The CAC is organizing the first major survey of era-defining artist Caledonia Curry – better known as Swoon. Swoon is a pioneering social champion in a field traditionally dominated by men, machismo and activities deemed illegal; she has overcome every barrier to re-define what “street art” means today. This exhibition showcases multiple dimensions of Curry’s multi-faceted practice, including a new site-specific installation, re-stagings of past landmark projects and a survey of her socially-driven work in countries like Haiti and Kenya.
By humble means of drawing, printmaking, wheatpaste and cut paper, Curry has given life to a burgeoning family of faces and figures who take on extraordinary presence when placed in public space. To bring people closer, she explains, “I make [the figures] human-scale and close to the ground, so you have a one-on-one experience. I call them vessels of empathy. ” Curry congregates equally colorful communities of real life characters when collectively building music houses in New Orleans, earthbag community centers in Haiti, and rafts out of NYC garbage that become surreal vessels floating down the Grand Canal in Venice.
To expand the impact of Swoon’s time in Cincinnati, the CAC initiated her participation in the Cincinnati Ballet’s 2017 New Works performance which will take place April 20-30. In collaboration with renowned choreographer Jennifer Archibald, Curry will design a newly created stage set that will subsequently become part of the CAC exhibition.
Credit: Exhibition overview from museum website.
Whether or not you go, Swoon is a crash course on the incredible range of street artist Swoon's diverse artistic practices. Filled with brilliant color photographs, the book brings reader to streets around the world to see her life-size prints and paper cutouts that transform as natural elements slowly erode and destroy them. It travels across the waters to include striking images from her most recent projects, Swimming Cities, which show a team of craftsmen and collaborators scavenging junk to create makeshift steamships that are part floating artwork, part performance, and part experiments in communal living. And it brings readers inside her art collective, Toyshop, which orchestrates organic public theater that includes everything from street parties to public demonstrations. Woven together seamlessly, and accompanied by essays from fellow artists and famed gallery owner Jeffrey Deitch, this book showcases the work of one of the art world’s brightest stars.