By Donna Fields
The fast-paced, five-player, soccer-based game of futsal is at the center of Ronny Quevedo’s new exhibition at Locust Projects. Opening the same week as the World Cup, ule ole allez is the first solo show in Miami for the Ecuadorian-born, New York-based artist, who uses the visual language of sports as a metaphor for the collective immigrant experience.
Collaborating with local futsal players, Quevedo is creating a massive new installation, inviting teams to play matches in Locust Projects’ Main Gallery on a white floor lined with the colorful boundaries of a playing field. While futsal can be played almost anywhere there’s a hard surface, in this gallery space the floor will function as a canvas that captures players’ movements through the traces and marks made by their sneakers and game balls. The installation honors the passion for play and the kinship found in South Florida’s Caribbean, Central and South American soccer- and futsal-playing communities.
The artist’s interest in sports was influenced by his father, who played professional soccer in Ecuador; the two often attended soccer and futsal games together. When the family moved to the United States, Quevedo’s father worked as a referee and was part of a local futsal league where he played alongside other migrants who were similarly adapting to life in their new country.
The improvisations and rapid adaptations the game requires in many ways mirrors what is experienced by immigrants navigating their place in new surroundings. As Lorie Mertes, Locust Projects’ executive director points out, “Ronny Quevedo’s work is especially relevant here in South Florida in the ways it draws parallels between movement in sports activities and migration over local and international borders. It also addresses the ever-changing rules immigrants face.”
Ronny Quevedo: ule ole allez
November 19, 2022 – February 4, 2023
Locust Projects, 3852 North Miami Avenue, Miami, Florida 33127