Museum of Contemporary Art Cleveland Announces First Year of Exhibitions in New Building

May 4, 2012

CLEVELAND – The Museum of Contemporary Art Cleveland (MOCA) will open a newly designed building in the center of Cleveland’s cultural district to the public October 8, 2012. The first year of exhibitions, led by Chief Curator David Norr, will incorporate a dynamic range of contemporary art, taking full advantage of the Museum’s expanded capacities and unique structure. There will be a focus on new and commissioned work, giving audiences access to diverse artistic processes through site-specific installations and performances.

The inaugural exhibition, Inside Out and From the Ground Up features major commissions by Katharina Grosse, Henrique Oliveira, and Barry Underwood, and new works by David Altmejd, Jacqueline Humphries, and William Villalongo, among an international roster of 16 artists. The exhibition provides an in-depth look at how contemporary art engages with architecture and concepts of space. Subsequent shows include a new in-situ studio installation by Corin Hewitt; the first solo museum exhibition by performance artist Kate Gilmore; Janet Cardiff and George Bures Miller’s acclaimed media work, The Paradise Institute; and Realization is Better than Anticipation, a group exhibition proposing alternative narratives for contemporary art in Cleveland and the surrounding region.
“This first year of exhibitions reflects MOCA’s core strengths, which include supporting the creation of new work and engaging our local communities,” says Executive Director Jill Snyder. “This is the first time that MOCA Cleveland will operate in a building designed to present contemporary art, one that will both challenge and support contemporary artists and audiences. We are shaping an institution that is more accessible, critical, and open to dialogue.”
Says Norr “This first year is an opportunity to establish MOCA Cleveland as a vital, multifaceted, and rigorous institution. The exhibitions will connect audiences to artworks through experience, contemporary ideas, and historical grounding, creating a greater sense of context and possibility.”
Designed by London-based Farshid Moussavi of Farshid Moussavi Architecture, formerly with Foreign Office Architects, MOCA’s iconic building sits at the gateway to the emerging Uptown district in University Circle, a cultural hub of the city.
Inside Out and From the Ground Up (October 8, 2012 – February 24, 2013)
This group exhibition, organized by Norr, features newly commissioned projects by Berlin-based painter Katharina Grosse, Brazilian installation artist Henrique Oliveira, and Cleveland-based photographer Barry Underwood. New works by David Altmejd, Jacqueline Humphries, and William Villalongo will be debuted, alongside works by Walead Beshty, Jeremy Blake, Louise Bourgeois, David Hammons, Oliver Husain, Gordon Matta-Clark, Corey McCorkle, Jennifer West, Rachel Whiteread, and Haegue Yang. These artists create an expanded dialogue on contemporary art and space, approaching this central theme through a range of tactile, visual, and conceptual means. Inside Out and From the Ground Up considers how people physically and psychologically relate to the built world, the tenuous boundary between inside and outside, self and other; and the disorientating effects of shifting perspectives.
Altmejd’s works will be on view through December 30, 2012. Grosse’s installation will be on view until June 10, 2013. All other work will be exhibited until February 24, 2013.
Corin Hewitt (January 18 - April 14, 2013)
For his exhibition at MOCA, Hewitt will continue to explore his interests in memory, personal and cultural history, and the transformative possibilities of materials through the mediums of performance, sculpture, and photography.
Using the exhibition format as both laboratory and studio, Hewitt will work behind the walls of the gallery, completely hidden from view. Over the course of the exhibition, he will create a series of improvised sculptures using a variety of locally-sourced materials, including debris collected by the artist while the new MOCA building was under construction. The sculptures will rotate in and out of view, from backstage to stage, in a continually shifting installation.
“Hewitt’s work unfolds over time, revealing his sensitivity to materials and to the processes of composure and decay,” Norr says. “The exhibition’s shifting and unsettled nature will draw audiences into an important dialogue about artistic process, and the museum as a space for production and experimentation.”
