It hasn’t yet been a year since Publico, the non-commercial, artist-run exhibition space on Clay Street, closed its doors. Nonetheless, the Weston Art Gallery has already pulled together the collaborators again for its current show, Since You’ve Been Gone. The exhibition sweeps Publico’s Over-the- Rhine vibe into the mainstream — the Weston is part of downtown’s Aronoff Center for the Arts — and infects it with an impulsive nostalgia.
Ephemera from Publico’s five years of operation show that this kind of pressed-on wistfulness was already part of the collaborators’ plan. Posters announcing fund-raisers were designed with an eye to the vintage: coin cans, retro typefaces, “Everything must go!” jargon. Publico’s street sign, a light box with black san serif letters, taken from its original spot and replaced in the Weston, becomes an ironic flashback. Even the “Recreated Over-the-Rhine Murals” by the artist Ranins, remade paintings of cell phones, a togo box, a sandwich and a cheeseburger, among other things, become nostalgic symbols of something that, in a way, still exists. See full review here.