Deering Estate As Text
Photos of Lecture, Deering estate, and Myself.
Pictures by Xsaiver Horn/CC by 4.0
“The history we walk on”
by Xsaiver Horn of FIU at The Deering Estate
28 January 2022
Our trip to the Deering Estate was amazing and really set the bar high for our future trips together. At first, it did not quite click to me why we would have to visit some old landmarks and nature preserves to begin our ‘IDA’ experience. Of course, after having Bailly with us to share his context for the land, it all makes sense to me now.
I was definitely all over the place for our first trip and would like to, looking back, take this as an opportunity to research before traveling with my peers and coming prepared and excited to learn about some more refined areas in my travels. On this first trip, I learned the importance of getting places on time (haha, oops), coming up with an idea of what to explore/what questions to ask, and most importantly, the land on which we live.
I recently saw a Tiktok that sort of captures the feelings I was left with after visiting and learning the history of Miami. I will embed the video here >
But essentially, a creator is talking about the struggles of learning emotionally challenging information, such as the brutal killings of our ancestors, the colonization and segregation, or cruelty that is then perpetuated through alienating affected members of such groups. This is something I felt way hard: learning about the burial mounds stacked taller than our heads, the deaths of Caribbean workers on the Estate, and even the Virgin Mary story we read in class, where the natives have converted religions, depriving them of their own culture during the Great exchange.
Vizcaya As Text
Photo of Tapestry at Vizcaya.
Picture by Xsaiver Horn/CC by 4.0
“Now, we’re all adults here” ~Bailly
by Xsaiver Horn of FIU at Vizcaya Museum & Gardens
18 February 2022
At the time of writing this post, it had been a few weeks after actually visiting Vizcaya and I did not recall much except that James Deering was a little fruity. Of course, plenty of other students are going to dive into the history or relationships of Deering estate vs Vizcaya or even the architecture/specific elements of the gorgeous home. What stuck most with me though was a subtle but constant reminder that there were suspicions of James Deering being homosexual. The guy was a ‘Lil fruity, a ‘Lil sus.
While there is no solid evidence of any specific lovers or traces of James’ homosexuality, there are a couple signs that point to some, let’s say, familiar behaviors. Let’s start with some more subjective evidence and work towards our strongest points. One note I took while exploring Vizcaya was that Deering requested the size of the breasts of one of the sculptures on the wave breaker/island/pier to be significantly reduced, as he thought the size was ridiculous. Second, we have multiple sexual motifs or innuendos through the art. We have the roof in the dining room, with lots of floral and dragon paintings which allude to both phalli spewing imagery in line with woman anatomy.
Next, I want to preface that this is simply a suspicion based on stereotypes OF gay men but approved of BY gay men. The next reason is his interest in the intricate, ornate, and beautiful decor and interior design. There is a common stereotype that a lot of homosexual men enjoy interior design, and all of the scenes we explored simply (in the paraphrased words of a colleague of Bailly’s) “…could not be curated by a straight man”. Now, I would have to agree. While the Deering estate was gorgeous and functional, there was an abundance of unnecessary but fascinating details in the James estate that are beyond a heterosexual man’s capabilities (/lighthearted). Some of these features are the repeating elements like boats, and close attention to detail such as the alignment of ‘Jai D’it’ stained glass with his initials, J.D. We also have the painting of a man who may possibly have been Deering’s lover in his office, as well as a Statue of a god and children bathing to show off the homeliness of the space, but they are not of James as he had no children (attributing this to his homosexuality as well). Finally, we have a gorgeous garden, complex shelled and carved decor, fountains galore, a beautiful spiral staircase and a stained glass room with the most expensive fake marble money could buy at the time; even a “dating hall” for private meetups of secret ‘lovers’.
Lastly, we have the most interesting, and to me, most compelling piece of cake-topping-element; that is the tapestry of a lion battling a man with an unnecessary extra-large human appendage in place of a lion’s genitalia. Attached below is an image and zoom-in of the tapestry in question. I leave you with a simple question, what sort of heterosexual man commissions a huge phallus on an animal to be displayed in such a high-use room?
