“This coming year, the CAC is collaborating with a range of artists, curators, and organizations from Cincinnati and beyond to bring the work of some of today’s most perceptive creatives to our audiences,” said Marcus Margerum, the CAC’s Interim Alice & Harris Weston Director. “The resulting season is wide-ranging in media and focus, examining topics as varied as race and identity, feminism, climate change, and our state’s own creative ecosystems.”
The season begins in April with the 2022 edition of This Time Tomorrow, the CAC’s annual performance festival, for which the CAC commissions and presents dynamic work from artists around the world. Taking place from April 6 through April 10 at the CAC and partner venues throughout the city, this year’s festival includes new commissions and world, North American, and regional premieres by a wide-ranging roster of contemporary talents, including Radouan Mriziga, Mikrokosmos (Justin Hicks and Steffani Jemison), Alice Ripoll / Cia REC, Jay Bolotin, and others. The festival also features a collaborative commission by Juni One Set, comprised of Senga Nengudi, Eddy Kwon, and Degenerate Art Ensemble co-artistic directors Haruko Crow Nishimura and Joshua Kohl.
In May, the CAC debuts Breaking Water, a group exhibition bringing together new and recent work exploring the subject of water and themes of liquidity, feminism, and climate justice. In the lobby, the Center of Unfinished Business—a roving reading room and discursive program organized by the publication and editorial collaborative Contemporary And (C&)—will offer a curated selection of books and a series of discussions organized by Dr. Chandra Frank that extends the themes of Breaking Water, using water as a framework for examining African American and African diasporic experiences. Spring at the CAC also includes Artist-Run Spaces, an exhibition highlighting the work of ten artist-run spaces and collectives throughout Ohio and Northern Kentucky, co-organized with Cincinnati-based, community-driven arts organization Wave Pool.
In the fall, the CAC unveils a new lobby installation by Ohio-based artist and filmmaker Cameron Granger and presents a slate of exhibitions as part of the 2022 FotoFocus Biennial, a month-long celebration of photography, video, and lens-based art held throughout Greater Cincinnati and the surrounding region. These include On The Line: Documents of Risk and Faith, a group exhibition of artists throughout the Americas whose work—primarily in photography, video, and performance—documents the complex and contested relationship humans have with notions of environment, wilderness, nature, and place; Images on which to build, 1970-90, which presents a range of vernacular photographic practices that offer a fuller understanding of LGBTQ and feminist grassroots movements in the 1970s through 1990s; and the first Midwestern solo museum exhibition by New York–based artist Baseera Khan, co-organized by the CAC and the Moody Center for the Arts at Rice University.
Detailed information on the CAC’s 2022 season programming follows below:
This Time Tomorrow
April 6 – 10, 2022
This Time Tomorrow (TTT) is the annual five-day festival of performances and time-based works organized and presented by the Contemporary Arts Center. Featuring a selection of local, national, and international artists both within the CAC and throughout the city at partner organizations, TTT is a crucial platform in the region for ecstatic discovery and critical discourse. Buoyed by values of artistic experimentation and exchange, the 2022 edition of This Time Tomorrow includes new commissions by Radouan Mriziga, Mikrokosmos (Steffani Jemison and Justin Hicks), and Juni One Set, a collaboration between Senga Nengudi, Eddy Kwon, and Haruko Crow Nishimura and Joshua Kohl of Degenerate Art Ensemble. New works will be presented by Alice Ripoll and Cia REC, ASUNA, Kabareh Cheikhats, and others. During the festival days, the Goetta-Institut, TTT’s daily conversation series, will invite the public to engage with artists and themes while enjoying distinctive local cuisine.
This Time Tomorrow is organized by Drew Klein, the CAC’s Director of Performance, in partnership with Matt Distel, Calcagno Cullen, Alice Gray Stites, and John Faherty.
May 6 – August 14, 2022
Breaking Water is a group exhibition bringing together works in installation, video, photography, sculpture, and performance that offer a range of approaches to the subjects of water, liquidity, and feminism. The exhibition will debut four new commissions by Paul Maheke, Josèfa Ntjam, Claudia Peña Salinas, and a collaborative work by Calista Lyon and Carmen Winant alongside new and existing work by an international group of artists. The work in Breaking Water explores themes of fluidity, connectivity, and resistance, and addresses timely concerns including water rights, climate change, and the effects of natural disasters. The exhibition will be accompanied by a parallel film screening program that extends the exhibition’s central themes.
Breaking Water is co-curated by CAC Senior Curator Amara Antilla and independent curator and writer Clelia Coussonnet, with CAC Assistant Curator Stephanie Kang.
