Play Dominoes In An Art Gallery

Jul 6, 2017

Dominoes. The game is played throughout South Florida and Latin America at parties, in backyards and at parks.

Now, for a few weeks, you can play it in an art gallery in a show with some real Miami flavor.

One of the pieces on display as part of Spots, Dots, Pips and Tiles.
Credit Wilson Sayre / WLRN

Pérez Art Museum Miami has a new show called Spots, Dots, Pips and Tiles: An Exhibition About Dominoes, which takes the game as a launch point for art.

While there are lots of literal representations of dominoes in the show, there’s also a video piece that follows bricks set up in a line as they fall like dominoes. Another pieces uses Domino Sugar to replicate a interpretation of a domino hand.

The show was originally curated for the Hunter East Harlem Gallery in New York and has been revised by co-curators Maria Elena Ortiz, with PAMM, and Arden Sherman, with the HEHG.

Kenny Rivero's piece Juguetes, 2016.
Credit Natalie Conn / PAMM

“I think that sometimes here in Miami, we’re always constantly looking elsewhere; like, we’re looking to New York, we’re looking to LA,” said Ortiz. “This is an opportunity to look at ourselves and be like, ‘actually our traditions and our day-to-day is very valuable and there’s a lot to say about that.’”

You can sit down and play at a domino table in the gallery. On July 8, the museum will set up a pop-up domino park on the museum porch and will run a bus throughout the day between PAMM and Little Havana’s Maximo Gomez Park also known as Domino Park.

One of the sets of dominoes on display is by Rodolfo Perazas, a Cuban artist who lives most of the year in Miami now.

Rodolfo Perazas stands behind his piece, I Don't Play Dominos.
Credit Wilson Sayre / WLRN

“I Don’t Play Dominoes” is a set Perazas made while living in Cuba that replaces the black dots on a traditional tile with heads of nine famous dictators like Vladimir Lenin, Mao Zedong, Benito Mussolini, Hitler and Saddam Hussein.

“It’s the relation between the popular culture, ideology and dictatorship as a cultural phenomenon,” said Perazas. “Almost nobody likes Hitler, but if Hitler is your game, if you want to win, you have to play it.”

Watch a video of his game being played in the streets of Havana.

I Don´t Play Dominoes [2011] from Rodolfo Parazas on Vimeo.

“What I was not expecting was how these artists are using the domino to speak about deeper notions of contemporary art,” said Ortiz, who said she hopes the exhibit prompts a visit to the museum by people who may not otherwise go to PAMM.

“If they want to come here and they want to have a good time and maybe they want to sit down at the domino table that you can play in the gallery or outside, I’m fine with that.”

Spots, Dots, Pips and Tiles show will be on view through the end of October.