The Art Newspaper  |  July 21, 2022

Cleveland’s Front International triennial explores healing through art-making

Across the harbour from Cleveland’s Rock & Roll Hall of Fame, where yachts can be spotted gliding out to Lake Erie, two water spouts shoot skyward like whale exhalations. This fountain is part of To Those Who Nourish (2022), a three-year project by London-based duo Cooking Sections that addresses low oxygen levels in the lake caused by agricultural runoff. Organised by Spaces gallery and commissioned by the Front International: Cleveland Triennial for Contemporary Art, whose second edition opened 16 July after a one-year pandemic delay, the work is a tribute to nine Ohio farms committed to eliminating chemical fertiliser.

“The fountain’s main purpose is to celebrate the farmers that are invested with their work to save Lake Erie, in a city and region that many times commemorates those who have benefited the most from extractive practices,” Cooking Sections’ Alon Schwabe and Daniel Fernández Pascual say, adding that the pumping aerates the water but is no panacea: “The problem needs to be addressed at the source and not through any technological or geoengineering ‘solutions’.”

As a small but highly visible gesture to improve the lake’s health, the fountain is among the most palpable representations of the triennial’s 2022 theme of healing. Titled Oh, Gods of Dust and Rainbows, after a line in a Langston Hughes poem, the exhibition asks “the question of how can art heal and transform at different scales”, Prem Krishnamurthy, Front’s artistic director, says. “We looked in Cleveland and saw a history of healing and a history of community.”

By Claire Voon, The Art Newspaper

Original Article

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