This website uses cookies to craft an exclusive online experience, tailored for you. By clicking "Accept" or by continuing to use our site, you consent to our use of cookies.
Accept

Miami

But man is not made for defeat

Curated by Direlia Lazo

Dreaming with Lions is the product of a year-long reflection by Alexandre Arrechea inspired by The Old Man and the Sea, the seminal short novel by Ernest Hemingway, written in Cayo Blanco, Cuba, in 1951 and published in 1952.

Constructing a rotunda sixty-two feet in diameter that resembles an enormous forum-cum- library, Arrechea uses beach towels to spell out two quotes from Hemingway’s novel: “Now is no time to think of what you do not have. Think of what you can do with what there is,” and “But man is not made for defeat. A man can be destroyed but not defeated”. Materials like beach towels signal Arrechea’s mode of working site specifically, a process he prefers to reserve-engineer rather than approach in its more traditional context.

The Old Man and the Sea is a visceral novel. For most of the book, we are in the company of Santiago, an elderly fisherman, who philosophizes as he drifts in search of a catch that will justify his existence. In his thoughts, an impressive fish would end his misfortunes, having caught nothing for months. With this will to triumph, he sets out to sea determined to defy his run of bad luck. Out on the waves, he braves a series of misadventures that turn out to be life- changing. Emerging from uncertainty over his immediate future, Santiago’s reflections draw some striking parallels with this year of global crisis in the COVID-19 pandemic, which has proved equally visceral as a collective experience.

The two quotes Arrechea has selected visible from outside of the installation are from two moments in the novel when the protagonist has to steel himself to new circumstances, step back from his previous narrative and summoning his strength for the task ahead.

Dreaming with Lions is a living monument to the sheer force of the human spirit. It embodies our ability to withstand enormous, relentless challenges and to persist even in the face of defeat. Drawing on the structural potential of the forum to reinforce its ideological messages, the installation marks a continuation of Arrechea’s exploration of public spaces, and their philosophical legacy as interpretative centers of power, hierarchy, and social progress.

This year has seen a resignifying of the public space and participation in the social sphere by individuals from the private space. The structure of the Roman forum, recalled in this installation, has historically been a space for meeting, dialog, and convergence. The latent question over the course of the work’s development is what it means, after months of isolation, to encourage dialog in the public sphere through art? It is undoubtedly a gesture of hope in extraordinary times, an attempt to restore a sense of community and produce an experience of participation that reminds us of the interconnectedness that sustains us as social beings.

The work’s title is taken from the last sentence of the book, confirming what proves to be the character’s real victory: his resilience. In the end, Santiago, who disappears during his struggles at sea, doesn’t dream of the marlin, sharks, or dolphins; he dreams of lions. We are left with a sense of empowerment because the character whose company we have kept for more than a hundred pages and who could easily be our own alter ego, has risen to the challenge of grasping the triumph of the voyage itself, of embracing his apparent defeat as an opportunity to rethink his identity.

Standing amid Arrechea’s installation, looking out to sea, I recall the last lines of The Empty Glass by Louise Glück, Nobel Prize for Literature 2020

“And I think in the end this was the question
that destroyed Agamemnon, there on the beach,
the Greek ships at the ready, the sea
invisible beyond the serene harbor, the future
lethal, unstable: he was a fool, thinking
it could be controlled. He should have said
I have nothing, I am at your mercy.”

