WHAT SHOULD I BE DOING INSTEAD OF THIS?
 
 

Jim Swill Brings Revolutionary Angst to the CAC

2 Comments · Wednesday, June 5, 2013
The Contemporary Arts Center, through its 2013 Summer Performance Series in “The Living Room” of The Living Room exhibition, kicks off the season with a fascinating performance, Screenage Wasteland, from Jim Swill, an artist known for his spoken word riffs, short films and collage work.  

CAC's Platow Explains Cutbacks, Talks of New Mapplethorpe Show

0 Comments · Wednesday, May 29, 2013
On May 20, the CAC announced cutbacks and layoffs to avoid fiscal deficits in the coming years. But there is more exciting news in the offing: A new Robert Mapplethorpe-related exhibition is planned for 2015.   
by Steven Rosen 05.22.2013
Posted In: Visual Art at 12:52 PM | Permalink | Comments (0)
 
 
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Layoffs at the Contemporary Arts Center

CAC lays off four employees representing 16 percent of staff

In order to avoid deficits for fiscal year 2014 and beyond, the Contemporary Arts Center on Monday laid off four employees and Director/Chief Curator Raphaela Platow announced other cost-saving measures. The four positions were associate curator of education, exhibitions director, development director and director of communications and community engagement. Additionally, Platow herself took a 20 percent salary reduction for the upcoming fiscal year. Platow said cost-saving decisions were approved by the Board of Trustees in April. The board has mandated that the CAC reduce its dependency on its endowment for operational expenses by roughly $60,000 a year for the next five years. The CAC estimates that cutback, as well as an expected drop in support from major funders, would create an operating-budget deficit for the next fiscal year without these moves. The operating budget for the current fiscal year, which ends in August, is $3.1 million. She also said there are no plans to raise admission fees or reduce hours of operation. While the four eliminated positions represent 16% of the institution’s staff, there will be several new hirings of “redefined and reorganized” job descriptions, she said. “By redefining, I mean changing to a different skill set and position, sometimes on a very different salary level. This is what we have to do to move forward,” Platow said. A previously announced new curatorial hire, Steven Matijcio, arrives from North Carolina in June and will be involved in announcing the 2013-2014 exhibition season on June 26. (More information will be included in The Big Picture column in the May 29 issue.)
 
 

Saxophone Colossus

Colin Stetson’s New History Warfare Vol. 3 features bleakness, hope, Justin Vernon and Metal

0 Comments · Wednesday, May 8, 2013
The music Colin Stetson is playing on his current solo tour largely features songs from New History Warfare Vol. 3: To See More Light, the just-released final entry in a trilogy of loosely connected albums for Constellation Records.  

Reflections Eternal

The quintessential Patti Smith discusses Mapplethorpe, her time in Cincinnati and an upcoming Contemporary Arts Center exhibition and concert

0 Comments · Wednesday, May 8, 2013
Both Smith and Mapplethorpe found their place, of course, and became famous — she as a quintessential alternative-rocker and he as one of the country’s top fine-art photographers.   

Patti Smith's CAC Show: A Mapplethorpe Tribute

0 Comments · Wednesday, April 17, 2013
In advance of last year’s FotoFocus festival, probably the largest photography-related event in Cincinnati’s history, I asked James Crump — the festival’s co-chair and then chief curator/curator-at-large at Cincinnati Art Museum — if there wasn’t an unspoken spirit hovering over the proceedings: Robert Mapplethorpe.  
by Steven Rosen 04.03.2013
Posted In: Visual Art at 09:39 AM | Permalink | Comments (0)
 
 
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Patti Smith's CAC Show Will Be a Robert Mapplethorpe Tribute

