Argentinian conceptual artist Leandro Erlich is already well-known for creating massive art installations that provoke reaction. This time, the innovative artist has unveiled his largest art installation yet — a collection of more than 60 “vehicles” made of sand that are stuck in a traffic jam on Miami Beach. According to the artist, the installation, called Order of Importance, was created to raise awareness to the burgeoning issue of climate change.
Unveiled at Lincoln Road for this year’s Miami Art Week, the enormous art installation consists of 66 sand-covered sculptures in the shapes of cars and trucks. Placed in a straight line and separated by a divider, the “vehicles” are arranged to resemble a traffic jam. Seemingly made out of compacted sand, the sculptures are partially buried into the landscape, giving off the illusion that they are being slowly submerged underwater — a nod to the reality of rising sea levels caused by climate change.
The artist’s largest work to date, the project took three months to complete. The colossal installation is especially poignant in the Miami area, considering that the city is one of the many coastal cities around the world threatened by flooding from rising sea levels.
At the unveiling, the artist revealed that his work was inspired by the ongoing climate crisis. “Climate change and its consequences are no longer a matter of perspective or opinion,” Erlich said. “The climate crisis has become an objective problem that requires immediate solutions. As an artist, I am in a constant struggle to make people aware of this reality. In particular, the idea that we cannot shrink away from our responsibilities to protect the planet.”
The Order of Importance will be on display until December 15 on the oceanfront of Lincoln Road. Just mere steps away from the Miami Conference Center, visitors are invited to walk around the “traffic jam” while it lasts.
Photography by Greg Lotus and Leandro Erlich Studio