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goodbye objex

goodbye objex

Published in the Miami New Times: Thursday, June 2, 2005

Inanimate Objex

Not too long ago the sidewalk outside Objex Artspace was bustling with trendoids and art aficionados. The Bitch recalls being too awed to even woof softly to political iconography manipulator Shephard Fairey during this past December's Art Basel as he met fans and discussed his fauxsters, then hanging at the gallery. During the four years since it opened as a vanguard of the emergence of Miami's Wynwood Art District, the space with the green walls and glass-brick façade on 36th Street and NE Second Avenue served as home base to a clique of underground, consciously lowbrow artists, not the least of whom was owner Dustin Orlando. Sadly those days are gone.

The doors to the gallery are bolted shut by decree of the Miami-Dade Police Department, and what remains inside is empty space, not art space. An eviction notice is pasted to the door (well, it was until The Bitch snagged it) and workers are busy disassembling abandoned installations. Orlando's former one-bedroom apartment above Objex shows no sign of the California transplant. A box of his abandoned possessions sits curbside as neighbors rummage through it. One man finds a pair of red Adidas sneakers and trots off.

Orlando's onetime gallery collaborator, friend, and neighbor Karen Genetta tells The Bitch how she spent this past Wednesday sleepless. Though Genetta, a popular scenester photographer and nightclub habitué, denies hitting the cocaine, empty baggies overflow the ashtray beside her.

"Where's Dustin?" The Bitch asks.

"In rehab, where he needs to be for a long fucking time," Genetta replies.

The petite, attractive Genetta takes a swig of a Heineken as she monitors two online computers at her workstation, accessible through the gallery's back door. The phone keeps ringing -- people interested in hiring her. Preoccupied, Genetta's mind seemingly straddles the divide between reality and the hallucinogenic.

"You could make movies about the things that went on here," she continues, referring to nights of nonstop, drug-induced mayhem. "In the beginning everything was going great, but then [Orlando's] ego got out of control. He thought he was above it all. He thought he was above even running his own fucking gallery, and it crumbled," Genetta says with listless detachment.

The gallery's Website is still live, but the last update was April 12. "Apologies in advance for all the broken hearts," it reads.

thayer-p at 1:36 a.m.


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