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Swoon Has Completely Transformed a Museum With Her Captivating Paper Cut-Outs

Show of the Day: "The Canyon" at the Cincinnati Contemporary Arts Center.

Henri Neuendorf, February 1, 2018

 

SWOON
“The Canyon”
Contemporary Arts Center, Cincinnati

 

What the Museum Says: “Swoon [aka Caledonia Curry] 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.”

Why It’s Worth a Look: Completely consuming the space of the Zaha Hadid-designed Contemporary Arts Center in Cincinnati, “The Canyon” recalls the celebrated street artist’s beginnings as a guerrilla artist New York. It features, among other works, a new immersive, mixed-media installation, “Medea,” reflecting on Swoon‘s childhood, during which she witnessed her parent’s lifelong struggle with addiction and substance abuse. The relevance of the many subjects Swoon has addressed in her cut-paper wall works throughout her 18-year career, ranging from the opioid crisis, to the treatment of refugees, to women’s issues, gives this show a significance that is even greater than the sum of its impressive parts.

What It Looks Like: 

Swoon’s Thalassa in “The Canyon” at Contemporary Arts Center, Cincinnati. Photo courtesy Tod Seelie.Installation view of Swoon's "The Canyon" at Contemporary Art Center, St. Louis. Image courtesy Tod Seelie.

Installation view of Swoon’s “The Canyon” at Contemporary Arts Center, Cincinnati. Image courtesy Tod Seelie.

Installation view of Swoon's "The Canyon" at Contemporary Art Center, St. Louis. Image courtesy Tod Seelie.

A work in “The Canyon” at the Contemporary Arts Center, Cincinnati. Image courtesy Tod Seelie.

The "Media" section in Swoon's "The Canyon" at Contemporary Art Center, St. Louis. Image courtesy Tod Seelie.

Detail of Medea in Swoon’s “The Canyon” at the Contemporary Arts Center, Cincinnati. Image courtesy Tod Seelie.

Entrance to Swoon's "The Canyon" at Contemporary Art Center, Cincinnati. Phot courtesy: Tod Seelie.

Entrance to Swoon’s “The Canyon” at the Contemporary Arts Center, Cincinnati. Photo courtesy Tod Seelie.

 

 

“The Canyon” by Swoon is on view at the Contemporary Arts Center, Cincinnati through February 25, 2018.

The Contemporary Arts Center is located at 44 East 6th Street, Cincinnati.