September 21, 2013 – February 2, 2014
Curated by Pedro H. Alonzo and the Contemporary Arts Center

The CAC presents world-renowned French artist JR’s first solo museum exhibition, featuring more than a decade of work seen in public spaces around the globe. Describing himself as both an “urban artivist” and “photograffeur,” JR has won international acclaim (including the 2011 TED prize) for postering arresting black & white portraits of local community members upon a variety of city surfaces. From buildings, favela walls and city blocks to stairs, bridges, trains and water towers, he re-humanizes the urban environment with the faces of those that live its spaces. Outside the often cryptic codes of graffiti, his photographic “actions” and global campaign of collecting (and publishing) peoples’ stories move those on the margins into the mainstream.

This exhibition celebrates the breadth and ambition of what JR dubs “Pervasive Art.” It reflects his interventions by way of wheat pasted images, photography, video projections, a large sculpture as well as an interactive photobooth. This booth will be housed in a van that travels to multiple locations across greater Cincinnati – giving a facelift to our city with/through images of its inhabitants. JR will also create new video projections for the exhibition and install a new work in the CAC lobby during the Member’s preview at the September 20th opening. This exhibition continues the relationship with this important and inspiring artist, fashioning a bridge for the CAC to poster its city with the faces of its people.

Joey Versoza: Is This It
September 21, 2013 – February 2, 2014
Curated by Justine Ludwig

Joey Versoza: Is This It draws its title from Michael Jackson’s unrealized 2009 tour, This Is It. The exhibition, like its title, explores the proportionally large impact of simple alteration and presents popular culture as both personal and emotional. It also draws upon the veneration of cultural icons and the failings of this occurrence. Versoza’s practice manifests as video, photography, and sculpture. From this array of media he creates a new body of work for the CAC that will function as a single installation.

The exhibition features a series of video clips appropriated from films. Versoza loops the clips and rescores them with familiar music tracks that cross genres. The result is the unearthing of hidden meanings and newly established connections. Also included in the exhibition are a series of digital photographs of found objects that appear as abstract, amorphous landscapes. Tying these elements together will be an array of installation elements that will organically decay and change throughout the run of the exhibition.

Versoza is a graduate of the Cincinnati Art Academy and has exhibited his work at The Contemporary Museum in Baltimore and in Cincinnati at Aisle Gallery, U-turn Art Space, Art Damage Lodge, and Publico.

Diane Landry: by every wind that blows
November 9, 2013 – March 2, 2014
Curated by Raphaela Platow & Steven Matijcio

Celebrated Canadian artist Diane Landry translates everyday items and mechanical systems into mystical meditations on life, death and our relationship with technology. Turning the mundane into the wondrous, everything from water bottles and laundry hampers to bed frames and plastic cutlery are imbued with unexpected life. Like a scrapyard version of Disney’s Fantasia, Landry’s automated actors expand the basic functions of her respective materials – allowing their shadows to dance hypnotically across gallery walls. Whether these works speak to the sins of disposable culture or the untapped promise of the everyday, her mechanized entities inspire a magical re-evaluation of the material world.

Landry’s CAC exhibition will feature the U.S. debut of her newest installation Exhaustion, a chandelier-like form (made of plastic forks & knives) that floats up and down like a colossal jellyfish. The show also highlights some of her most notable works from the past decade, including swelling mandalas made from plastic water bottles and laundry hampers, as well as chiming bedframes and videos that measure time through the lens of the artist. As a special feature, Landry will perform one of these works during the November 8th opening – paddling a suspended canoe through plastic sheet waves high above the CAC lobby.

Michael Sailstorfer: Every piece is a new problem
March 20 – June 29, 2014
Curated by Steven Matijcio

Rising German artist Michael Sailstorfer continually expands classical notions of sculpture: marrying the unexpected weight of light, sound and smell with the airy flight of muscular mechanics. Inspired by the friction of opposites and the contrast between a work and its surroundings, he explains: “I’m really interested in what sculpture can be and how a sculpture can spread out and use much more space than it physically has.” Tires burn against gallery walls, trees flip end over end and concrete light tubes hum in the ensuing fray. In the process, Sailstorfer fuses contrary elements into uncanny curiosities – creating a slew of possible readings that rub against one another like flint of, and for the psyche. Under the spell of playful incongruity he creates experiences that echo through both mind and body.

For his first major solo exhibition in the United States, Sailstorfer will present a series of his most striking installations that quietly, but urgently interrogate the CAC building. Forest turns a quartet of upended trees into the spinning dancers of a melancholic ballet, while Clouds lead our eyes upward to knotted inner tubes floating high above. The floor beneath takes its turn in the sun with Test Reactor as Sailstorfer embeds microphones into a series of resin spheres that reverberate with the vibrations of visitor footsteps. Alongside other sculpture and film, this show gathers “hard” and “soft” architectures – building and bodies – into a collective reimagining of our surround.

Buildering: Misbehaving the City
February 28 – August 24, 2014
Curated by Steven Matijcio

“Buildering” is a term coined for the unsanctioned use of architecture – fusing the words “building” and “bouldering” into a rapidly growing movement that reformulates how we live our cities. Beyond acrobatics, vandalism and occupation, this practice becomes a metaphor for the creative misuse of built structure – denying the assigned/intended function of urban structures to re-open the possibility of alternatives. If we believe the premise that ideologies are implanted through the public’s navigation of the city plan, then actions associated with buildering break the hypnosis of ritual and cultivate new freedoms – both physical and psychological.
Buildering will explore this phenomenon from a global perspective, gathering both established and emerging artists from around the world. Confirmed participants include Ivan Argote (Colombia), Egle Budvytyte (Lithuania), Michel de Broin (Canada), Didier Faustino (France), Shaun Gladwell (Australia), Iman Issa (Egypt), Antal Lakner (Hungary), Monika Sosnowska (Poland), Sebastian Stumpf (Germany), Lee Walton (USA) and Hector Zamora (Mexico). Collectively they will generate a playful, mischievous and lively show with strong socio-cultural underpinning.

Ryan Mulligan: A Dinosaur Says Moo
Opens September 2013
Curated by Jaime Thompson

Cincinnati artist Ryan Mulligan is best known for absurd performances, stage set installations, cartoon-like paintings and sculptures that help him make sense of daily family life. As disarmingly humorous and non-threatening as they are, Mulligan employs these private playgrounds to tiptoe around often difficult personal subjects. His newest work for the Contemporary Arts Center’s UnMuseum will follow in this vein, relating to his new role as father to a son who has recently been diagnosed with autism.

The installation begins with Mulligan re-imagining the family experience of mini golf to better understand how to respond to his son’s physical and sensory needs. The result is a game that does not have structured routes to play, just random holes that have to be navigated without rules. Instead of a golf ball and club, visitors will be invited to use their own feet and a tennis ball.

Mulligan was born and raised in rural Virginia, and is now Assistant Professor of Art for the University of Cincinnati. His previous exhibitions include the Baltimore Contemporary Museum of Art, Indianapolis Museum of Contemporary Art, the University of Central Arkansas, Bradley University, and the Delaware Center for Contemporary Art.

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