Downtown As Text
Photo of My Espana Class at the People Mover.
Pictures by Xsaiver Horn/CC by 4.0
“The Network of a City”
by Xsaiver Horn of FIU in Downtown Miami, Center of the City
11 March 2022
Before our trip, I was super lost as the professor kept urging the class to use the Metro as a means to get to our destination quicker. I have never heard anyone speak of the metro, let alone riding the bus regularly. It was such a weird and confusing time trying to figure out how to use the bus or metro, I and my group ended up driving and paying for parking; then our lecture began with how to use the metro x0
Learning about the railways and bus systems, payment info,
the routes, and how to navigate the city were super informative and a super-intelligent and grounding way to start our tour of downtown.
Many other countries and even cities in the states run almost exclusively on public transportation and as an environmentalist/tree hugger I am all for reducing my environmental footprint in any way possible, so it amazes me that not only did I not know about these systems but also that most of Miami barely even knows they exist!
Though I love driving, I have a bad habit of texting+driving at the same time, because I feel like I could be occupying that time so much better. I am also always late everywhere so relying on transportation would be super excellent in assisting me in getting places on time, allowing me to draw, read, text, or enjoy my ride instead of driving myself everywhere.
I am super engrossed now with the public transit system and learning about these all in the context of the center of Miami and its history, with the churches and burial grounds/gathering sites, I am now super thrilled to keep exploring and visiting all over my city.
So-Beach As Text
Photo of Gianni Versace’s Miami Mansion In South Beach.
Pictures by Xsaiver Horn/CC by 4.0
by Xsaiver Horn of FIU in SoBe, Miami
11 March 2022
Ocean Beach near the bay
Spanish brought coconut and rats
lumnus brothers tried to build a bridge
automobile industry millionaires
gatspbys type beat, carl fisher, saw potential as a resort
he payed to finish longest bridge ever for a peoce of land that was useless, bahemians cut all the mangroves, did not know killing environment
segregated after clearing mangroves until 50s black performers spent night in over town because they couldn’t stay in beach
dorcey first black millionair in overtown
blacks entertainment to ocean for fish too
he owns it
historic timeline, she said there was Carl fisher discovers swampy wasteland into a beach he was not the firstest but did buy up the land claiming it
Miami was a small town, whites and blacks, to ocean beach. as town developed lines drawn fast, because hellhole after Fisher developed beach w railroad
Fisher bought from Dorsey
colored beach key Biscayne ish
Mediterranean revival VISCAYA coral gables
Nemo Miami modern memo plants metal
art deco crack
Miami arvh but unique
relief of naturey
long thin forms lololz* 💭 surfaces machine age
opposite of art neuvoue machine age reaction
decorative arts embrace the metal
curltural revolution in 20s
king tut’s tomb 20s
rule of 3s
white pastel highlites curved edges make it industrial
zigersttes ste assuming Miami beach
art deco neon everywhere
Jewish museum sflw s 5th str part of FIU
telavive, ny, Miami Dade Jewish
Jews after 5th st dense
high school south beach bars nobody no id slay
80s 90s drug trade miami
Scarface Cuban accent
sister was manager of news cafe news from around the world don’t make anyone leave
Madonna beastie boys
80s HIV gay haven open gay south beach
not many safe places
few openly gay figures
women no pants
equality pants for women
pants office dress
not supposed to be but reserved sad plain
Versace said sexuality celebrated dress fabulous
goes to beach when cancelled
he lives in Miami
Versace buys Versace mansion
Mediterranean revival ofc to the maxes
shoot on his head
faggot killed him
his mentor he imaged he was insane
quote today show 96
it’s very important for ppl to look themselves express themselves heart in fashion as designers help ppl be fashion happy alive celebrate
drag shows at palace gays only
condo canyon ocean drivw