How To Remain Human

Curated by Rose Bouthillier, Associate Curator, and Megan Lykins Reich, Deputy Director of Program, Planning, and Engagement, with support from Elena Harvey Collins, Curatorial Assistant

June 12, 2015September 5, 2015

How to Remain Human continues MOCA Cleveland’s focused engagement with artists connected to Cleveland and the surrounding region, including neighboring cities in Pennsylvania and Michigan. It features emerging, mid-career, and established artists, working across a wide variety of media, who question and affirm humanness.

The exhibition’s title is a line from the late Ohio writer d.a. levy's "Suburban Monastery Death Poem" (1968). Ardent, aching, and raw, levy's poetry captured the struggle for freedom and expression during a tumultuous time in Cleveland’s history. Among the artists in How to Remain Human, there is a shared sense of the need to make, in order to interrogate life and claim space. They explore various ways of acting in and experiencing the world, questioning how we can go on, relate, and be.

Language and narratives are found in many of the works, presenting chronicles of the everyday and the urgent need to communicate. Thick paint, familiar objects, and engagements with the body give the exhibition a heightened sense of touch and physicality. Humor and nonsense become tools to playfully puncture life’s routines, habits, and trials. Together, the works tackle the complexity and intensity of being human: conflict, power, pleasure, folly, doubt, loss, skin, sex, home, money, hair, rage, romance, confusion, darkness, lightness, reaching, pushing, here, now, never, again, more, always.

How to Remain Human is expansive and immersive. In addition to occupying the Museum’s 4th floor Mueller Family Gallery, featured projects will be displayed in the Kohl Atrium, ground-floor Gund Commons, and fire escape staircase.

The exhibition will be accompanied by an array of public programs, both onsite and out in the community. A comprehensive catalog, featuring commissioned essays on each artist, will be available for free download online. As a sequel to Realization is Better than Anticipation (2013), this exhibition advances MOCA Cleveland’s approach to thematic exhibitions and special projects that promote critical dialog here and beyond.
How to Remain Human is made possible with the generous support of John P. Murphy Foundation, Medical Mutual of Ohio, and Thompson Hine LLP.
 
Community Support Provided by Courtyard by Marriott – Cleveland University Circle. 

All 2015 Exhibitions are funded by The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, and Leadership Circle gifts from the Britton Fund, Doreen and Dick Cahoon, Joanne Cohen and Morris Wheeler, Margaret Cohen and Kevin Rahilly, Victoria Colligan and John Stalcup, Becky Dunn, Lauren Rich Fine and Gary Giller, Barbara and Peter Galvin, Harriet and Victor Goldberg, Agnes Gund, Donna and Stewart Kohl, Toby Devan Lewis, Scott Mueller, and Boake and Marian Sells.

 

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