Unedited conversations between artist in a productive critique  discovering  thesis and processes behind the work.








Adler Guerrier

Untitled (Orchids and Boutonnieres), 2010

Watercolor, graphite, collage, and solvent transfer on paper.

30 x 22"

‬Ramos:  ‪This series is currently at the PAMM exhibit


‬‪is it this recent work?


Guerrier:  ‪I think there is five of them at PAMM


2010 is that recent


i am making more within the series


it is a work that considered the landscape of west coconut grove


‪i still pass there, so it is recent


Ramos:  ‪does the new work continue the juxtaposition of geometric constraints over landscape?‬‬


‬‬Guerrier:  ‪yes, I would geometric projection‬‬,


to imply a layering in contrast to mass, density and the image of the natural‬‬


Ramos:  ‪the contrast achieved through the orthogonal nature of the geometry... is this in reference to urban growth?


Guerrier:  ‪yes, to the urban grid as an overlay of the landscape‬‬

humans making cities, towns, village


but this series also considers west grove at a moment when there are many, many open lots where hope used to be


Ramos:  ‪Coconut Grove is the oldest neighborhood in Miami with one of the most organic growth patterns... do you see an actual grid or is this a metaphor for urban planning?‬‬


Guerrier:  ‪it is a moment of erasure of the visible structure which have held the story of a place


there is a grid in the drawings


but it is only interesting if it can hold metaphors


so yes, it references other things


it is not urban planning though


Ramos:  ‪what else does it reference?


‬‬Guerrier:  ‪i am reading the layering of lives, of families that have lived there‬‬

older Bahamian families


came here to farm


help establish a city


enveloped within the history the larger story of the US, in the terms of civil rights, segregation


and now, real estate markets have focused on the neighborhood because of the price of housing


Ramos:  ‪the neighborhood is expanding‬‬, to these areas that have been considered somewhat marginal


Guerrier:  ‪i would disagree.‬‬


i would phrase it as Coconut Grove has limited housing stock and the market no longer sees the west end only in terms poverty and crime

and that investing there is palpable


Ramos:  ‪they see it as an opportunity to expand


Guerrier:  ‪true


Ramos:  ‪and the residents there will have to move‬‬


Guerrier:  ‪because of price‬‬


at least those who rent


Ramos:  ‪because of adjacency to price‬‬


yes and those who own have a tough choice


Guerrier:  ‪but it makes harder for a younger generation to buy a home a few blocks from their parents


those who own always had the same choice in peak market, sell or ignore all the offers


but i see a lot of elderly in west grove


Ramos:  ‪sure but it's different when the properties are next in line for development


Guerrier:  ‪i don't think there is such a thing as "next in line for development"


there is just the market


it is brutally cold


 Ramos:  ‪you mentioned earlier that the housing stock is limited


‬‬‪the east grove is completely occupied, very hard to find a place‬‬, nobody is selling, barely renting


therefore the adjacent neighborhood is next


similar to what is happening in Little Haiti, developers are buying it up


Guerrier:  ‪you see real estate is detached from narrative of people, of place‬‬


Ramos:  ‪absolutely‬‬


Guerrier:  ‪real estate can probably be played within a spreadsheet‬‬


Ramos:  ‪it is


the DNA comes from colonization


‪the DNA of real estate ... just want to clarify


Guerrier:  ‪i play video games‬‬


and i understand how to play games that are detached from lives


but i made the drawings to connect to something warmer


Ramos:  ‪what kind of games?‬‬


‬‬Guerrier:  ‪civilization, skyrim, age of empires‬‬


the games are important


because there are different mode of play


one that can be empathetic to the digital lives of NPCs


‬‬‪or another mode that is as cold as corporate decisions


‪the games a benign‬‬


it is the mode of play


the same is for business


it is the mode that characterize the decisions


Ramos:  ‪you think the financial market sees the world as non-player characters?


Guerrier:  ‪i do think financial market behaves like the world is inhabited by non-player characters


as an immigrant, i can say that the appeal of the us, is partly this idea of opportunity


Ramos:  ‪the financial industry is way removed from people‬‬


‪but we are talking about development which is a little more grounded


Guerrier:  ‪is it really removed?


Ramos:  ‪yes.. when you get into derivatives and subprime mortgages


Guerrier:  ‪developers mostly use borrowed monies to deal in the world‬‬


Ramos:  ‪yes that is true, what is wrong with borrowing money?


‪our economy is based on debt‬‬


Guerrier:  ‪what is wrong is the wrong question.


it is about how money influences


debt isn't bad by itself


this is why video games are good metaphors


Ramos:  ‪i see what you mean‬‬


i thought you were referencing the inequalities of acquiring debt


Guerrier:  ‪civilization 5 is a management game


if you have major debt you lose


but also, you are vulnerable to other players


‪if a player want to determine her future, debt, cultural and scientific development all need to be managed‬‬


self-determination cannot happen if one is at a major disadvantage


one will lose her voice and her abilities to move about or stay put in the world


Ramos:  ‪but debt is not a disadvantage


Guerrier:  ‪‬‬true, especially if you are not too big too fail


unmanaged and major debt is


Ramos:  ‪the US national debt has never been larger‬... not going to finish that one


the US is too big to fail


Guerrier:  ‪there is an argument made that US debt is being managed. It is major, but as number one economy, seems to point to that it is manageable‬‬


US can't fail


what would that mean?


Ramos:  ‪it is being managed, by the Federal Reserve‬‬


they are printing an exorbitant amount of money right now


and when inflation gets too high they will raise the interest rates

before there is another crash, I hope


Guerrier:  ‪the beauty here is that we have a sense of the management. We may not like it. Economics by default always have dissenting opinions


i come from a country that i don't know about its management


‪so, i am willing to take a wider view of the US economy


Ramos:  ‪so do I


‪i am very grateful to be here as well


Guerrier:  ‪so, West Grove's barrenness is attractive‬‬


because it points to a big grove, big Miami and big US picture


Ramos:  ‪yes‬‬


but not that big


the zoning is still single family


it's just going to be luxury single family fairly soon


just like Buena Vista


and eventually Little Haiti


Guerrier: so the title of this piece is politically connect as well


The Miami Times


Ramos:  ‪"orchids and boutonnières"


Guerrier:  ‪right


used to run a column to send shout out to anyone who did good for black people


this was in the 1960s


so civil rights leaders


social groups who raised funds


once,  the prime minister of the Bahamas` for signaling that the Bahamas is open to everyone


‬‬‪an overt reference to segregated beaches of the American south‬‬


‬‬i tend to project this acknowledgment of good deeds‬‬


i see west grove as being connected to a place where good deeds where done for black people


so the assault of real estate market on the neighborhood is troublesome


like we already said it is removed