What the Inaugural FRONT Triennial in Cleveland Highlights About the Problems with Art Tourism – 克利夫兰首届三年展对艺术旅游问题的启示

Opinion - 24 Jul 2018

What the Inaugural FRONT Triennial in Cleveland Highlights About the Problems with Art Tourism

At the crux of this ambitious show lies the question: who is this triennial really for?

By Evan Moffitt

Clevelanders like to tell people that there were once more millionaires on the city’s Euclid Avenue than there were on New York’s Fifth Avenue. They are also often self-deprecating. Cleveland has been through rough times since the Gilded Age: in the 1950s and ’60s, the Cuyahoga river was so polluted it caught fire several times, and in 1978 the city became the first in the US to default on its debt since the Great Depression. Its population is roughly a third as large as it was at its peak 68 years ago. Like so many Rust Belt cities, it has a world-class art museum, the Cleveland Museum of Art (CMA), built by industrialist robber barons, but has never been on the contemporary art world circuit. What better than a triennial to change that?

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What the Inaugural FRONT Triennial in Cleveland Highlights About the Problems with Art Tourism - 克利夫兰首届三年展对艺术旅游问题的启示

Agnieszka Kurant, The End of Signature, 2018, installation view at the Cleveland Museum of Art. Commissioned by FRONT International: Cleveland Triennial for Contemporary Art, 2018. Courtesy: the artist and Tanya Bonakdar Gallery, New York; photograph: © The Cleveland Museum of Art

So goes the thinking of Fred Bidwell, a millionaire collector and former advertising executive from Akron, Ohio. He is the chief funder and public face of FRONT International, the new Cleveland triennial for contemporary art, curated by Michelle Grabner, that opened on 13 July and continues to 30 September. Among the exhibition’s 28 venues – which stretch across metropolitan Cleveland, Akron and Oberlin – is the Transformer Station, a disused electrical plant that Bidwell and his wife Laura Ruth Bidwell acquired in 2011 to stage rotating exhibitions of their collection. It serves as a hub for FRONT’s film programme, as well as installations by Stephen Willats and A.K. Burns which tackle issues of urban blight and gentrification.

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What the Inaugural FRONT Triennial in Cleveland Highlights About the Problems with Art Tourism - 克利夫兰首届三年展对艺术旅游问题的启示

Tony Tasset, Judy's Hand Pavilion, 2018, installation view at Toby's Plaza, Case Western Reserve University. Commissioned by FRONT International: Cleveland Triennial for Contemporary Art, 2018, in collaboration with Toby Lewis and the John and Mildred Putnam Collection at Case Western Reserve University; photograph: Field Studio

There are plenty of both in Ohio City, a formerly industrial district that faces downtown Cleveland from across the Cuyahoga river. For more than a century after its incorporation in 1836, its factories pumped out raw goods with increasing speed; from the tall span of its viaduct, one could spot ships hauling steel across the shallow waters of Lake Eerie, and tankers packed with salt mined from its shores. The salt mine is still there, but in more recent decades the neighbourhood was home to Cleveland’s gay community, with nearly a dozen extant bars and bathhouses. The gay strip was unofficially renamed ‘Hingetown’ in 2013 by Marika Shioiri-Clark and Graham Vesey, a couple who began redeveloping the area with retail spaces, apartments, bike racks and a full-time Airbnb shortly after they moved there. In a glowing Vanity Fair profile of Shioiri-Clark and Vesey in 2015, Bidwell is quoted describing the neighbourhood as ‘a nowhere, toxic corner’ before the couple arrived; he and Laura moved in two years later. ‘Hingetown was a branding exercise in 2013 on the warm corpse of Cleveland’s queer scene,’ sociologist Greggor Mattson later wrote in Belt Magazine. A complex that included bars such as The Tool Shed, A Man’s World and Crossover is now a high-end gym and pet day-care. Bounce, the city’s most prominent LGBT club, closed in 2017, while a craft juice bar and a coffee shop have opened across the street.

On the Transformer Station’s clipped front lawn, A.K. Burns has installed The Dispossessed (2018), a gnarled, jet-black chain-link fence. Chain link is ubiquitous in the neighbourhood, cordoning car parks, construction sites and fast-disappearing vacant lots. A small silver plaque notes that the art space is ‘part of a wave of gentrification’ and states that the sculpture stands ‘in critical dialogue with various modes of local “revitalization”.’ It’s a relatively oblique artwork, but a brave and indignant gesture by an artist in response to a financial backer. The ethics of development plague FRONT, which largely ignores the socioeconomic conditions of greater Cleveland in order to repackage it for high cultural tourism. Despite the fact that Cleveland clocked the country’s second-highest poverty rate and its ninth highest crime rate just last year – both functions of its declining and disenfranchised population – almost none of FRONT’s projects represent local people or the problems they face.

