Tuesday, March 14, 2017
CLEVELAND, Ohio - Spaces gallery is cranking it up in its new home in Ohio City's Hingetown neighborhood in the Van Rooy Building at Detroit Avenue and West 29th Street.
The gallery made a strong debut in its highly visible ground-floor space with a trio of exhibitions examining racism and economic exploitation of prison labor last month.
Now it is announcing two relevant and topical shows scheduled to be on view from May 5 to June 30.
"The First 100+ Days" will examine reactions by Ohio-based artists to the opening phase of Donald Trump's presidency, specifically focusing on immigration policy.
"I had the idea for this exhibition concept over a year ago, before we knew who the next president would be,'' Christina Vassallo, executive director of the nonprofit gallery, said in a recent interview.
Vassallo, who is curating the show, acknowledged that the show would probably take on more of an air of protest than it would have if Hillary Clinton had won the election.
"I am aware of the limitations of what we can do as a gallery," she said, "but I do believe this exhibition is a useful tool in terms of channeling our frustration and fear into a productive intellectual exercise."
She added: "We want to make room for alternative viewpoints so people can have a dialogue about what this [Trump's immigration policies] means for our individual citizenship status.''
As part of the show, Spaces will sponsor what it calls the "Unofficial Global Barrier-Centric Design Competition,'' inspired by the Trump Administration's request for proposals to design an impenetrable wall along the U.S.-Mexico border.
Rules for the competition: Shortlisted entries will be judged on in a free public event on Saturday, June 24, from 2 to 4 p.m. in front of a live audience
In addition to "The First 100+ Days," Spaces in May will exhibit "Tea Taste Democracy" and "Upside Down Objects," an installation by Brooklyn, New York, artist Yoko Inoue.
Inoue, a Spaces artist-in-residence this spring, will explore how Sherman E. Lee, director of the Cleveland Museum of Art from 1958 to 1983, shaped the museum's collection of Japanese art.
The installation will also explore how, as a post-World War II "Monuments Man,'' Lee arranged for the display of secret treasures from the Shosoin Imperial Repository of Todaiji Temple in Nara to the general public for the first time in 1947.
A Spaces news release says that as a counterpoint to her investigation of Lee's legacy, Inoue will work with the ceramics department at the Cleveland Institute of Art to create a series of altered replicas of imported kitsch figurines, now dubbed "Upside Down Objects," that were originally stamped "Made in Occupied Japan" and marketed to American home decor consumers after the war.