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A Color Removed

  • SPACES Gallery 2900 Detroit Avenue Cleveland, OH, 44113 United States (map)

A Color Removed is a city-wide participatory project grounded in the impossible gesture of removing the color orange from Cleveland and suspending its future use. 

The presence of orange, as a symbol of safety, encourages complacency. But what if we could trust that safety is a right guaranteed to everyone who travels in, through, and around Cleveland? What if orange was rendered superfluous? A Color Removed addresses the underlying questions regarding the right to safety by encouraging community members to deconstruct its symbols and create solidarity for a more peaceful city.

A Color Removed formally commenced with a public letter writing campaign in the fall of 2017 and continues with an open call for orange objects to be accumulated in collection bins installed throughout Cleveland. Clothing, toys, sports equipment, household items, etc. will be catalogued and displayed at SPACES from July 15 to September 30, 2018. The enlistment of community members in surrendering orange objects and developing responses to the supersaturated orange display at SPACES is an invitation to a difficult and ongoing conversation around the forces that shape safety in American cities, including gun violence and community-police relations, as well as the overlapping impacts connecting characteristics that are targeted for oppression. Facilitated discussions and workshops will be conducted by partner organizations, project collaborators, and neighbors, and housed within the monochrome A Color Removed display at SPACES, where fearless listening enables fearless speaking.

A Color Removed was conceived by Michael Rakowitz, as a response to the shooting of Tamir Rice by Cleveland police, and was debuted as a call to action during his 2015 Beamer-Schneider Lecture at Case Western Reserve University. In response to community feedback and the involvement of the Rice family, the project evolved to include a group exhibition of newly commissioned works by Cleveland-based artists who have long explored the conceptual underpinnings of A Color Removed in their work: Amber N. Ford, Amanda King and Shooting Without Bullets youth photographers, M. Carmen Lane, and RA Washington of Guide to Kulchur Learn House. Additional collaborators include Jeremy Bendik-Keymer, Amir Berbic, Christopher Horne, Elaine Hullihen, Kelley O'Brien & Anthony Warnick of The Muted Horn, and Samaria Rice & The Tamir Rice Foundation.

The project is organized by SPACES and presented as part of FRONT International, An American City: 11 Cultural Exercises, taking place July 14 - September 30, 2018.

FRONT International: Cleveland Triennial for Contemporary Art is an exhibition comprised of artist commissions, performances, films, and public programs, in collaboration with museums, civic institutions, and alternative spaces across Cleveland, Akron and Oberlin. It will showcase an ambitious roster of projects, including performance and theater throughout the landscape and built environment. With a roster of national, international and area-based artists at all points in their career, FRONT will examine the ever-changing and politically urgent conditions of an American city.

Earlier Event: June 7
CAN Triennial
Later Event: July 22
ARTBELT: New Art from the Rustbelt