Direlia Lazo, Director of Exhibitions Faena Art

Calendar

exhibitions

O Bicho Suspenso Na Paisagen

12 01, 2015 to 12 06, 2015

exhibitions

Los Carpinteros

12 01, 2015 to 12 06, 2015

exhibitions

Paraísos Desplegables

12 01, 2015 to 12 06, 2015

exhibitions

The Liminal Space Trilogy

12 01, 2015 to 12 06, 2015

exhibitions

Estudio Jurídico Mercosur

12 01, 2015 to 12 06, 2015

exhibitions

Fyodor's Performance Carousel

12 01, 2015 to 12 06, 2015

exhibitions

GPS / Geometría Poética Social

12 01, 2015 to 12 06, 2015

exhibitions

Mendoza walking

12 01, 2015 to 12 06, 2015

exhibitions

ángeles veloces arcanos fugaces

12 01, 2015 to 12 06, 2015

exhibitions

Once with Me (Preview)

12 01, 2015 to 12 06, 2015

exhibitions

Forms from Life

12 01, 2015 to 12 06, 2015

exhibitions

Solar Light Geometry

12 01, 2015 to 12 06, 2015

exhibitions

ángeles veloces arcanos fugaces

12 01, 2015 to 12 06, 2015

exhibitions

A Sight To Behold

12 01, 2015 to 12 06, 2015

exhibitions

Return to Tomorrow

12 01, 2015 to 12 06, 2015

exhibitions

Once with Me, Once without Me

12 01, 2015 to 12 06, 2015

exhibitions

Graciela Hasper

12 01, 2015 to 12 06, 2015

exhibitions

No Permanent Address

12 01, 2015 to 12 06, 2015

exhibitions

Alejandro Guzmán: Creative Misunderstandings

12 01, 2015 to 12 06, 2015

exhibitions

Alina Ibragimova & Cédric Tiberghien

12 01, 2015 to 12 06, 2015

exhibitions

Biennale of Moving Images

12 01, 2015 to 12 06, 2015

exhibitions

Interview: Boris Mitić

12 01, 2015 to 12 06, 2015

exhibitions

Interview: Karimah Ashadu

12 01, 2015 to 12 06, 2015

exhibitions

Interview: Evangelia Kranioti

12 01, 2015 to 12 06, 2015

exhibitions

Interview: Alessio Di Zio

12 01, 2015 to 12 06, 2015

exhibitions

Interview: Sophia Al Maria

12 01, 2015 to 12 06, 2015

exhibitions

Interview: Kerry Tribe

12 01, 2015 to 12 06, 2015

exhibitions

About the curators of Biennale of Moving Images 2016

12 01, 2015 to 12 06, 2015

exhibitions

Interview: Jenna Hasse

12 01, 2015 to 12 06, 2015

exhibitions

Interview: Salomé Lamas

12 01, 2015 to 12 06, 2015

exhibitions

Interview: Pauline Boudry & Renate Lorenz

12 01, 2015 to 12 06, 2015

exhibitions

Interview: Wu Tsang

12 01, 2015 to 12 06, 2015

exhibitions

Interview: Bertille Bak

12 01, 2015 to 12 06, 2015

exhibitions

Biennale of Moving Images

12 01, 2015 to 12 06, 2015

exhibitions

Interview: Brian Bress

12 01, 2015 to 12 06, 2015

exhibitions

Interview: Emily Wardill

12 01, 2015 to 12 06, 2015

exhibitions

Interview: Massimo D’Anolfi & Martina Parenti

12 01, 2015 to 12 06, 2015

exhibitions

Interview: Yuri Ancarani

12 01, 2015 to 12 06, 2015

exhibitions

Interview: Bodil Furu

12 01, 2015 to 12 06, 2015

exhibitions

About Biennale of Moving Images

12 01, 2015 to 12 06, 2015

exhibitions

Biennale of Moving Images

12 01, 2015 to 12 06, 2015

exhibitions

Biennale of Moving Images

12 01, 2015 to 12 06, 2015

exhibitions

Biennale of Moving Images

12 01, 2015 to 12 06, 2015

exhibitions

Cuerpo Lunfardo: Cecilia Bengolea, Jimena Croceri and Amalia Pica

12 01, 2015 to 12 06, 2015

exhibitions

Ediacaran Mind

12 01, 2015 to 12 06, 2015

exhibitions

The Sinking of the Taj Mahal

12 01, 2015 to 12 06, 2015

exhibitions

120 Degree Arc East-Southeast

12 01, 2015 to 12 06, 2015

exhibitions

Miami Art Week 2017

12 01, 2015 to 12 06, 2015

exhibitions

Franchise Freedom

12 01, 2015 to 12 06, 2015

exhibitions

ángeles veloces arcanos fugaces

12 01, 2015 to 12 06, 2015

exhibitions

Thresholding (En el Umbral)