Kate Gilmore (March 15 - June 9, 2013)
Gilmore’s exhibition will feature a new performance created for MOCA Cleveland, along with a selection of past work.
Gilmore’s practice centers on the artist, or selected performers, attacking, struggling through, or enduring absurd physical challenges. The artist often subjects herself to elements of danger and pain, such as encasing a body part in hardening plaster (My Love is an Anchor, 2004) or dragging her exposed body through a narrow wooden structure (Main Squeeze, 2006). In all of Gilmore’s works, the performers wear distinctly feminine attire, including tight floral dresses and high heels. This clothing not only contrasts with the strenuous, messy, and aggressive activities taking place, it also serves to make actions more awkward and difficult.
“Gilmore’s work is exhilarating and demanding,” says Assistant Curator Rose Bouthillier. “The situations she constructs have an element of humor, while also confronting the restrictions of gender, society’s discomfort with emotion, and the monotony of working life.”
Janet Cardiff and George Bures Miller: The Paradise Institute (March 15 – June 9, 2013)
This work, by the Canadian collaborative duo, is a multi-sensory experience that draws viewers into a surreal mixture of fiction and reality. Its stage-like structure, appearing small and plain from the outside, opens into a vast, 1930s-style theatre inside–an effect achieved through careful attention to materials and perspective. Sixteen viewers can be seated for the 13-minute screening, each with their own set of headphones which transmit uncanny directional sounds. As the piece begins, noises of a settling crowd pick up, and each viewer hears someone directly beside them, whispering into their ear. On screen, a dark and mysterious narrative develops and begins to blend with events taking place in the theatre, building into a dramatic crescendo. The Paradise Institute creates an intimate and disorientating experience, investigating the perceptual and psychological effects of cinema.
The Paradise Institute debuted in 2001 at the 49th Venice Biennale, where it won the Golden Lion Award,” says Norr. “It is a significant work that has been extremely influential in contemporary media practice.”
Dark Stars (April 26 - August 25, 2013)
Dark Stars, curated by Bouthillier, will bring together artworks that investigate the malleability of time. The title refers to the phenomenon of a star’s light continuing to travel through space, appearing to a remote viewer long after it dies out.
Says Bouthillier, “Contemporary artists are using combinations of archival material, found objects, and personal narratives to question linearity. This exhibition will explore the resonance between distant events and disparate objects, reflecting on delayed significance and the constraints of individual perceptions of time.”
Realization is Better than Anticipation (June 28 - September 22, 2013)
Co-curated by Megan Lykins Reich, Associate Curator and Director of Programs, and Bouthillier, this exhibition will consider contemporary culture in Cleveland and the surrounding region, through visual art, music, and performance. Rather than defining the region using geographic or socio-economic criteria, the exhibition will consider it as a shifting entity, featuring artists living and working in the area today alongside those with other connections to the region – conceptual or biographical. Realization will explore the relationship between ideation and production, investigating the historical moments, narratives, and models of thought that inform contemporary practice. MOCA’s public spaces will play a prominent role, with a series of events and happenings planned to expand the exhibition beyond the Museum’s walls.
“One of MOCA Cleveland’s most important functions is to foster critical dialogue,” says Lykins Reich. “Part of our goal is to shape the conversation by connecting local conversations to international ones, and to forge stronger relationships with institutions and artists in nearby cities.”
About Farshid Moussavi Architecture (FMA)
Farshid Moussavi Architecture (FMA) was founded by internationally acclaimed architect and Harvard Professor Farshid Moussavi as a London-based practice dedicated to architecture, urban design and landscape architecture. Moussavi was previously co-founder and co-principal of Foreign Office Architects (FOA) where she co-authored the design for the award-winning Yokohama International Ferry Terminal in Japan and was part of the United Architects team who were finalists for the Ground Zero competition, as well as the team that designed the London 2012 Olympics Masterplan. At FOA she completed a wide range of other international projects including the John Lewis Complex in Leicester, England; the South-East Coastal Park in Barcelona, Spain; and the Meydan Retail Complex in Istanbul, Turkey; and represented Britain at the 8th Venice Architecture Biennale in 2002.