Although the Patti Smith exhibit that will open at downtown’s Contemporary Art Center on May 17 has been announced for some time, the details are only now becoming known. It will be a tribute to her close friend, the late photographer Robert Mapplethorpe. He is a subject whose resonance is great for both Smith — whose 2010 National Book Award-winning memoir, Just Kids, recounted their friendship as young people in New York’s art world and is being made into a film — and the CAC, which famously faced (and beat) obscenity charges in 1990 for showing the Mapplethorpe retrospective The Perfect Moment.In a phone call from London — where she is studying for a Master’s degree in global art — Adjunct Curator Justine Ludwig (the exhibit’s curator) revealed some details of the planned show. It will be called The Coral Sea, after poetry Smith wrote about Mapplethorpe that she later recorded with guitarist Kevin Shields. (She will be performing The Coral Sea on May 18 at Memorial Hall. Go here for ticket information.)“It’s very much a rumination on the life and death of Robert Mapplethorpe,” Ludwig said of the exhibit. “So there are a lot of objects in the exhibition that very much relate to his life. We’ve received things like Robert’s slippers that have his initials on them, and photographs of Robert from throughout his life. So it really focuses on the relationship between these two artists. “It comprises of installations, photography and writing,” she said. “We’ll be showing part of the original manuscript of The Coral Sea that Patti wrote about Robert. We’re going to see a connection between the two artists throughout the exhibition. She has this very beautiful handwriting that is an art form within itself.“There are medals, necklaces that Robert wore,” Ludwig continued. “There is an inkwell. There are small elements that will be presented in cases in the exhibition. It’s presented very much like an art installation. They’re not necessarily presented as historical objects but as elements that are part of Patti’s life.”There are also photographs Smith took of and about Mapplethorpe. “Patti never took photographs of Robert’s face, she took photographs of his hands,” Ludwig said. “We’ll have a few (of those), and then a few photographic works that are more in reference to Robert but not of him.“And we have an installation within the show called ‘Infirmary,’ which is all steel beds that are references to the beds Robert spent the end of his life in and that many people who died from AIDS passed away in. They are actual steel beds acquired by her.” (Mapplethorpe died from AIDS in 1989.)The “Infirmary” portion is an expanded, site-specific adaptation of an exhibit Smith presented at the 2008 Melbourne International Arts Fair. There is also a “Coral Sea Room” in the CAC show that will feature video and music.The show will have several photographs by Mapplethorpe with text by Smith – of the sea, a boat and a sculpture. (None was in The Perfect Moment.) “They’re very beautiful,” Ludwig said.
 
 

Upcoming CAC Performances Define Musical Progressivism

0 Comments · Tuesday, March 5, 2013
The Contemporary Arts Center is so excited about a performance piece that musician Jace Clayton will be doing there in April that it’s bringing him here earlier — Friday — as an advance introduction to Cincinnati.  

Creative Takeofff

Contemporary Arts Center brings Barcelona-based culture fest back to Cincinnati

0 Comments · Tuesday, February 26, 2013
Cincinnati will be a hot spot on the international creative scene March 6 thanks to the Contemporary Arts Center’s efforts to bring the world-famous creative conference, OFFF, back to the city for round two (OFFF first made a Cincinnati stop in 2011).  
by Steven Rosen 02.18.2013
Posted In: Music News, Music History, Local Music, Live Music at 01:13 PM | Permalink | Comments (0)
 
 
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CAC to Bring Patti Smith and 'The Coral Sea' to Cincy

Legendary musician/poet/artist schedules May 17 stop in Cincinnati

Contemporary Arts Center has officially announced that Patti Smith will perform The Coral Sea with daughter/pianist Jesse Smith on May 17, in connection with her CAC exhibit, also called The Coral Sea, that opens the next day and features work not previously seen in the U.S. At the concert, Smith will also play selected material from throughout her career. The CAC website says that "The Coral Sea performance work found its beginnings from Smith’s 1997 book of the same name, her requiem to her dear friend Robert Mapplethorpe (who took the cover photo of Smith’s debut album, Horses, among his many other accomplishments). With music arranged and performed live by Kevin Shields — of heralded British shoegaze band My Bloody Valentine — two separate performances were held at London’s Queen Elizabeth Hall in June 2005 and September 2006. In 2008 those performances were released as a live album." Mapplethorpe's own posthumous photography retrospective at CAC, 1990's The Perfect Moment, became a major controversy when cultural conservatives led by now-retired Sheriff Simon Leis tried to shut it down for obscenity. In a famous trial, a jury sided with the CAC. The concert venue and ticket information will be announced soon at www.contemporaryartscenter.org.  I first wrote about Smith's art show coming to the CAC in CityBeat last year here.
 
 

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