Center of Unfinished Business by Contemporary And (C&)
April 22 – August 28, 2022
The Center of Unfinished Business is a roving reading room and discursive program organized by the multimedia platform Contemporary And (C&) and conceived by C& co-founders and artistic directors Julia Grosse and Yvette Mutumba. The project was launched in 2017 and has since traveled to art spaces and museums around the world. The CAC’s iteration, sited in the lobby, features a curated selection of seminal books and a series of discussions that respond to water as a literal and metaphorical framework for exploring African American and African diasporic experiences and cultures. Through the selection of significant and at times unsettling texts, the installation highlights the ubiquitous traces of colonialism that extend throughout all facets of life.
The Center of Unfinished Business is curated at the Contemporary Arts Center by Amara Antilla, CAC Senior Curator and Dr. Chandra Frank, Post-Doctoral Fellow at the Charles Phelps Taft Research Center at the University of Cincinnati.
May 27 – September 11, 2022
The CAC and local organization Wave Pool are co-organizing Artist-Run Spaces, a convening of independent arts organizations, nonprofits, and collectives throughout Ohio and Northern Kentucky. In a moment of reflection and reopening amid the pandemic, the interests and needs of these artist-run and independent spaces, which are often able to pivot and react to current events much quicker than larger organizations, are timely and important. This exhibition features ten artist-run spaces and collectives that will develop an installation highlighting their work and ethos, with a focus on showcasing the work of artists and makers within their networks.
Artist-Run Spaces is co-curated by CAC Senior Curator Amara Antilla and Wave Pool Co-Founder and Executive Director Cal Cullen, with CAC Assistant Curator Stephanie Kang.
On the Line: Documents of Risk and Faith
September 9, 2022 – January 15, 2023
On the Line: Documents of Risk and Faith is a group exhibition of artists whose work engages the complex and contested relationship humans have with notions of environment, wilderness, nature, and place. Drawing metaphorically from the phrase “on the line”—what is at risk; what is at stake; the body caught and captured; following the path of a line—the exhibition repositions various artistic interventions, with a focus on ephemeral acts to suggest an expanded conception of photographic time and the document. On the Line comprises a diverse selection of artists from the Americas and includes works in all media, with a special emphasis on photography, video, and performance.
On the Line is co-curated by Makeda Best, Richard L. Menschel Curator of Photography at Harvard Art Museums, and Kevin Moore, FotoFocus Artistic Director and Curator. The exhibition is part of the 2022 FotoFocus Biennial: World Record.
Baseera Khan: Weight on History
September 30, 2022 – February 11, 2023
The CAC presents the first institutional solo exhibition in the Midwest by New York-based artist Baseera Khan. Featuring a new body of sculptures, existing photographic collages, video, and sculptural work, as well as a site-specific installation, the exhibition addresses issues such as access, cultural appropriation, and migration—while responding to architectural signifiers of power. The exhibition is co-organized with the Moody Center for the Arts at Rice University, where it will be on view in the summer of 2022.
The exhibition is co-curated by CAC Senior Curator Amara Antilla and curator Ylinka Barotto, and is part of the 2022 FotoFocus Biennial: World Record.
Images on which to build, 1970-90
September 30, 2022 – February 11, 2023
Through photographic documentation of activism, education, and media production within trans, queer, and feminist grassroots organizing of the 1970s through the 1990s, Images on which to build reveals the technologies through which influential image cultures were constructed and circulated. The exhibition presents a range of photographic practices to explore the process of learning within alternative schools, workshops, demonstrations, dance clubs, slideshow presentations, correspondences, and community-based archive projects. Featured artists and collectives include Diana Solís, Joan E. Biren (JEB), Lola Flash, the Lesbian Herstory Archives, and the Sexual Minorities Archives, among others. The exhibition is co-organized by the Leslie-Lohman Museum, New York, where it will travel in the spring of 2023.
Images on which to build is curated by writer and curator Ariel Goldberg. The exhibition is part of the 2022 FotoFocus Biennial: World Record.
Cameron Granger: The Cartographer Tries to Map a Way to Heaven
September 30, 2022 – February 11, 2023
For his solo project at the CAC, Ohio-based artist and filmmaker Cameron Granger develops a new iteration of The Line (2021) for the CAC lobby that draws from his personal biography as a Black man raised by his mother and grandmother in Ohio. By juxtaposing live-action scenes, autobiographical texts, and found footage, Granger’s videos and installations weave stories that complicate accepted interpretations of the past and present. His works thus offer poignant meditations on Black history and culture, highlighting not only the systems of racial inequity that target and police Blackness, but the communities that continue to thrive, persist, and most importantly, demonstrate love.
This project is curated by Stephanie Kang, Assistant Curator at the CAC.