Late Summer Reads   08.01.12

What has SPACES intern Kevin Ritter been reading lately? A lot!

Since it's summer vacation, I've been able to spend some time reading things for pleasure. So I've said a temporary farewell to medieval travelogues and hello to some good beach reads. Here are some of my favorite page-turners of the summer.

1. Girls to the Front: The True Story of the Riot Grrrl Revolution by Sara Marcus. (Harper Perennial). Sara Marcus' account of the Riot Grrrl movement of the 1990's treats its subjects with great humanity. After finding some Bikini Kill songs on the internet, I was interested in learning more about the movement. This book is not just a history of a (perhaps) short-lived musical genre, but also an examination of the multitudinous shapes and forms that Riot Grrrl took: zines, clothing, concerts, conferences. This thought-provoking and well-written piece of non-fiction is a must-read for anyone interested in music, feminism, community organizing, or socially-engaged art practice.

2. The Bell Jar by Sylvia Plath. Plath's only novel has become a mainstay on the favorites list of college students everywhere, but I had been somewhat resistant to sitting down with it. I don't know why I waited so long because when I curled up with it this summer I was taken with Plath's tight, beautiful prose. Esther Greenwood's slow descent into madness is moving and convincing. "The Bell Jar" is a piece worth re-reading this summer.

3. The Little Girl and the Cigarette by Benoit Duteurtre, translated by Charlotte Mandel. This biting satire by Frenchman Benoit Duteurtre weaves two seemingly disparate narratives. In a near-future in which children pretty much run the government, a man is accused of sexual perversion after a young girl catches him smoking in the bathroom. In the other narrative, a cunning prisoner attempts to evade execution by requesting a final cigarette before being put to death, which is against prison rules. The stories converge to satirize government bureaucracy and celebrity culture. There's also a delightfully inept lawyer named Maren Pataki who is not to be missed.

If you're looking for something considerably heavier, I would endorse these books:
1. Social Acupuncture by Darren O'Donnell.
2. Building Sex by Aaron Betsky.
3. Queer Space by Aaron Betsky.

I suggest going outside and enjoying the sunlight and a good book (whether it be one that I suggested or not!). Summer weather is ideal reading weather.

Kevin Ritter

Kevin Ritter, Summer intern extraordinaire
Kevin Ritter, Summer intern extraordinaire

Keywords: book, books, intern, kevin ritter, spaces, summer reading
Author: Marilyn Ladd-Simmons, Gallery Manager
Category: General

Little Miss Cleveland's Party Bus: It Came, It Saw, It Conquered   07.18.12

Leave it up to Little Miss Cleveland to take an adventurous group of Cleveland's finest on a whirlwind tour of some of the city's most rusty panoramas and dive bars. We toasted the smokestacks and bridges of the Industrial Valley, visited Pat at Pat's in the Flats, sang a mean karaoke version of 'Material Girl', 'Last Dance' and Cheap Trick's 'Surrender' at Tina's Nite Club, and wrapped up the night at Now That's Class's Wonderful Fest. Nothing like a night of steady camaraderie on a party bus to make strangers into fast friends. Thank you, Lil Miss, for giving the perfect nightcap to the The Cleveland Convention and Visitors Bureau show at SPACES! We'll eagerly await a reunion tour!

Little Miss Cleveland Does... Everything!
Little Miss Cleveland Does... Everything!

Author: Kate Sopko, Residency Champion
Category: Events

The meronyms of an Anthem revealed   07.08.12

The Cleveland Convention and Visitors Bureau show contains several anthems created by artists to represent the city. One of the anthems is a rather abrasive romp into a layered landscape of whining, chanting, and slowed singing. It leaps out of the pack of more talented and adept depictions of this fabled city in song. Cleveland Anthem BY WOLFY has several parts that can be discussed and revealed now.
First, is the extraordinary recording Cleveland On the GO! (pictured) by The Singing Angels feat. Cleveland's "Singing Mayor" Ralph J. Perk. The whole 45 rpm record is a joyous journey of sound through Cleveland Pride, faith, and showtunes. The title track has been sampled in two parts:
A. The Mayor's smoking intro slowed to a smoulder and
B. The Singing Angels uplifting exit from the song "Clevelandtown on the go Yeah!" left unaltered.
Second, The Mayor's intro is layered over two tracks that create the music that is the landscape of the anthem. One is the chime and squeal of hot dog the rollers recorded at a truckstop just outside Youngstown before a traveler has to enter the Ohio Turnpike to get to the Plum on Lake Erie. It is the open road, hot dogs, soda pop, and trucker's showers and it says United States of America.
Lastly, the sound of chanting behind the narration builds to a roar. This element is from an important moment in Cleveland history. It is Thursday, December 2nd, 2010 and the Cavaliers are about to play the Miami Heat. A Heat player has been introduced to the stadium and the crowd begins to chant a meronym of the human anatomy to welcome him.
These are the moments and sounds that define the city's joys and pains and creates the anthem for the place we call our hometown.
This hopefully explains and enlivens a piece that you can (until July 13th) or may have experienced (since May11th) at Spaces.

