2019

Orlando Sentinel

By Trevor Fraser

“I love the cultural diversity of languages and histories of Floridians speaking Spanish, French, Dutch, and Creole, as well as Indigenous and African dialects. The pastiche of faces, stories, and cultures is a living collage that I base my own studio collages on. My intent for the Florida Prize Exhibition is working at the interstices of categories, where photography merges with sculpture or sculpture with installation. Exploring niches that feel both traditional and contemporary. My sculptures, depend upon found materials. I do not see these objects as a representation of “waste” but that of “possibilities,” Where the discarded, the broken, the unwanted can metamorphosize and regain dignity” – Anja Marais


Orlando Weekly

By Richard Reep and Jessica Bryce Young

…Next we come to Anja Marais. Her area narrows the view to black and white, a deliberate reference to her identity as a white African. Her installation channels piles of white-washed found objects into totems of self and family. Where Kobašlija showed junk misplaced in Florida’s nature, Marais elevates it into sacred cairns. Marais’ beautifully detailed work has a raw, earthy energy…


By |2019-06-25T20:55:56-04:00June 25th, 2019|

Florida Prize in Contemporary Art 2019 Finalists

FLORIDA PRIZE IN CONTEMPORARY ART ORLANDO, April 9th, 2019 – The Orlando Museum of Art is thrilled to announce the artists for the 2019 Florida Prize in Contemporary Art: Robert Aiosa, Joe Fig, Lilian Garcia-Roig, Lola Gómez, Amer Kobaslija, Pepe Mar, Anja Marais, Edison Peñafiel, Vickie Pierre, and Sri Prabha. 

Each artist featured in this exhibition will be represented by a recent or site-specific body of work that provides an in-depth view of their practice. One artist will be selected to receive the $20,000 award which has been made possible by the generous support of Gail and Michael Winn. “The Florida Prize in Contemporary Art is an opportunity to discover artists who are expressing ideas relevant to our time in new and visually exciting ways,” said Glen Gentele, Director & CEO.

Organized and curated by the Orlando Museum of Art (OMA), the Florida Prize exhibition brings new recognition to the state’s most compelling and progressive artists. Artists range from emerging to mid-career, and each is engaged in exploring significant issues of contemporary art and society in original and visually exciting ways. In all cases, they are artists whose achievements are marked by a record of notable exhibitions and awards. “Now in its sixth year, the Florida Prize in Contemporary Art has consistently demonstrated the depth of important work being done by artists throughout the State,” said Hansen Mulford, Senior Curator at the Orlando Museum of Art.

The exhibition presents artists working in a wide variety of media including painting, sculpture, photography and immersive installations with each advancing their practice in innovative directions. Issues addressed by these artists are diverse, exploring such topics as the architecture of home, Florida’s threatened environment, the overdose epidemic in Central Florida, the refugee’s journey, the artist’s studio as a portrait of the artist and the technology of transcendental experience. “Woven through this year’s show is a connecting thread that seems to touch upon the notion of humanity. Some artists open a dialogue about latent tensions or actual clashes, and others provide an escape” says Associate Curator, Coralie Claeysen-Gleyzon.  

The exhibition Opening Preview Party will be on May 31st, 2019. The VIP hour is 6-7pm and General Admission is 7-10pm. The ticketed event will feature a sampling of the culinary artistry of Orlando’s most sensational restaurants and caterers sponsoring the event, each offering dishes inspired by the 10 Florida Prize artists. Guests can also enjoy beer, wine and specialty cocktails from our beverage sponsors, mingle with the artists, listen to great live music, explore the exhibition and create the best social/cultural mix to be experienced in the state.

The artist selected to receive the Florida Prize will be announced at the opening night party. Guests will have the opportunity to cast a “People’s Choice” vote for their favorite artist which is sponsored by Corkcicle. For more information on the Florida Prize in Contemporary Art, the artists, our sponsors and the Opening Preview Party, please visit www.omart.org. Funds from the event will support the Florida Prize exhibition.

By |2019-06-25T21:11:25-04:00April 10th, 2019|

RCS: 51-75 Exhibit

Opening Reception:
February 28, 2019

The Annex
Gesamtkunstwerk Building
2930 NW 7th Avenue
Miami, FL 33127

Unforeseen Snow, 2016, Video installation and found objects, 51in x 26in x 30in

Unforeseen Snow, 2016, Video installation and found objects, 51in x 26in x 30in


You can listen to my interview with Baba Collective and the rest of the series:

Spinello Projects and Fordistas are proud to present the second installment of The Annex, an experimental, non-commercial art space dedicated to offering a safe space for promising up-and-coming Miami-based curators and artists. Focusing on underrepresented and underserved communities, The Annex provides a platform and resources to realize thought-provoking experiences through art. RCS 51-75 Exhibit is a multimedia group show featuring participants of Rocking Chair Sessions podcasts 51-75, curated by BABA Collective. The Exhibition runs through March 29, 2019.

Established in 2017, BABA Collective, comprised of Elysa D. Batista and Maria Theresa Barbist, have engaged in dialog within our Miami art community; inquiring artists and cultural producers about their personal narratives and creative processes. The conversations have been archived as online podcasts – RCS: Rocking Chair Sessions. Joining the global burgeoning club of audio interviews, BABA Collective is keeping it local and grassroots by interviewing peers only from South Florida inside the modest-sized Studio #14 at the Bakehouse Art Complex with the aim to build bridges via South Florida’s oral history and multifaceted creative practices

This show is a celebration of both visual artwork and audio collected, presenting a tapestry of works by 25 artists and cultural producers focusing on histories:

– Histories of immigration
– Histories of the body
– Histories of material
– Histories of our environment
– Histories of South Florida

And embodies how those histories are then processed and used as the impetus into creative outlets such as photography, performance, printmaking, painting, video, sculpture, and curation. The archives of sessions in themselves becoming a part of a living oral history. Not one history is the same, but they all collide and coexist here… in present South Florida, whose surface, environment and individuals have also been changing the past couple of years. How do you capture history? It all begins in the now… with the telling of a story. This exhibit opens up to the community to see, hear, and witness a part of that history.

