October 17th - November 21st, 2015
What does it mean to stay in one place? To stay true to your original home and customs? What does it mean to be left, to be the few remaining, to be the last one?
Holding Ground explores themes of resilience, desertion, and buoyancy of spirit. As the world becomes more and more global, people are flocking to large cities, places where things are happening, places where they can “be a part of it all”. As all encompassing as these cities become, it inevitably leaves the smaller towns, the “no-where places”, looking all the more grim and empty. As an emigrant to a bigger city, there are arguably many more things to do, places to work, and opportunities for advancement. However, what are we all losing by becoming homogenized, standardized, and globalized? By having everything all the time and all at once, what are we consigning to oblivion?
The artists in Holding Ground are concerned with the people who are being left behind, the people who are being run over by globalization in the name of progress, and the value that they alone carry with them.
There is a sentimentality to acknowledging cultures and traditions that are falling by the wayside. As Mr. Iam, a rice farmer in Thailand recently stated in a NYTimes article regarding the shift of Thailand from a primarily farm-based culture to an urban one, ‘This has alarmed me for a long time…we are losing what we call Thai-ness, the values of being kind, helping each other, having mercy and gratefulness.” His statement encapsulates what this exhibition is attempting to honor and commend, the things that we must work to preserve, the things that are undervalued in our new more commercialized and global society, the things that are made slowly and rarely in small pockets of knowledge that are disappearing quickly and without acknowledgement all over the world.
Perhaps it is not our place to try to “save” cultures from disappearing. But to acknowledge them, to honor and preserve them through art seems a natural empathetic and human reaction.
The exhibit includes an exploration of traditional Shaker choreography through works by New York artist Pablo Helguera, performances in food and storytelling by San Francisco artists Chris Treggiari and Justin Hoover, photographic interviews of local OTR residents by Cincinnati artist Natalie Jenkins, and video documentation of 4 different European communities, presented through residents’ monologues regarding their experiences, by Parisian artist Esther Shalev-Gerz.
The exhibition opens on October 17th at Wave Pool from 7-10pm and will remain on view until November 21st. Wave Pool is open Thursdays, Fridays, and Saturdays 12-5pm. There are also several public programs throughout the run of the exhibition.
Chris Treggiari and Justin Hoover will be visiting Cincinnati to conduct a performance at in Gano Alley, 11-1pmon November 6th. They will also be giving an artist lecture about their work at 21c Museum Hotel Cincinnati at 4pm on November 8th.
Wave Pool will also be hosting a panel discussion on November 19th at 7pm with artists and activists regarding community development in Cincinnati.