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Installation view of Nicholas Galanin, The Valuie of Sharpness: When It Falls, 2019 at Art Basel Miami Beach, 2021

Discover six striking Meridians projects, from outsized ceramic installations to sprawling paintings
By Elliat Albrecht
November 2021

Curated by Magalí Arriola, the Meridians sector showcases sculpture, installation, painting, and moving image art – all on a monumental scale. Here, we take a closer look at six notable (and sizable) works on view at the Convention Center this year.

Nicholas Galanin, The Value of Sharpness: When it Falls, 2019
Presented by Peter Blum Gallery, New York City

Violence and vulnerability are intertwined in The Value of Sharpness: When it Falls (2019), by Alaska-born Tlingit/Unangax̂ artist, Nicholas Galanin. Hanging from the ceiling in an arc, are 60 delicate porcelain hatchets, representing the restriction of indigenous sovereignty through colonial and settler violence. The once-powerful tools have been rendered useless by their reduction to decorative objects. Galanin has adorned their surfaces with gold luster and Dutch Delftware patterns, referencing the European appropriation of East Asian ceramic motifs. Charged with the tension between precarity and force, the work seems to suggest an impending crash, reminding us that wherever power structures are imbalanced, something has to give.

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