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What the Inaugural FRONT Triennial in Cleveland Highlights About the Problems with Art Tourism - 克利夫兰首届三年展对艺术旅游问题的启示

Michael Rakowitz, A Color Removed, 2018, installation view, SPACES, Cleveland, FRONT International, Cleveland Triennial for Contemporary Art, 2018. Courtesy: the artist; Rhona Hoffman Gallery, Chicago; Jane Lombard Gallery, New York City; Galerie Barbara Wien, Berlin; The Beamer-Schneider Professorship in Ethics at Case Western Reserve University, The Tamir Rice Foundation, and SPACES, Cleveland; photograph: Field Studio

The notable exception, A Color Removed (2018), is FRONT’s most powerful, socially-engaged work. Michael Rakowitz has filled the main gallery of nearby SPACES – an arts non-profit founded in 1978 that moved to its current location, below the Bidwells’ loft, in 2017 – with orange objects: traffic cones and umbrellas, milk crates and construction gear. In 2014, Tamir Rice, a 12-year-old African-American boy, was fatally shot by Cleveland police officers, who were acquitted because the ‘safety orange’ cap from Rice’s toy gun had been removed. For the course of the triennial, Rakowitz and volunteers will try to remove safety orange from Cleveland, for, as the artist puts it, ‘if Tamir can’t be safe, no one can.’ When I visited, Rice’s own mother, Samaria Rice, had left an artwork of her own: beneath a battery of orange plastic revolvers, mounted on white board, a handwritten message notes that ‘Ohio is a open carry state’. (Even if her son had been carrying a real gun, it would’ve been legal.) Rakowitz’s project will host community discussions with various non-profits as well as local law enforcement, and a dinner serving Tamir’s favourite junk foods, cooked with Rakowitz’s signature date syrup. (Tamir is Arabic for ‘date’.)

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What the Inaugural FRONT Triennial in Cleveland Highlights About the Problems with Art Tourism - 克利夫兰首届三年展对艺术旅游问题的启示

Dawoud Bey, Night Coming Tenderly, Black, 2017, installation view, St. John's Church. Commissioned by FRONT International: Cleveland Triennial for Contemporary Art, 2018. Courtesy: the artist, Rena Bransten Gallery, and Stephen Daiter Gallery; photograph: Field Studio

A short walk away, Dawoud Bey has suspended a new series of photographs between the pews of St. John’s Episcopal Church, a 19th century stop on the Underground Railroad. With the paint peeling from its stippled plaster walls, it seems unchanged since the days it sheltered runaway slaves, who likely stopped at the locations Bey has photographed, as they travelled north through Ohio to the shores of Lake Eerie and onto Canada. Each landscape appears shrouded in monochrome darkness, like the cover of night that concealed their journeys. Though it’s hard to imagine holding a church service with such gloomy obstructions, the project is an emotional and evocative response to its location, one of the most site-specific of this exhibition.
 
On the other side of the city, in the stately Cleveland Museum of Art, a beautiful gallery of drawings by Kerry James Marshall is one of a trio of FRONT exhibitions, and includes Untitled (1999), a magisterial 12 panel woodcut that spans more than 15 metres. Upstairs, in a glass-walled gallery, Luisa Lambri’s suite of new abstract photographs of the CMA’s striped granite extension, completed in 1971 by Marcel Breuer, have been beautifully paired with Marlon de Azambuja’s Brutalismo (Brutalism, 2014), an installation of cinderblock towers, cinched by industrial clamps, that resembles a concrete cityscape. At the triennial’s second largest venue, The Museum of Contemporary Art Cleveland, delicate varnished oil paintings by Eugene von Bruenchenhein – an obscure yet visionary painter of rippling, utopian skylines who died in 1983 – seem in turn to presage the socialist urban landscapes of Cui Jie’s latest paintings, on view at the Baron Art Gallery in Oberlin. Both artists’ works depict cities of the future to which we can only aspire. (Perhaps this is what Grabner envisioned with the inaugural triennial’s bland title, ‘An American City’, though its noncommittal article seems to underscore unfortunate stereotypes about Cleveland.)

