Dot FiftyOne – Miami

By Irina Leyva-Pérez

In “Tipping Point,” Nina Dotti continues working with two of her series, the scales and P.M.S. (Princess, Mother and Superwoman), and brings in a new element: gold as a reflection of happiness and success. The exhibition includes two series of photographs, two videos, collages, an installation and sculptures.

The P.M.S series has been extended to P.M.S + by adding to the feminist struggle other social conflicts such as gay marriage and bisexuality. She continues commenting on her “multitasking woman,” and her iconic Super Girl interacts with other comic characters to complete the scenes on her collages. These pieces are made on Oksa fabric paper, which has a texture in the back that reminds us of textiles. One of the videos exhibited is from the series P.M.S. and shows her Superwoman in a “balancing act,” changing objects in the scales in an effort to balance them while a clock is ticking, a representation of her life and of any other woman who is trying to find an equilibrium between her family and career.


Nina Dotti, A matter of balance, 2013, scales installation, Drywalls, mixed media, gold spray paint and LED light, 9’ x 9’ x 9’ x 9’. Photo: Catalina Ayubi. Courtesy of Dot Fiftyone Gallery.

One of the series of photographs, Golden Nina, is based on a performance she did in which she covered herself in gold paint while reciting a mantra “I always feel like smiling, all my dreams come true, my path is paved in gold, I love the real me.“ The images show a close-up of her smiling face with closed eyes and dripping gold paint. There is also a video, Melting Gold, which carries on this theme, showing a cascade of gold continually running. Dotti uses the idea of gold associated with values and money, which translates as accomplishment, therefore the most important thing in life.


Nina Dotti, Feel Like Smiling, 2013, archival metallic photo paper, 33″ x 44.”

The installation, A Matter of Balance, is placed in the center of the gallery in a “golden cube.” Dotti has taken the idea of the scales and carried it further in this piece by placing scales and other objects in a trophy style arrangement. A detailed lecture would imply a chain reaction, determined by the sequence and placement of each scale and the objects surrounding them. The artist is bringing in an amalgam of historic conflicts, social problems, even elements of identity.

For Dotti, the scales have become the equivalent of a life path, depending on the “tipping point,” which would indicate the measure of all things. Her scales sculptures become symbols of alternatives in life, decisions she is taking and adjustments that she is constantly making. In her photographs of this series she documents this process, similar to her P.M.S. video, but with a starkly white background. There is a fetishist purpose in the golden appearance of the scales by making them stand as objects of adoration, hence conferring upon them a value beyond the physical one.


Nina Dotti, A matter of balance, 2013, installation view. Photo: Catalina Ayubi. Courtesy of Dot Fiftyone Gallery.

With these new series of works, Dotti has expanded her initial thesis about the power struggle between sexes to a bigger scene by including all aspects of contemporary society in it. Ultimately, she is commenting on values, on relationships based on them and the dialectics of it.

(March 14 – April 30, 2013)

Irina Leyva-Pérez is an art historian and writer based in Miami. She is curator of Pan American Art Projects Gallery