Dust and Rainbows: FRONT's Message, So Far - CAN Journal

Jan. 22, 2020

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Michael Gill - CAN Journal

Sometimes the news is not all dust and rainbows.

FRONT Triennial’s announcement earlier this week was pretty straightforward: Co-chief-curator Prem Krishnamurthy opened the proceedings by leading the crowd in relaxation exercises during which most of the 148 people closed their eyes, put their arms above their heads, and counted to sixty. Then, in a presentation with slides, he introduced the FRONT Creative Team, gave some background on the graphics that will brand the exhibit, moderated a discussion, and took questions from the crowd.

The title for the 2021 edition of the international art triennial in Cleveland will be an adaptation of a line from poet Langston Hughes: “Oh, Gods of Dust and Rainbows.” And the theme the creative team means to explore is that art can be “an agent of transformation, a mode of healing, and a therapeutic process,” reflecting that Cleveland in recent decades has “traded [its] titans of industry for titans of medicine.” They mean for the exhibits to be informed by seminal moments in the city’s history, such as the fire on the Cuyahoga, the outmigration of people and capital, the “ongoing cycle of repair, spanning crisis and recovery.”