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Sallisa Rosa installation Miami

Sallisa Rosa explores "erosion of memory" with ceramic landscape in Miami

Brazilian artist Sallisa Rosa has installed a large-scale ceramic landscape with figurines and hanging orbs for Art Basel Miami Beach.

Called the Topography of Memory, the piece includes over 100 clay towers and suspended spheres cast in a warm amber glow from the walls and immersed in mist.

Sallisa Rosa among towers
Artist Sallisa Rosa has unveiled a large-scale ceramic landscape for Art Basel Miami Beach

Commissioned by Audemars Piguet Contemporary and guest curated by Thiago de Paula Souza the work marks Rosa's first solo exhibit in the United States and her largest all-ceramic piece.

"Rosa, like many Brazilians of her generation, faces questions and confusion in trying to piece together her own ancestry,"  said the team.

Sallisa Rosa installtion Miami
The installation explores memory

"The fading memory of her grandmother, a core figure in bringing together the threads that make up her fragmented family history, is one of the main inspirations for Topography of Memory."

"With this commission, Rosa aims to explore our collective ways of remembering, drawing a connection between the erosion of the earth and the erosion of memory."

The work consists of ceramic towers and spheres of various sizes dispersed throughout a central room at Collins Park Rotunda in Miami Beach, a satellite location from the fair's primary location at the nearby convention centre.

Sallisa Rosa installation Miami
It consists of ceramic towers and floating spheres suspended from the ceiling

Some spheres sit on the ground, while others float above, suspended from the ceiling.

The towers sit together in groups of twos or threes, or individually, each ending in a small, hand-shaped point.

Rosa, who often works with clay in pursuit of exploring human connection to earth, believes the material stores memory.

The installation's various pieces were made from clay sourced by hand from around Rio de Janeiro and fired in an underground pit, furthering the materials' connection to the earth.

Clay towers
It is immersed in an amber light and mist

The ceramic towers are representative of stalagmites, while the orbs above recall a planetarium.

Together, they pay homage to the "underground world and the infinite cosmos".

Ceramic spheres
They represent both the underground world and the cosmos

Sallisa Rosa is based in Rio de Janeiro and Amsterdam. She works across photography, video, performance and installations.

The photography is courtesy Audemars Piguet.

Topography of Memory is on view from 5-17 December 2023 at Collins Park Rotunda in Miami, US as part of Art Basel Miami Beach. See Dezeen Events Guide for an up-to-date list of architecture and design events taking place around the world.

More images

Artist firing clay
Collins beach rotunda