Julian Stanczak Mural to be Recreated at Cleveland Triennial
FRONT announces eight major installations planned for global triennial in Cleveland
Jan. 9, 2018
By Steven Litt
CLEVELAND, Ohio - The Cleveland Public Library, the cargo hold of theWilliam G. Mather Steamship and St. John's Episcopal Church in Ohio City, a stop on the Underground Railroad in the 19th century, are among the venues chosen for site-specific installations in the upcoming FRONT International Cleveland Triennial for Contemporary Art.
The project on Wednesday announced eight site-specific projects, in which artists with national or international reputations will create installations that will be visible for the duration of the show, from July 14 to Sept. 30, 2018, and perhaps beyond.
Fred Bidwell, the exhibition's founder and CEO, described the eight projects as "a pretty small chunk" of the total FRONT menu, which will include additional public installations, plus events and displays at a dozen major art venues across Northeast Ohio.
"This is just the first of what will be a drumbeat of announcements going into the spring," Bidwell said. "There's quite a bit more to release. We haven't even gotten into the projects at the institutions, and there are quite a few other freestanding projects."
The first round of projects - some of which Bidwell described in previous interviews - include installations by Yinka Shonibare, the late Allan Sekula, Michael Rakowitz, the late Julian Stanczak, Candice Breitz, Dawoud Bey, and Philip Vanderhyden.
The FRONT news release followed by two days the non-profit organization's announcement that Jens Hoffmann, its artistic co-director along with artist Michelle Grabner, had left the exhibition project.
Bidwell said that he, Grabner and a staff of 12 - including employees of the nonprofit LAND Studio, would pull off the project without a hitch.
"We've got a pretty significant team in place and they've been in place for a while," he said.
The FRONT exhibit announcement said that the initial group of projects highlights "commissions and exhibitions that will activate unique and unconventional spaces throughout the city of Cleveland...that carry social, cultural, or political significance in its history and current reality.''
All together, FRONT will assemble works by more than 70 local, national and international artists.
"By reconstructing, reinterpreting and offering resistance to contemporary political debates, histories and aesthetic forms, these artists are shaping discourse through symbolic, personal, and poetic modes of address," Grabner said in the news release.
"The American Library," by Yinka Shonibare, in Brett Hall at the Cleveland Public Library's main branch, 325 Superior Ave. Commissioned for Cleveland in partnership with the Cleveland Public Library, the project focuses on immigration and will consist of approximately 6000 books, displayed in open bookcases and wrapped in colorful African wax cloth, a prominent feature of the artist's work, the release said. The spine of each book will be stamped in gold with the name of a first or second-generation immigrant to the United States who has contributed significantly to art, science or American culture, or the names of immigration dissenters who oppose such ideas.
The FRONT film program will be housed in a purpose-built theater inside the Crane Gallery of Transformer Station, 1460 West 29th St., in Ohio City. The program will include feature length and short-form works by internationally known artists.
"A Color Removed," by Michael Rakowitz, at Spaces, 2900 Detroit Ave. This participatory citywide project will collect, display and catalogue orange-colored items ranging from clothing to toys, sports equipment, and household goods. The color orange refers to the orange safety cap removed from the toy gun used by 12-year-old Tamir Rice before he was fatally shot by a Cleveland police officer in 2014 while playing in a city park. Rakowitz "brings to the fore issues of political conflict in American culture," FRONT said.
"Fish Story and Lottery of the Sea,'' by Allan Sekula, at the William G. Mather Iron Ore Ship/Great Lakes Science Center. The decommissioned ore boat will host an installation of film and photography projects by Sekula, (1951-2013), described by FRONT as a prominent photographer, filmmaker and writer who took the sea as a defining subject of his work, which focuses on how capitalism affects social structures.
City Canvas Mural by Julian Stanczak. As an homage to the globally renowned, Cleveland-based Op artist, who died in March at age 88, FRONT will recreate his giant 1970s mural on the Winton Manor Building at Prospect and 9th Street.
"Love Story," by Candice Breitz, at the Helen Rosenfeld Lewis Bialosky Lab Theatre at Playhouse Square. A seven-channel video installation made in 2016 will feature interviews with six refugees who fled their countries, including Sarah Mardini, who escaped war-torn Syria; Jose Maria Joao, a former child soldier from Angola; Mamy Maloba Langa, a rape survivor from the Democratic Republic of the Congo; Shabeena Saveri, an Indian transgender activist; Luis Nava Molero, a political dissident from Venezuela; and Farah Abdi Mohamed, a young atheist from Somalia. The interviews are woven into a fast-paced montage featuring Hollywood actors Alec Baldwin and Julianne Moore.
"Night Coming Tenderly, Black," by Dawoud Bey at St. John's Episcopal Church. A 2017 MacArthur Fellow, Bey will use photographs to reconstruct the experience of traveling through Cleveland in the 19th century when it was a stop on the Underground Railroad. "This commissioned project expands on the artist's continued interest in the ways in which history can be engaged, invoked, and materialized in the contemporary moment in relation to African American history and experience," FRONT said.
"Volatility Smile," Philip Vanderhyden at the Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland. Networked screens will create a single seamless animation, running the length of the bank's lobby, featuring quasi-abstract animated vignettes that draw from familiar animation styles. The work will "explore a new narrative of the American financial system through casino-style slot machine graphics, Hollywood-style disaster sequences, and Wall Street-style 'financial explainer' animations, FRONT said.