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HistoryMiami’s 'MemoryLab' exhibit probes Miami’s past

In one section of the HistoryMiami Museum, artist Westen Charles has re-created Jeff’s 50 Club, an illicit gambling den that thrived in the 1950s amid a rapidly expanding downtown Miami.

The occasion for dredging up Miami’s unsavory past: the museum’s new exhibit “MemoryLab,” a project rounding up 16 artists, who all built interactive installations using historical photographs and artifacts culled from the Miami-Dade College's own Lynn and Louis Wolfson II Florida Moving Image Archives. Using the archive, which carries about 35,000 hours of Miami video footage and 23 million feet of film, artists assembled interactive maps, 3D images and mixed-media works.

Not every topic involves Miami’s criminal culture: Other artists tackled themes of tourism and immigration with archived new reels, travelogues and news tape.

As a companion to the exhibit, the museum will also screen “Rewind/Fast Forward,” a collection of old Florida short films uncovered while artists researched “MemoryLab,” from 11 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Saturday, March 18, and from 1 to 4:30 p.m. Sunday, March 19.

When: 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Monday-Saturday and noon-5 p.m. Sunday; through April 16

Where: HistoryMiami Museum, 101 W. Flagler St., Miami

Cost: $5-$10

Contact: 305-375-1492 or HistoryMiami.org

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