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"Nothing Compared to This: Ambient, Incidental and New Minimal Tendencies in Current Art"
2004-09-24 until 2004-11-29
Contemporary Arts Center
Cincinnati, OH, USA

Imagine walking into the Contemporary Arts Center’s main galleries and seeing nothing. Then upon closer inspection, a smashed beer bottle appears near one of the columns and the exit sign clearly says “EVIL” instead of “EXIT”. Suddenly you see a water fountain that wasn’t there before and a set of pigeons in the rafters, that you are sure are not a part of any exhibit. Or are they? The Contemporary Arts Center (CAC) presents Nothing Compared to This: ambient, incidental and new minimal tendencies in current art, an exhibition that will embrace peripheral and even subliminal works of art. The exhibition will run from September 24 through November 28.

Nothing Compared to This looks at the works of artists who occupy and control space by subtle, often indirect, means. The most salient distinction of today’s art in this vein, however, is that it is often not meant to be contemplated, or even directly looked at. Ambient art is peripheral. It infuses space, as much as it occupies it.

The largest exhibition of its kind to date, it embraces artists that are working against the widespread idea that works of art must insist upon our attention, must command the space they occupy. For some, such a way of working is a kind of new humility, perhaps born of renewed interest in ancient traditions of reflection and meditation. For other artists, it is tactic of infiltration – an insinuation rather than an insistence; a subliminal communication, in the place of a shouted one.

Participating artists include: Ricci Albenda, Francis Cape, Martin Creed, Do Ho Suh, Brian Eno, Gaylen Gerber, Liam Gillick, Dominque Gonzalez-Foerster, Kara Hamilton, Vincent Mazeau, Jorge Pardo, Todd Pavlisko, Karin Sander, Tavares Strachan, Iran do Espírito Santo, Rikrit Tiranvanija, Andrea Zittel.

This exhibition is organized by the CAC and curated by Curator at Large, Charles Desmarais.

About the Contemporary Arts Center

Founded in 1939 as the Modern Art Society by three visionary women in Cincinnati, the Contemporary Arts Center was one of the first institutions in the U.S. dedicated to exhibiting the art of our time. In May 2003, the Center relocated to its first free-standing home, the Lois & Richard Rosenthal Center for Contemporary Art, designed by Zaha Hadid. Throughout its distinguished 64-year history, the Center has earned a reputation for stimulating thought and introducing new ideas by presenting the work of diverse artists from around the world, including hundreds of now-famous artists such as Laurie Anderson, Jasper Johns, Louise Nevelson, Nam June Paik, I.M. Pei, Robert Rauschenberg, Kara Walker and Andy Warhol.

The CAC focuses on new developments in painting, sculpture, photography, architecture, performance art and new media, presenting 8 to 12 exhibitions and 20 to 40 performances annually. Occupying the entire sixth floor of the Lois & Richard Rosenthal Center for Contemporary Art, the Sara M. & Patricia A. Vance Education Center: The UnMuseum® offers children and families opportunities to experience participatory works of art, including hands-on projects, school tours, after-school clubs, family days and other programs serving young people.

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