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
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.
Artists on view [click for artist profiles]:
Mary Ann Aitken, Derf Backderf, Cara Benedetto, Christi Birchfield, dadpranks, Kevin Jerome Everson, Ben Hall, Jae Jarrell , Harris Johnson, Jimmy Kuehnle, d.a. levy, Michelangelo Lovelace Sr., Dylan Spaysky, and Carmen Winant.
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.