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Art: Go Ahead ... Touch Me!

By Alan Pocaro · August 23rd, 2011 · CityBeat Recommends

Nothing foreshadows calamity quite like small children in close proximity to valuable artwork. “Look but don’t touch,” the routine admonition of parents, is the standing order behind many of life’s public activities. This prohibition on physical contact — a sense crucial to our relationship with the world — is the subject of a new exhibition at Manifest Gallery. Go Ahead … Touch Me! packs the gallery’s intimate Parallel Space with a cluster of interactive objects that might have you thinking you’re in Brighton rather than East Walnut Hills.

Assembled by curator Tim Parsley, these works invite tactile engagement and make for an appealing exhibition that’s outside the purview of Manifest’s customary emphasis upon traditional media. The temporary tattoos of Nat Martin’s “Certainly, Constantly, Never” and wads of chewed gum on Brad McComb’s “saliva” map of Cincinnati provide levity, while Norwegian artist Marisa Ferreira’s kaleidoscopic “Transformable Wall Object” skirts the ever-shifting margins between painting and sculpture, art and non-art. Go Ahead … Touch Me! is an accessible and amusing foray into the often taxing world of conceptualist practice. The exhibition runs through Sept. 9. Gallery hours are 2-7 p.m. Tuesday-Friday and noon-5 p.m. Saturday. Manifest Gallery is located at 2727 Woodburn Ave., Walnut Hills.

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