Contemporary Arts Center
Lois & Richard Rosenthal Center
for Contemporary Art
44 E. 6th Street,
Cincinnati, OH 45202

513 345 8400

Confinement: Politics of Space and Bodies

Started
22 November
2019

Ended
01 March
2020

Exhibition Highlights

Exhibition Details

Confinement: Politics of Space and Bodies is a direct response to Samuel Beckett’s play Happy Days (1961), which sees a woman buried up to her neck in the ground. Under the blazing sun, Winnie is anchored in a mound of sand, her belongings gathered in a black bag. She treasures these items just as much as she does the daily routine of taking her possessions in and out of the pouch. A tribute to Winnie, this group exhibition highlights the ambiguities of a notion that evokes both the protection of the cocoon and the constriction of the enclosed place.

At a time when expanded rights and increased liberties of movement should be prevalent, a new regime of thought and mobility now belies our long negotiated liberties. This group of artists approach the idea of confinement as it unfolds in both physical and mental spaces. Each artist grapples with the joint ability for art spaces—museums and studios alike—to act as either safe places or as structures of compliance.

The exhibition ends on a meditation around the notion of refuge, prompting us to reflect with author Ta-Nehisi Coates and art critic Litia Perta on “the kind of compliance available for brown bodies, queer bodies, ill bodies, riotous, irreverent, gender-non-compliant bodies, poor bodies, trans bodies, feminist anti-capitalist bodies?” While this question remains unanswered, Confinement invites a continued consideration of how bodies are affected by voluntary and involuntary systems of confinement.

Curated by

Valentine Umansky, Curator of Lens-Based Art at the Contemporary Arts Center

Sponsored by

Supported by

Gale and Dave BeckettJim ChengJames and Leslie Fitzgerald

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