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What the Inaugural FRONT Triennial in Cleveland Highlights About the Problems with Art Tourism - 克利夫兰首届三年展对艺术旅游问题的启示

Barbara Bloom, THE RENDERING (H X W X D =), 2018, installation view, Allen Memorial Art Museum, Cleveland. Commissioned by FRONT International: Cleveland Triennial for Contemporary Art, 2018. Courtesy: the artist and David Lewis, New York; photograph: Field Studio

In FRONT’s most ambitious project, fantastical architecture literally leaps off the walls of the Allen Memorial Art Museum in Oberlin, where Barbara Bloom’s massive installation, The Rendering (H x W x D =) (2018), is on display. The ramparts and princess tower of an Indian illuminated manuscript from 1850 appear at child-scale, zig-zagging across the gallery floor, beside their original referent, while the delicate bridge from Kitagawa Utamaro’s The Palace of the Moon (1789) floats toward a wall bearing the ink painting from which it was modelled. Bloom selected impossible designs from works in the Allen’s collection, and made them real; many of these sources appear in a salon-style hang, covered up save for their architectural elements by grey panels. The same soporific colour permeates the room, allowing intense focus on the gallery’s own wonky architecture: designed by Robert Venturi in 1977. Before a picture window that frames an oversized ‘ironic column’, Bloom has placed a vitrine of architectural drawings of columns by Giovanni Battista Piranesi. Art before architecture, architecture before art: here, as in all display spaces, both exist in tension with one another, subtle – and not-so-subtle – aggressions highlighted by Bloom’s puckish play of sculptural form.

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What the Inaugural FRONT Triennial in Cleveland Highlights About the Problems with Art Tourism - 克利夫兰首届三年展对艺术旅游问题的启示

Philip Vanderhyden, Volatility Smile 3, 2018, installation view, Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland. Commissioned by FRONT International: Cleveland Triennial for Contemporary Art, 2018, with support from The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts; photograph: Field Studio

If Bloom’s installation expands images into large, complex structures, Philip Vanderhyden’s 24-channel video animation, Volatility Smile (2018), shrinks and flattens complex structures into images. The video’s golden forms, lifted from baroque necklaces and candelabra that recall the gilded lobby of the Federal Reserve Bank where the work is installed, twist and turn in a mesmerizing kaleidoscopic jumble. Named for a graph that plots volatile stock options, it nevertheless abstracts the consequences of financial speculation, which led to some of Cleveland’s current woes. ‘Abstracting [the conditions of American urbanism] rather than illustrating them offers a creative interpretation of the city that can be embraced in human terms,’ Grabner writes in the catalogue – forgetting that ‘human terms’ are usually obscured by such gestures.

On a drive to one of the triennial’s venues, I pass Progressive Stadium, named not for Cleveland’s transformational liberal mayor, Newton Baker (1912–15), but for the auto insurance company that bought its rights. Next door, Quicken Loans Arena was underwritten by one of the country’s most notorious subprime mortgage lenders, a principal culprit in the 2008 housing crisis. ‘We sell out here in Cleveland,’ my Uber driver drily remarks. Her comment underscores what makes Cleveland ‘An American City’, a neoliberal exemplar – and the structural problems beneath FRONT’s many admirable artist projects. With the exception of A Color Removed, local voices are almost nowhere to be found here, sold out for international star power. While its founders hope the triennial will attract new cultural investment, the city’s street level problems remain: not abstract, but as raw and real as ever.

FRONT International: Cleveland Triennial for Contemporary Art runs in various venues until 30 September, 2018.

Main image: A.K. Burns, The Dispossessed, 2018, installation view, Transformer Station, Cleveland. Commissioned by FRONT International: Cleveland Triennial for Contemporary Art; photograph: Field Studio

Evan Moffitt

Evan Moffitt is associate editor of frieze, based in New York, USA. 

FRONT International
Cleveland
Michelle Grabner
Evan Moffitt
Opinion
Michael Rakowitz
Barbara Bloom
Dawoud Bey
Kerry James Marshall