Participating Artists: Alette Simmons-Jimenez, Judith Berk King, Roxana Barba, David Rohn, Sri Prabha, Amalia Caputo, Anja Marais, Gianna Riccardi, Jacqueline Gopie, Morel Doucet, Scott Brennan, Ana Mendez, Brookhart Jonquil, Kerry McLaney, Kiki Valdes, Jill Deupi, Maria Lino, Sarah Michelle Rupert, Sterling Rook, Yuneikys Villalonga, Regina Jestrow, Sandra Ramos, Pedro Wazzan, Tamara Despujols, Mike Rivamonte

RCS is supported by the Miami-Dade County Department of Cultural Affairs and the Cultural Affairs Council, the Miami-Dade County Mayor and Board of County Commissioners.


By |2019-02-18T09:18:14-04:00February 18th, 2019|

The fallacy of being by Janet Batet [write-up]

MIS.PLACED (November 2018)

by Janet Batet

The fallacy of misplaced concreteness proposed by Alfred North Whitehead describes the process through which concrete reality is supplanted by an abstraction. Most of the time, this act of reification implies misleading preconceptions around our existence. The recurrence to binary excluding dichotomies in global society has been a systemic attempt to distort and numb social sensitivity and deriving from this practice, we have been witnessing the careful replacement of terminologies in order to justify our detachment from others.

The systematic replacement of the term “refugee” by “immigrant” accompanied by adjectivizations such as “illegal” and “undocumented” in politic discourses and mass media has the intended aim of dissociating our civic and moral obligation toward this growing group of displaced individuals in global society. Under these circumstances, we are witnessing a new invisible mass of displaced people that become misplaced.

Don’t be wrong, the difference is substantial. Something misplaced is moved away, out of its natural emplacement or boundaries but not excluded or forgotten.

Misplaced gathers the proposals of six female contemporary artists who delve into the fallacy of displacement in contemporary society. Assuming their own bodies as the ultimate territory, each of them establishes a personal fable that procures the restoration of the dignity of the misplaced being.

Before entering the main gallery, Anja Marais’ “Up-Flight of the Wingless Bird” (2014 – 2018) receives us inside a vintage King Camper. The mesmerizing yet intimate video-installation effectively transports us into the tormented mood of the ever-transforming character which looping metamorphosis is captured in an exquisite pixilation animation (over 15,000 photographs integrate this video).

The capricious and yet meaningful allegory of the butterflies and the yellow-spotted river turtles in the western Amazon rainforest is the starting point for Carola Bravo’s “Yellow Resourcefulness” (2017). The interactive installation where yellow butterflies come to drink from our tears reminds us of the always present interconnection – at times indecipherable but essential – between all living beings.

Echoing “Yellow Resourcefulness”, “Immigrant Portrait Series” (Carola Bravo, 2015-2016) presents three videos (“Homesick Tears”, “Nostalgic Tears” and “Sad Tears”) in a loop. Based on three of the major Lichtenstein artworks, this ritournelle emphasizes the idea of the artist’s own sacrifice as a food source and resource for others’ life.

Also playing with the analogy of tears, sacrifice, tribute, and perseverance, Nina Surel’s “Vale of Tears” (2018) is an immersive and visceral installation. Mainly integrated by family garments and personal memorabilia feeding crystal teardrops that are suspended from the roof by engulfed women’s stockings about to burst, this installation is a poetic yet dramatic allegory about gender migration and memory.

Architecture of The Mind” (Marina Font, 2017) and “Quote-on-quote Influencer” (Johanna Boccardo, 2018), are both intervened photographs that focus on the psychological aspect of the misplacement. In both artists, the veiled surfaces are highly significant. In the case of Boccardo, the blocking technique so dear to her work implies a sort of palimpsest where the non-permanence resonates through the successive never-ending acts of writing and erasure. While in Boccardo’s work the relation of the subject with the context is essential, in Font’s “Architecture of Mind” we are witnessing an internal time, almost unconscious: the survival mapping of existence.

The dialogic relationship that derives from the counterpoint between “This Libation Song of Yearning” (Anja Marais, 2018) and “Tierra” (Regina Jose Galindo, 2013) becomes essential. In Marais’ work, a prepubescent girl holding an African mask moves forward while carrying several recycled receptacles loaded with ground corn. The totemic figure embodies the ontological scope of human displacement.

In Regina Jose Galindo’s “Tierra”, the stoic, nude female body anchored to its original space, resists the onslaught of the excavator shattering the earth around her. “Tierra” pays tribute to the victims of the genocide perpetrated by former President of Guatemala Jose Efrain Rios Mont. “Tierra” is also a heartbreaking testimony of the growing number of humans misplaced and even annihilated in their own homeland.

Misplaced is hosted by Collective 62, an independent art space devoted to creation outside of the traditional circuits of art. Located in Liberty City, Collective 62 also seeks to reverse the growing phenomenon of gentrification (another exponent of misplacement at the urban scale) through regeneration that derived from creation and community-based workshops.

By |2019-06-24T18:20:34-04:00December 7th, 2018|