CAC’S Performance Season Highlights the Experimental

In its two years in existence, the Contemporary Arts Center’s performance season — curated by Drew Klein — has grown in importance, if not become equal in interest to the museum’s exhibition season. Now, Klein has announced the third season.

Aug 7, 2013 at 9:51 am
click to enlarge Miwa Matreyek, 'This World Made Itself'
Miwa Matreyek, 'This World Made Itself'

In its two years in existence, the Contemporary Arts Center’s performance season — curated by Drew Klein — has grown in importance, if not become equal in interest to the museum’s exhibition season. At a time when contemporary museums nationwide are stressing cutting-edge performance as part of their mission, the CAC performance season keeps Cincinnati in the game with Columbus’ Wexner Center and Pittsburgh’s Andy Warhol Museum.

Now, Klein has announced the third season. It looks exciting and does have one big change from the past — it is emphasizing theater-oriented work equally with experimental music and New Music/Neo-Classical music equally with Avant-Rock and its tributaries. (In fact, it’s acknowledging that New Music is such a Rock tributary.)

The CAC is also instituting a season pass for the shows as well as offering traditional individual tickets. CAC members get a discount; visit for details. 

The new season starts with a previously announced show, the Los Angeles Art-Punk duo No Age, which fits into the Avant-Rock definition. They will be at the CAC on Sept. 9. Here’s what’s next. Except where noted, shows are at the CAC. 

Ólafur Arnalds, Oct. 4

Icelandic composer and multi-instrumentalist Ólafur Arnalds’ eclectic Neo-Classical style and ability to meld Electronica with acoustic instruments have won him a growing following. (He was mesmerizing at a Southgate House performance a couple years back.) He has lately been experimenting with orchestra and vocals. For this show, the CAC has booked him into Memorial Hall.

Miwa Matreyek, Nov. 3

Los Angeles artist Matreyek brings her performance piece This World Made Itself, which merges film/video and theater to inject her living, shadowy presence into an animated world being projected on screen. In doing so, her piece is meant to surrealistically move viewers through the evolution of the earth and human intelligence. It is set to the contemporary Electronic music of Flying Lotus. This is her latest work.

Hauschka, Jan. 10, 2014

Hauschka is the stage name of Dusseldorf-based New Music pianist Volker Bertelmann. Like John Cage, he uses prepared piano — applying such foreign objects to its insides as guitar strings and gaffer tape. He has fun with the concept, but he’s also after revelatory beauty, as his recent album Silfra, with violinist Hilary Hahn, shows. 

Daniel Wohl and TRANSIT, Feb. 1, 2014

Wohl’s chamber ensemble/artistic collective TRANSIT is presenting his multimedia project Corps Exquis. Paris-born and Brooklyn, N.Y.-based, Wohl, an Electro-Acoustic composer, and TRANSIT perform pieces accompanied by videos from young New York artists. The performance’s name refers to the “exquisite corpse” game that Surrealists favored.

Navaridas & Deutinger, Feb. 21 and 22, 2014

Performance art, dance/body movement and politics mix in the choreographed piece Your Majesties, getting the Austria-based duo’s U.S. premiere here. Choreographer Marta Navaridas translates President Obama’s 2009 Nobel Peace Prize lecture by having Alexander Deutinger slowly move in new ways as he recites the speech. The intended effect is to provide new insight and meaning into its message about the challenges facing world peace.

Roomful of Teeth, March 28, 2014

Those whose exposure to the World Choir Games left them newly interested in the possibilities of chorale music but also desirous of something edgier will like this octet, founded in 2009 by Brad Wells. It features classically trained vocalists not afraid to mix Pop with Tuvan throat singing, yodeling, Inuit throat singing and more. Among its members is Caroline Shaw, the 2013 winner of the Pulitzer Prize for composition. Roomful of Teeth has an annual residency at the Massachusetts Museum of Contemporary Art — how long before CAC’s performance series establishes a residency?

Rabih Mroué & Lina Saneh, April 27, 2014

The Beirut-based couple are presenting their provocative theatrical piece 33 RPM and a Few Seconds, in which the suicide of a young Lebanese man prompts society-at-large to ask whether it was personal or political. If the latter, what does that say about the problems and long-term hopes of this troubled Mideast nation? Mroué won the 2010 Spalding Gray Award for his storytelling. 

red, black & GREEN: a blues, May 30-31, 2014

In his theatrical/performance work, Marc Bamuthi Joseph and three cast members present stories about African-American life as experienced in four settings: summer in Chicago, fall in Houston, winter in Harlem, N.Y., and spring in Oakland, Calif. The hope is to engage the audience in thoughts about sustainable living. The two-day engagement will be at Downtown’s Aronoff Center for the Arts’ Jarson-Kaplan Theater.

CONTACT STEVEN ROSEN: [email protected]