Late Fall Exhibitions 2008

Curtis Mitchell: Personas
Review in The Plain Dealer by Dan Tranberg


In his ongoing series Personas, Curtis Mitchell appropriates and alters short video clips by applying large bands of monochromatic color to the images, covering all except a narrow band of action and always removing the faces of the protagonists. These are film moments to which Mitchell has a particularly strong and visceral reaction and into which he would wish to project himself. For this iteration at The Sculpture Center, two altered videos are projected across opposite ends of the gallery to fill the entire space with light, monochromatic color, and moving image. The majestic rhythms of Beethoven’s Seventh Symphony seem to complement, and oddly pace, the frenetic movements from Pulp Fiction and The Godfather. The viewer, unable to avoid the light or sound, inextricably becomes a vital element in the artwork and must engage directly with the artist’s dilemma of desire and identity.

 “This series recreates Mitchell’s desire to live in the mind of a persona for the duration of the specified video clip. Mitchell is walking a ‘desire path’ between an embarrassing desire to be there, immersed in the fantasy of the video, and … reducing the fantasy to a trail of footprints. He reduces the distance between here and there to traces that are common to a shared humanity …(and) subverts not only the culture, but the artist’s pose of being a cool, detached observer of that culture. In these works there is a special ongoing conflict between destruction and creation, rejection and surrender, reality and fiction—the ugly and the beautiful that characterize the disjointed nature of individualism at this moment in our culture.”
 (Excerpts from an essay by Robert Mahoney, contributor to Time Out New York, Art in America, and other magazines)  

New Yorker Curtis Mitchell is the fall 2008 Artist in Residence of the Department of Visual Art and Technology at the Cleveland Institute of Art. His work is in the collections of the Walker Art Museum, Minneapolis, MN, New York Public Library, New York, NY, the Boston Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, MA, the Lannon Foundation, Los Angeles, CA, the Mattress Factory, Pittsburgh, PA, and other institutions. Mitchell’s artwork has been shown in solo exhibitions at P.S.1/Museum of Modern Art (2006), Esso Gallery (2001-03), AC Projects (1999), Andrea Rosen Gallery (1992), all in New York, among other galleries, and in group exhibitions nationally and internationally. Mitchell’s work was last shown in this region in Modeling the Photographic: The End(s) of Photography at the McDonough Museum of Art, Youngstown, OH (2007) and at a solo exhibition at the Mattress Factory, Pittsburgh, PA (2003). Mitchell received his MFA Sculpture from Yale University School of Art, Hartford, CN (1983) and MA Sculpture from Goddard College, VT (1981).

Other work by Curtis Mitchell can be seen at www.curtismitchellart.com.

Pulp by Curtis Mitchell
Curtis Mitchell
Pulp
2008
Video projection
From Personas, an installation at The Sculpture Center
Image courtesy of the artist

Pulp by Curtis Mitchell
Curtis Mitchell
Godfather
2008
Video projection
From Personas, an installation at The Sculpture Center
Image courtesy of the artist

 

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The Sculpture Center is a not-for-profit arts institution dedicated to the advancement of the careers of emerging Ohio sculptors and the preservation of Ohio outdoor sculpture as a means to provide support for artists and to effect the enrichment, education, enjoyment, and visual enhancement of the Cleveland community and greater region.

The Sculpture Center gratefully acknowledges generous support from Toby Devan Lewis, the Kulas Foundation, the John P. Murphy Foundation, the Bernice and David E. Davis Art Foundation, studioTECHNE|architects, The Nathan and Fannye Shafran Foundation, a supporting foundation of the Jewish Community Federation of Cleveland, American Greetings, and individual donors to Friends of The Sculpture Center, and from Cuyahoga Arts and Culture and the Ohio Arts Council.

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