Thursday, January 18, 2018

SPACES Celebrates 40 Years of Challenging the Status Quo with an Ambitious Schedule of New Commissions, Partnerships, and Events in 2018

Honoring its rich legacy of advancing new ideas and promoting the work of groundbreaking artists, SPACES will celebrate its 40th anniversary with a dynamic series of exhibitions, events, and publications through its 3 artist-driven programs and community engagement initiatives. The R&D program in the 2018 season will be themed around the topic of "connectivity." SWAP is an 8-week intensive residency that culminates in an exhibition of new work produced while the artist is in Cleveland. In The Vault, audience members will experience quarterly selections of video and sound art, organized by noteworthy curators.

On view January 26, 2018 – March 23, 2018
R&D: Julia Christensen (Oberlin, OH), Waiting for a Break
Waiting for a Break is an interdisciplinary art project that tracks Lake Erie's winter ice as it forms, shifts, and breaks in real time over the winter. Networked cameras placed along the coast of Lake Erie broadcast a live feed of the nuanced winter drama. SPACES will exhibit these live feeds, time-lapse animations of the changing ice, and documents related to the project research. Waiting for a Break extends beyond SPACES, with a concurrent presentation organized by LAND studio in Public Square.

SWAP: Mahwish Chishty (Kent, OH), Naming the Dead
Mahwish Chishty comes to the SPACES World Artist Program (SWAP), as our 66th Artist-in-Residence, to continue her work on a project that draws attention to innocent civilians living within a state of war. Naming the Dead is an effort to create a connection between US citizens and Pakistan civilians who have been killed in the more than 400 US drones strikes that have hit the tribal regions of northwest Pakistan since 2004. In the lead up to the exhibition, Chishty will record Americans reading the name of a deceased Pakistani civilian of the same age and gender; her recordings will form the basis of a haunting sound installation at SPACES.

The Vault: Zak Long (San Francisco, CA), 
The videos included in Interpretation/Clarification explore how we interpret information through storytelling, performance and visual cues. Participating artists include Erin Robinson Grant (Portland, OR), Zak Long (San Francisco, CA), Alison O'Daniel (Los Angeles, CA), Christina Corfield (Oakland, CA), Renee Rhodes (San Francisco, CA).

On view April 20, 2018 - June 15, 2018
The centerpiece of our year-long celebration is 20/20 Hindsight = 40 Years, an exhibition curated by current SPACES Executive Director, Christina Vassallo, and former Executive Directors: founder James Rosenberger, longtime Executive Director Susan Channing, and Christopher Lynn. Each curator selected a group of artists who have defined their time at the helm of SPACES and whose work with SPACES propelled the artists' careers, including Christa Donner (Chicago, IL), Pipo Nguyen-duy (Oberlin, OH), Roopa Vasudevan (Shanghai, China), returning SWAP Artist-in-Residence Ward Shelley (Easton, CT), Steve Lambert (Purchase, NY), and Steffani Jemison (Brooklyn, NY), among others. Dustin Grella will collect visitors' favorite SPACES stories in his Animation Hotline phone booth, and will turn the voice mails into stop motion animations that will play in The Vault in November 2018.

On view July 13, 2018 – September 30, 2018
SPECIAL PRESENTATION: Michael Rakowitz (Chicago, IL), A Color Removed
For the Summer 2018 launch of the Front International: Cleveland Triennial, SPACES and Case Wester Reserve University will organize A Color Removed-an unprecedented city-wide intervention by Iraqi American artist Michael Rakowitz (Chicago, IL). A Color Removed is the artist's thought-provoking response to the 2014 fatal shooting of 12-year-old Tamir Rice by police, in which Rice was holding a toy gun with its orange safety feature removed. Rakowitz's project formally commenced in 2017 with the accumulation of orange items in Cleveland's public and private spaces via an open call for objects and letter writing campaign, and will continue with collection bins installed throughout the city. The orange items will be catalogued and displayed at SPACES, prompting audience members to consider how it feels to live in a society where the right to safety is visually displaced. The exhibition will be accompanied by a schedule of events that create a safe space where fearless speaking can lead to fearless listening.

On view November 16, 2018 - January 11, 2019
R&D: Sarah Kabot (Cleveland, OH)
Sarah Kabot makes drawings and sculptures that examine the fragmented state of public memorial. For her solo project at SPACES, Kabot will create a series of animations that document sites which Cleveland community groups believe should be commemorated, but are not yet. As a faculty member of Cleveland Institute of Art, Kabot will engage students in the production of exhibition elements.

SWAP: James Webb (Cape Town, South Africa)
James Webb is an internationally renowned artist who has presented at institutions such as Wanεs Konst in Sweden, the Palais de Tokyo in Paris, France, and the Darat al Funun in Amman, Jordan, and in major exhibitions such as the 12th Bienal de la Habana, 55th Biennale di Venezia and the 3rd Marrakech Biennale. For his SWAP project, Webb will create an immersive installation, working with sound and form, to investigate displacement and the public voice.

The Vault: Dustin Grella (New York, NY)
Dustin Grella is an animator and documentary filmmaker whose work inserts colorful insight into the seemingly mundane. His films have screened at festivals worldwide, including the Cannes Film Festival and the Ottawa International Animation Festival. For The Vault, he will show animations of our visitors' favorite SPACES stories, collected during the 40th anniversary exhibition earlier in the year.


In addition to supporting new commissions by established and emerging artists from around the world, we will examine 40 years of SPACES through special programming:
• Catalogue: The 20/20 Hindsight = 40 Years exhibition will be accompanied by a catalogue, with critical essays by William Busta (curator & former SPACES board member) and Jillian Steinhauer (Hyperallergic Senior Editor & former SPACES Art Writer-in-Residence), to be released in early 2019.
• Archival Exhibition: The Kelvin Smith Library at CWRU will feature an exhibition of items from the SPACES archives housed in their collection, to reveal the inner workings of one of the country's longest running alternative art spaces.
• Musical Performances: Paying homage to the original programming of SPACES that consisted of (a) SPACE and (p) SPACE, we will organize a quarterly program of intimate performances that respond to the artist projects on display in the SPACES galleries.
• Annual Artwood Derby: This creative competition will take on an expanded format and celebrate the anniversary of SPACES' first gathering of artists.


SPACES is the resource and public forum for artists who explore and experiment. SPACES provides international, national and regional artists the freedom to create remarkable works of art that help audience members see the world in unexpected ways. We develop an interconnected community through barrier-free access to contemporary culture and provide international, national, and local artists the freedom to create remarkable works of art that help us see the world in unexpected ways.

Since 1978, SPACES has encouraged artists and audiences to use art as a tool for exploring timely concerns. SPACES guides its audience to be knowledgeable art viewers and inquisitive citizens by serving as a welcoming venue for dialogue that starts with cutting-edge art and extends to myriad relevant social issues.

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