OCULA: FRONT Triennial 2025 to See Cleveland as a Metabolism

Jul. 27, 2023

Artist Asad Raza will direct the Triennial in 2025 alongside the event's new permanent curator Magdalena Moskalewicz.

Asad Raza, FRONT Triennial 2025 Director. Courtesy of FRONT International. Photo: Alex de Brabant.

Asad Raza has been appointed to direct FRONT International: Cleveland Triennial for Contemporary Art alongside newly named permanent curator Magdalena Moskalewic.

'My starting point is to assemble artists who desire to take account of Cleveland and its surroundings: culturally, but also as a biosphere—as a metabolism', Raza said.

His hope, he said, is to 'bring a focus on Cleveland as a living place, rather than a "site," which has somewhat static, archaeological connotations.'

Raza said he would 'bring artists into a deeper relation with the area and vice versa' by 'inviting artists who want to work here rather than ship a preexisting piece.'

Raza, who is a dramatist, writer and interdisciplinary artist, was himself commissioned to create several site-specific works for FRONT's second edition in 2022.

Among them was the performance Delegation, in which he composed a piece of music with seven musicians while sailing across Lake Erie. Another was Orientation, a public sculpture that acted as an astronomical device and children's slide.

FRONT Triennial 2025 to See Cleveland as a Metabolism

Magdalena Moskalewicz, Front International Chief Curator. Courtesy FRONT International. Photo: Stacey Rupolo.

The triennial's first permanent Chief Curator, Magdalena Moskalewicz, is an art historian, writer and curator. She has taught at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, worked with institutions such as MoMA, New York and the Zachęta—National Gallery of Art, Warsaw, and was the curator of the Polish Pavilion at the 56th Venice Biennale.

'I am here to help build a strong, responsive, and empathetic institution that will contribute to empowering the region of Northeast Ohio and instigate meaningful dialogues on a global stage,' Moskalewicz said.

Asked how a triennial focused on America's Midwest can be globally meaningful, Moskalewicz said 'FRONT will resonate globally precisely because it is attuned to its local specificity: its complicated history and diverse community.'

'The era of one-size-fits-all global mega events is over', she said, emphasising the need to 'build locally while engaging in acts of solidarity across various, seemingly marginal, localities.'

Artists who have previously featured in the Triennial include Yoshitomo Nara, Julie Mehretu, John Akomfrah, Cooking Sections, Tacita Dean, and Odili Donald Odita.—[O]

By Michael Irwin
27 July 2023