《意见》第24卷2018卷,克利夫兰首届三年一度的关于艺术旅游在这个雄心勃勃的展览的关键问题的突出的问题是:这三年期是为了谁?埃文莫菲特告诉人们,城市的欧几里德大街上的百万富翁比纽约第五大道上的百万富翁还要多。他们也常常自我贬低。自镀金时代以来,克利夫兰经历了艰难的时期:在20世纪50年代和60年代,CuaHaGa河被污染了好几次,在1978,美国成为了自大萧条以来第一个拖欠债务的城市。它的人口大约是68年前的顶峰时期的第三。像许多锈带城市一样,它有一个世界级的艺术博物馆,克利夫兰艺术博物馆(CMA),由工业强盗贵族建造,但从未出现在当代艺术世界的电路上。还有什么比三年期更好呢?AkuraT.JPG What the Inaugural FRONT Triennial in Cleveland Highlights About the Problems with Art Tourism - 克利夫兰首届三年展对艺术旅游问题的启示 AGNESZKA KurAtter,签名结束,2018,安装视图在克利夫兰艺术馆。国际前沿:克利夫兰当代艺术三年展,2018。礼貌:艺术家和Taya Boakdar画廊,纽约;照片:克利夫兰艺术博物馆,所以Fred Bidwell的想法,一个百万富翁收藏家和前广告执行者来自Akron,俄亥俄。他是首屈一指的赞助者和公众面前的国际前沿,新克利夫兰三年展当代艺术,由Michelle Grabner策划,于7月13日开放,并持续到9月30日。在展览的28个场馆——横跨大都市克利夫兰、Akron和奥伯林——是变形金刚,这是一个废弃的发电厂,彼德维尔和他的妻子Laura Ruth Bidwell在2011获得了他们收藏的旋转展览。它作为一个枢纽,为前的电影节目,以及安装Stephen Willats和A.K. Burns,解决城市枯萎病和绅士化的问题。FruttToBySPLAZAZAYTYYTAETETHYPEX2.JPG What the Inaugural FRONT Triennial in Cleveland Highlights About the Problems with Art Tourism - 克利夫兰首届三年展对艺术旅游问题的启示 TONE TASTAY,朱蒂的手亭,2018,安装视图在托比广场,凯斯西储大学。前身国际:克利夫兰当代艺术三年展,2018,与Toby Lewis和约翰和Mildred Putnam收藏在凯斯西储大学;照片:野战工作室有很多在俄亥俄城,以前的工业。L区,从CuaHaGa河对面的克利夫兰市中心。在1836成立后的一个多世纪里,它的工厂以越来越快的速度消耗了原材料;从高架桥的高架桥上,人们可以看到船只在荒芜的湖面上拖曳着钢,还有从岸边挖出的盐。盐矿仍在那里,但在最近几十年里,这个街区是克利夫兰同性恋社区的故乡,有近十几个现存的酒吧和浴室。这条同性恋脱衣舞在2013由Marika Shioiri Clark和Graham Vesey非正式地改名为“亨廷顿”,这对夫妇在搬到那里后不久就开始在零售区、公寓、自行车架和全职的Airbnb上重新开发这一地区。在2015岁的Shioiri Clark和维西的一张耀眼的《名利场》中,引用毕达韦尔的描述,在这对夫妇到来之前,他把邻居描述为“一个没有任何地方,有毒的角落”;两年后他和劳拉搬了进来。2013岁的亨廷顿在克利夫兰酷热的场面上做了一次品牌运动,社会学家Greggor Mattson后来在带杂志上写道。一个复杂的,包括酒吧,如工具棚,一个人的世界和交叉现在是一个高端的健身房和宠物日托。反弹,这个城市最著名的LGBT俱乐部,在2017关闭,而一个工艺果汁酒吧和咖啡店已经打开了街道。在变电所修剪过的草坪上,A.K. Burns安装了一个凹凸不平的黑色链环栅栏(2018)。连锁店在街区、停车场、建筑工地和快速消失的空地上无处不在。一个小小的银匾指出,艺术空间是“绅士化浪潮”的一部分,并指出雕塑与各种各样的地方“复兴”模式进行了批判性的对话。“这是一个相对倾斜的艺术作品,但艺术家的勇敢而愤慨的姿态在回应。给金融支持者。发展伦理学困扰着大克利夫兰地区的社会经济条件,以便将其重新包装为高文化旅游。尽管事实上,克利夫兰的贫困率位居全国第二位,去年的犯罪率达到了第九,这两个国家都是其衰落和被剥夺权利的人口的函数——几乎没有前面的项目代表当地人或他们面临的问题。