July 10–August 15, 2018

Public Open Hours:
12–5PM or by appointment (email the artist at lazarus@usf.edu)

Free Public Workshops:
12–5PM or by appointment (email lazarus@usf.edu)

Public Reception
September 7–9, 2018

Mana Contemporary Miami
777 Mall
145 E Flagler Street
Miami, FL 33131



A CENTURY OF DISSENT: MIAMI! Is a new public art project by Mana Contemporary Miami Artist-in-Residence Jason Lazarus that investigates and documents the history of protest in the Greater Miami area. Members of the public are invited to collaborate with the artist on reconstructing protest signs used locally over the past hundred years. Participants join Lazarus in researching historical and contemporary images on site before selecting one that reflects their own concerns with equality, using the materials provided to craft full-scale interpretations. They may also elect to recreate signs they made themselves previously for use in public actions around the city. A CENTURY OF DISSENT: MIAMI! reflects Lazarus’s ongoing commitment to themes of social justice and visibility.

In the current, tempestuous, political climate, Miami's extraordinary mix of peoples, ideological affiliations, and social justice movements presents the opportunity to create a unique physical archive—one that records and reflects on structural problems with a disproportionate impact on underrepresented communities. A CENTURY OF DISSENT: MIAMI! also takes its place in a corpus of work that reflects a desire on the part of artists to apply their creative methodologies to societal concerns, with the aim of prompting and supporting real-world change. Recent exhibitions such as An Incomplete History of Protest at the Whitney Museum of American Art, and projects involving the restaging or remaking of protest actions and objects by such artists as Jeremy Deller and Dread Scott, have reminded us that the impulse to combine creativity and activism is stubborn and significant, constituting an alternative visual-verbal history of the 20th and 21st centuries to which artist and non-artists alike may contribute.          

Lazarus began as a photographer, and while he now pursues research-based conceptual and interactive projects in forms including sculpture and installation, his practice remains influenced by the photographic medium and its public histories. Focusing on ideas of intimacy and community, the artist uses both original and appropriated images to explore the production and function of visual archives. His 2010 series Too Hard to Keep, for example, is the result of an open call for photographs that have too great a sentimental value for their owners to destroy, yet are too painful for them to keep. He has also made a series of photograms, Heinecken Studies, 2010, using the cremation ashes of innovative American photographer Robert Heinecken. 

Public Reception: September 7–9, 2018

Public Open Hours:
Tuesday–Saturday, 12–5pm or by appointment (email the artist at lazarus@usf.edu)

Free Public Workshops:
The artist will conduct free sign-making workshops for participants aged 10 and up, for 5–20 people at a time, lasting 1–2 hours. Workshop hours are Tuesday–Saturday, 12–5pm, or by appointment (email lazarus@usf.edu).

Born in 1975 in Kansas City, Chicago-based artist Jason Lazarus is currently Assistant Professor of Art and Art History at the University of South Florida, Tampa, and Low Residency MFA Program Mentor at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. Lazarus studied marketing at DePaul University (BA, 1998) and photography at Columbia College Chicago (MFA, 2003). The recipient of several grants from the Illinois Art Council, he has been the subject of solo exhibitions at Andrew Rafacz Gallery and the Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago; Kaune, Sudendorf Gallery, Cologne; D3 Projects, Los Angeles; and the Contemporary Jewish Museum in San Francisco. He has also participated in group exhibitions at venues including the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art; Art Institute of Chicago; Das Weisse Haus, Vienna; Kunstraum, Düsseldorf; Rotterdam Hofplein; and Queens Museum, New York. His work is represented in the collections of the Art Institute of Chicago; Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago; Milwaukee Museum of Art; and High Museum of Art, Atlanta.

Photo: Courtesy of Jason Lazarus and HistoryMiami Museum