+Jef Scharf of Gallery Wolfy Part II writing about Wolfy Part II's music submission.

The Artist would also like you to watch this vintage clip of The Singing Angels singing The Lord's Prayer. Many of those fresh young Cleveland kids are now Cleveland's parents, leaders, or maybe even someone chanting at the Quicken Loans. It makes you lucky to be alive to enjoy the jumps and swaggers that can only manifest on aging video footage. Look closely at those record sleeve children and see if you can find if any appear in the footage too. Beautiful and thanks to WEWS for posting that. They also have footage of Mayor Perk's hair catching fire.

Women's Civic Club of Cleveland #30325
Women's Civic Club of Cleveland #30325

Keywords: , , # hair catches fire, #mayor ralph j. perk, #michael jackson, #singing angels, #sings, hair catches fire, mayor ralph j. perk, michael jackson, singing angels, sings aging men and young children, sings
Author: Jef Scharf,
Category: Exhibitions

Podcast: Interview with Ryan Griffis of Temporary Travel Office   06.29.12

SPACES Executive Director Christopher Lynn sat down to talk to Ryan Griffis of Temporary Travel Office about his practice and the project he created for The Cleveland Convention and Visitors Bureau at SPACES ( Take a listen:

Artist: Temproary Travel Office (Ryan Griffis)

Download »

Keywords: ccvb, christopher lynn, interview, podcast, r&d, ryan griffis, temporary travel office, the cleveland convention and visitors bureau
Author: Christopher Lynn, Executive Director
Category: Artists

Beautiful + Possibility + Elixir + Social = A Really Great Day   06.26.12

If you have a taste for freshly-grown tonics that nourish the body, mind and heart, last Saturday's Beautiful Possibility Elixir Social at the West Side Market was a day-long adventure! Pictures can be found here:

Inspired by visiting artist Alison Pebworth's research into the 19th century nervous condition, Americanitis, a group of farmers in Cleveland offered their own homegrown elixirs.

We started the day at 8 a.m. with Erie's Edge Farm's Sunrise Elixir, a roasted root coffee substitute made from beet and dandelion roots, and spelt, with some squash and fennel seeds. We accompanied it with some morning stretches, a gentle way to start the day!

Gather 'Round Farm offered an elixir for the "Inner Elder", a tonic starting with elderberry flowers. Passers-by drew pictures of their inner elders, using plants as drawing tools.

The Possibilitarian Puppet Troupe gave market-goers a Full Sensory Elixir Experience, starting with a taste of rose petals, nasturtiums and a very tasty kombucha-based elixir, which you took into a tunnel full of the smells of soil and herbs, where you could take a look at a series of illustrated doors and windows while a music box slowly played you the Beatles' love song "Michelle".

Then an energetic group of kids from City Rising Farm's summer camp came and served up their incredibly tasty sun teas. One was thyme tea, the other was mint, but I thought they were at their best when mixed together and topped with mulberries from the farm.

We capped off the day with a whole array of elixirs from Let It Bee Gardens, laid out in a gorgeous landscape of art from Let It Bee's Julie Patton. The elixirs were a feast for the eyes and the belly: made from currants, service berries and a whole variety of herbs from the garden.

The whole day was framed by Alison Pebworth's Beautiful Possibility banners hanging at the West Side Market, which generated a lot of fascinating conversation about the figures from American myths and history she depicts.

In all, a day to remember!

The Beautiful Possibility Elixir Social, June 23, 2012 at the West Side Market
The Beautiful Possibility Elixir Social, June 23, 2012 at the West Side Market

Keywords: alison pebwoth, americanitis, beautiful possibility, city rising, elixir, erie's edge, gather 'round, let it bee, possibilitarian
Author: Kate Sopko, Residency Champion
Category: Events

View Calendar

28 8x8x8

07 (p)SPACE presents Peg and...