FravtLeVielLayMigelRakoiTwitz Press 1.JPG WPAP6023 602IMG Michael Rakowitz,颜色删除,2018,安装视图,空间,克利夫兰,国际前沿,克利夫兰当代艺术三年展,2018。礼貌:艺术家;Rhona Hoffman画廊,芝加哥;简伦巴德画廊,纽约;柏林,Galerie Barbara Wien;贝米尔施奈德教授在凯斯西储大学的伦理学,泰米尔大米基金会,和空间,克利夫兰;照片:现场工作室引人注目的例外,颜色去除(2018),是前面最强大的,社会从事的工作。Michael Rakowitz填补了附近空间的主要画廊-一个艺术非营利组织成立于1978,移动到其目前的位置,在比德韦尔的阁楼下,在2017 -橙色对象:交通锥和伞,牛奶箱和建筑齿轮。2014,Tamir Rice,一个12岁的非裔美国男孩,被克利夫兰警察致命枪杀,因为Rice玩具枪上的“安全橙色”帽子已经被移除。在三年一次的过程中,Rakowitz和志愿者将尝试从克利夫兰上移除安全橘子,因为正如艺术家所说,“如果塔米尔不能安全,没有人能做到。”当我访问时,Rice的亲生母亲Samaria Rice留下了她自己的艺术品:在一堆橙色塑料Re下面。沃尔弗斯,安装在白板上,手写的信息指出“俄亥俄是一个开放的携带状态”。(即使她的儿子携带了一支真正的枪,这也是合法的。)拉科维茨的项目将与各种非营利组织以及当地执法机构进行社区讨论,以及为塔米尔最喜欢的垃圾食品提供晚餐,并用Rakowitz的签名枣糖浆烹调。(塔米尔是阿拉伯语的“日期”)FruttStJohnSurChydDououdBuype Press 1.JPG What the Inaugural FRONT Triennial in Cleveland Highlights About the Problems with Art Tourism - 克利夫兰首届三年展对艺术旅游问题的启示 Dawoud Bey,夜晚来临温柔,黑色,2017,安装视图,圣约翰教堂。国际前沿:克利夫兰当代艺术三年展,2018。礼貌:艺术家,丽娜布兰斯滕画廊,和Stephen Daiter画廊;照片:现场工作室一个短的步行距离,Dawoud Bey已经暂停了一系列新的照片之间的圣约翰圣公会教堂,十九世纪地铁站停止。随着从粉刷的石膏墙脱落的油漆,它似乎没有变化,因为它庇护逃跑奴隶的日子,他们可能停在贝里拍摄的地点,因为他们通过北到俄亥俄湖到EreIe湖和加拿大。每一个景观都笼罩在单色的黑暗中,就像遮蔽他们旅程的夜晚的封面。虽然很难想象举行这样一个教堂的服务有如此阴暗的障碍,这个项目是一个情感和唤起的反应,它的位置,这个展览的最特定地点之一。WPAP60300 3BR,WPAP60300 3BR在城市的另一边,在庄严的克利夫兰艺术馆,一个美丽的图画画廊由Kerry James Marshall是一个三重的前展览,包括无题(1999),一个权威的12小组木刻跨越15米以上。楼上,在一个玻璃围墙画廊,Luisa Lambri的一套新的抽象照片的CMA的条纹花岗岩延伸,完成在1971由马歇·布劳耶,已经美丽地配对Marlon de Azambuja的Brutalismo(野兽,2014),安装煤渣砌块塔,CHIGH。通过工业夹,类似于一个具体的城市景观。在三年一度的第二大场馆——克利夫兰现代美术馆,Eugene von Bruenchenhein的一幅精致的清漆油画——一位默默无闻但富有想象力的画家,在1983年逝世的乌托邦式天际线——似乎又预示着Cui Jie的社会主义城市景观。最新的绘画作品,在Oberlin男爵画廊展出。两位艺术家的作品都描绘了我们只能向往的未来城市。(也许这就是格拉布纳预想的三年期的乏味的标题“美国城市”,尽管它的不明确的文章似乎强调了对克利夫兰的不幸陈规。)6025602IMG Barbara Bloom,渲染(H x W X D=),2018,安装视图,艾伦纪念艺术博物馆,克利夫兰。国际前沿:克利夫兰当代艺术三年展,2018。礼貌:艺术家和大卫·刘易斯,纽约;照片:FieldStudio在前方最雄心勃勃的项目中,幻想建筑从Oberlin艾伦纪念艺术博物馆的墙壁上跳下,在那里Barbara Bloom的大规模安装,渲染(HX W X D)=(2018),正在显示。来自1850的印第安照明手稿的堡垒和公主塔出现在儿童刻度上,横跨画廊地板,在他们的原始参照物旁边,曲折地从喜多川歌麿的月亮宫(1789)FLO桥上出现。


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