Renée Green: Contact. Installation view at moCa Cleveland, presented in partnership with FRONT International's 2022's second iteration, Oh, Gods of Dust and Rainbows. Photo: Field Studio
What is “contact” now?
For FRONT 2022, Cleveland-born artist Renée Green has conceived Contact, her first major exhibition in the city, which occupies all of moCa Cleveland’s public spaces and radiates out into the city with workshops and film screenings.
A contrapuntal exhibition, Contact weaves together Green’s own works–some newly commissioned by FRONT 2022–with a vast array of invited participants with whom she’s been in conversation through the years.
This relates to Green’s accretive way of working, developing exhibitions by modifying and subsequently re-presenting works and ideas in relation to other contexts. And while Contact coincides with FRONT 2022, the endeavor was initially conceived in 2019 and will continue through the end of the year, resonating with the triennial’s attempt to break the three-month exhibition format.
Engaging with moCa Cleveland’s unique architecture, this exhibition establishes a spatial, sonic, and cinematic conversation between multiple artworks and agents. Green’s pioneering aesthetic practice connects with two of the triennial’s key themes: a focus on the expanded role of artists as collaborative practitioners and the idea that the processes of artmaking can create essential bridges between people.
In addition to Green, Contact features the art, thinking, and voices of a diverse ensemble of artists and practitioners, including John Akomfrah, Marcel Broodthaers, Cinematic Migrations Workshop, Free Agent Media, Laura Serejo Genes, Lina Gopaul, Derrick Green, Index Literacy Program, Gabriel Kahan, David Lawson, New Humans, Nolan Oswald Dennis, Suneil Sanzgiri, Sense LA, Smoking Dogs Films, Jessica Sarah Rinland, Ian Soroka, Mika Tajima, and Pedro Zylbersztajn.
Launched in 2018, FRONT International is a contemporary art exhibition that presents artist commissions, performances, films, and public programs across Northeast Ohio every three years.
The 2022 edition, Oh, Gods of Dust and Rainbows, embraces art as an agent of transformation, a mode of healing, and a therapeutic process. The title is an homage to “Two Somewhat Different Epigrams,” a 1957 poem by Langston Hughes, who moved to Cleveland in his childhood and maintained an artistic connection to the region. A tender, brutal, and provocative prayer, the poem meditates on the inseparability of joy and suffering.
Amid a time of ongoing tragedy and loss, FRONT 2022 explores how artmaking can heal us—as individuals, as groups, and as a society. Spanning over twenty-five sites in Cleveland, Akron, and Oberlin, the exhibition bears witness to interlocking personal and public crises while emphasizing collaborative creative processes, partnering closely with institutions across the region, and connecting artists with local communities.
Oh, Gods of Dust and Rainbows features over ninety regional, national, and international artists. Starting with how daily practice allows individual artists to cultivate liberation, the triennial also demonstrates how aesthetic pleasure—sharing joy through movement, music, craft, and color—can bring different people together. Finally, the exhibition suggests ways that contemporary art can speak with power, showing us how to recognize and reimagine the invisible structures that govern our lives.
For more information, visit FrontArt.org.
Renée Green’s exhibition Contact is presented in partnership with FRONT International 2022’s second iteration, Oh, Gods of Dust and Rainbows. This project is supported in part by the National Endowment for the Arts.
Generous support provided by Hahn Loeser & Parks LLP. Additional support provided by Michelle Shan Jeschelnig and Richard Jeschelnig, and the Anselm Talalay Photography Endowment.
Renée Green: Contact
Kohl Monumental Stair & Atrium, Lewis Gallery, Mueller Family Gallery, Cohen Family Gallery
Jul 16-Dec 31, 2022