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Institute of Contemporary Art, Miami free museum opens Dec. 1

MiamiHerald / At the soon-to-open Institute of Contemporary Art Miami , curators are willing to dig deep to showcase challenging new art – literally so.

They happily left a hole in the white-oak floor and burrowed into the building foundation to install an untitled work of art by Robert Gober that consists of a brick-lined, water-filled sewer drain with a man’s upturned, hairy torso at the bottom. An almost inconspicuously ordinary-looking street grate in the middle of the gallery floor is the only sign of what lies below. The work touches on Gober’s concerns with domesticity and personal hygiene among other themes, the curators say.

“Our mandate is to show the most innovative work being made today,” said ICA director Ellen Salpeter, as she guided visitors through the recently finished museum, which opens Dec. 1 in the Miami Design District. “Not being a county museum, we can go deep.”

That last bit is a key distinguishing feature of Miami’s newest art museum, which is expected to be a stellar attraction for visitors during Art Week in December and beyond: It is entirely privately funded, privately built and privately run, with no use of public money.

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