12 01, 2015 to 12 06, 2015

exhibitions

El Internacional Tapas Bar & Restaurant

12 01, 2015 to 12 06, 2015

exhibitions

El Internacional. Calendar

12 01, 2015 to 12 06, 2015

exhibitions

El Internacional Tapas Bar & Restaurant

12 01, 2015 to 12 06, 2015

exhibitions

El Internacional. Archaeological Sandwich

12 01, 2015 to 12 06, 2015

exhibitions

Noche de Celebración de Gemelos

12 01, 2015 to 12 06, 2015

exhibitions

Melodies of Certain Damage (Opus 2)

12 01, 2015 to 12 06, 2015

exhibitions

FAENA FESTIVAL: THIS IS NOT AMERICA

12 01, 2015 to 12 06, 2015

exhibitions

Un bárbaro entre las sierras by Juan José Cambre

12 01, 2015 to 12 06, 2015

exhibitions

Zonez V4 by Suzi Analogue

12 01, 2015 to 12 06, 2015

exhibitions

TabomBass by Vivian Caccuri

12 01, 2015 to 12 06, 2015

exhibitions

Faena Festival: This is not America

12 01, 2015 to 12 06, 2015

exhibitions

Coreografías de Sal - OSíAS YANOV

12 01, 2015 to 12 06, 2015

exhibitions

UNA CONVERSACIÓN CON OSÍAS YANOV

12 01, 2015 to 12 06, 2015

exhibitions

SALINAS Y SIRENAS

12 01, 2015 to 12 06, 2015

exhibitions

Jornadas de Sal: Taller impartido por Osías Yanov

12 01, 2015 to 12 06, 2015

exhibitions

Coreografías de Sal - Osías Yanov

12 01, 2015 to 12 06, 2015

exhibitions

Women in the World

12 01, 2015 to 12 06, 2015

exhibitions

Camille Henrot

12 01, 2015 to 12 06, 2015

exhibitions

Myrlande Constant

12 01, 2015 to 12 06, 2015

exhibitions

Antonia Wright

12 01, 2015 to 12 06, 2015

exhibitions

FAENA FESTIVAL: AGENDA

12 01, 2015 to 12 06, 2015

exhibitions

Faith Ringgold

12 01, 2015 to 12 06, 2015

exhibitions

Andrea Büttner

12 01, 2015 to 12 06, 2015

exhibitions

Francis Mallman + Paul Qui

12 01, 2015 to 12 06, 2015

exhibitions

The Propeller Group

12 01, 2015 to 12 06, 2015

exhibitions

Pedro Neves Marques

12 01, 2015 to 12 06, 2015

exhibitions

Osías Yanov and Lulo Demarco

12 01, 2015 to 12 06, 2015

exhibitions

FAENA FESTIVAL: THE LAST SUPPER

12 01, 2015 to 12 06, 2015

exhibitions

Grethell Rasúa

12 01, 2015 to 12 06, 2015

exhibitions

Gabriel Chaile

12 01, 2015 to 12 06, 2015

exhibitions

Christian Jankowski

12 01, 2015 to 12 06, 2015

exhibitions

Sophia Al-Maria

12 01, 2015 to 12 06, 2015

exhibitions

ARTIST IN RESIDENCE

12 01, 2015 to 12 06, 2015

exhibitions

FAENA ART COURSES

12 01, 2015 to 12 06, 2015

exhibitions

A conversation with Alexandre Arrechea

12 01, 2015 to 12 06, 2015

exhibitions

Alexandre Arrechea: DREAMING WITH LIONS

12 01, 2015 to 12 06, 2015