About the Museum of Contemporary Art Cleveland (MOCA)
Founded in 1968, the Museum of Contemporary Art Cleveland, a leading force in the cultural life of Northeast Ohio, is recognized nationally and internationally for its vital and creative exhibitions and public programs. These strive to challenge, inspire, and teach a wide range of audiences.
Through approximately eight exhibitions a year, all accompanied by public and education programs, and many also by scholarly catalogues, MOCA brings the work and ideas of a diversity of national and international artists to its audiences. MOCA’s critically acclaimed exhibitions have included The Teacher and the Student: Charles Rosenthal and Ilya Kabakov (2004), Yoshitomo Nara (2004), All Digital (2006), Diana Cooper (2008), Sam Taylor-Wood (2008), Hugging and Wrestling: Contemporary Israeli Photography and Video (2009), and Marilyn Minter: Orange Crush (2010).
From 1968 to 1990, MOCA rented modest quarters in University Circle, and from 1990 to the present it has rented second-story space from the Cleveland Play House on Carnegie Avenue. Today, as it prepares to move to its new building, MOCA looks forward to welcoming both established and new audiences to its exciting new space in University Circle.
For additional information:
MOCA Cleveland: Summary Exhibition Schedule October 2012-September 2013
Inside Out and From the Ground Up: October 8, 2012–February 24, 2013
Inside Out and From the Ground Up: Katharina Grosse: October 8, 2012–June 10, 2013
Inside Out and From the Ground Up: David Altmejd: October 8, 2012–December 30, 2012
Corin Hewitt: January 18, 2013–April 14, 2013
Kate Gilmore: March 15, 2013–June 9, 2013
Janet Cardiff and George Bures Miller: The Paradise Institute: March 15, 2013–June 9, 2013
Dark Stars (Group Exhibition; Artists TBA): April 26, 2013–July 21, 201
Realization is Better than Anticipation: June 28, 2013–September 22, 2013
(Group Exhibition; Artists TBA)
Artists For Inaugural Year
Inside Out and From the Ground Up
David Altmejd (1974, Montréal, Canada) lives and works in New York.
Walead Beshty (1976, London, UK) lives and works in Los Angeles.
Jeremy Blake (1971, Fort Sill, OK – 2007, New York) 
Louise Bourgeois (1911, Paris, France – 2010, New York)
Katharina Grosse (1961, Freiburg im Breisgau, Germany) lives and works in Berlin.
David Hammons (1943, Springfield, IL) lives and works in New York.
Jacqueline Humphries (1960, New Orleans) lives and works in New York.
Oliver Husain (1969 Frankfurt, Germany) lives and works in Toronto, Canada. 
Gordon Matta-Clark (1943 –1978, New York)
Corey McCorkle (1969, La Crosse, WI) lives and works in New York.
Henrique Oliveira (1973, São Paulo, Brazil) lives and works in São Paulo.
Barry Underwood (1963, Wilmington, DE) lives and works in Cleveland.
William Villalongo (1975, Hollywood, FL) lives and works in Brooklyn.
Jennifer West (1966, Topanga Canyon, California) lives and works in Los Angeles. 
Rachel Whiteread (1963, London, UK) lives and works in London.
Haegue Yang (1971, Seoul, South Korea) lives and works in Berlin and Seoul.
Kate Gilmore (1975, Washington D.C.) lives and works in New York.
Janet Cardiff (1957, Brussels, Canada) and George Bures Miller (1960, Vegreville, Canada) live
and work together in Berlin, Germany and Grindrod, Canada.
Corin Hewitt (1971, Burlington, VT) lives and works in Richmond, VA.
Other artists TBA.
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