Cincinnati, OH,
17:46 PM

Contemporary Arts Center Announces Programming for 2022

Season Includes Solo and Group Exhibitions Featuring Leading Artists from Around the World, New CAC Commissions in Visual and Performing Arts, and Return of Annual Performance Festival


The Contemporary Arts Center (CAC) in Cincinnati today announced its lineup of programming for 2022, including group and solo exhibitions featuring local and international artists whose work engages with a variety of contemporary issues, as well as the return of the CAC’s five-day annual performance festival, This Time Tomorrow. Among the season’s offerings are a major solo exhibition by Baseera Khan; a spotlight on artist-run spaces throughout Ohio and Northern Kentucky; and the debut of new, genre-spanning commissions by Senga Nengudi, Eddy Kwon, and the Degenerate Art Ensemble; Paul Maheke; Calista Lyon and Carmen Winant; Cameron Granger; and others.

“This coming year, the CAC is collaborating with a range of artists, curators, and organizations from Cincinnati and beyond to bring the work of some of today’s most perceptive creatives to our audiences,” said Marcus Margerum, the CAC’s Interim Alice & Harris Weston Director. “The resulting season is wide-ranging in media and focus, examining topics as varied as race and identity, feminism, climate change, and our state’s own creative ecosystems.”

The season begins in April with the 2022 edition of This Time Tomorrow, the CAC’s annual performance festival, for which the CAC commissions and presents dynamic work from artists around the world. Taking place from April 6 through April 10 at the CAC and partner venues throughout the city, this year’s festival includes new commissions and world, North American, and regional premieres by a wide-ranging roster of contemporary talents, including Radouan Mriziga, Mikrokosmos (Justin Hicks and Steffani Jemison), Alice Ripoll / Cia REC, Jay Bolotin, and others. The festival also features a collaborative commission by Juni One Set, comprised of Senga Nengudi, Eddy Kwon, and Degenerate Art Ensemble co-artistic directors Haruko Crow Nishimura and Joshua Kohl.

In May, the CAC debuts Breaking Water, a group exhibition bringing together new and recent work exploring the subject of water and themes of liquidity, feminism, and climate justice. In the lobby, the Center of Unfinished Business—a roving reading room and discursive program organized by the publication and editorial collaborative Contemporary And (C&)—will offer a curated selection of books and a series of discussions organized by Dr. Chandra Frank that extend the themes of Breaking Water, using water as a framework for examining African American and African diasporic experiences. Spring at the CAC also includes Artist-Run Spaces, an exhibition highlighting the work of ten artist-run spaces and collectives throughout Ohio and Northern Kentucky, co-organized with Cincinnati-based, community-driven arts organization Wave Pool.

In the fall, the CAC unveils a new lobby installation by Ohio-based artist and filmmaker Cameron Granger and presents a slate of exhibitions as part of the 2022 FotoFocus Biennial, a month-long celebration of photography, video, and lens-based art held throughout Greater Cincinnati and the surrounding region. These include On The Line: Documents of Risk and Faith, a group exhibition of artists throughout the Americas whose work—primarily in photography, video, and performance—the complex and contested relationship humans have with notions of environment, wilderness, nature, and place; Images on which to build, 1970-90, which presents a range of vernacular photographic practices that offer a fuller understanding of LGBTQ and feminist grassroots movements in the 1970s through 1990s; and the first Midwestern solo museum exhibition by New York–based artist Baseera Khan, co-organized by the CAC and the Moody Center for the Arts at Rice University.

Detailed information on the CAC’s 2022 season programming follows below:

This Time Tomorrow
April 6 – 10, 2022

This Time Tomorrow (TTT) is the annual five-day festival of performances and time-based works organized and presented by the Contemporary Arts Center. Featuring a selection of local, national, and international artists both within the CAC and throughout the city at partner organizations, TTT is a crucial platform in the region for ecstatic discovery and critical discourse. Buoyed by values of artistic experimentation and exchange, the 2022 edition of This Time Tomorrow includes new commissions by Radouan Mriziga, Mikrokosmos (Steffani Jemison and Justin Hicks), and Juni One Set, a collaboration between Senga Nengudi, Eddy Kwon, and Haruko Crow Nishimura and Joshua Kohl of Degenerate Art Ensemble. New works will be presented by Alice Ripoll and Cia REC, ASUNA, Kabareh Cheikhats, and others. During the festival days, the Goetta-Institut, TTT’s daily conversation series, will invite the public to engage with artists and themes while enjoying distinctive local cuisine. 

This Time Tomorrow is organized by Drew Klein, the CAC’s Director of Performance, in partnership with Matt Distel, Calcagno Cullen, Alice Gray Stites, and John Faherty.  

Breaking Water
May 6 – August 14, 2022

Breaking Water is a group exhibition bringing together works in installation, video, photography, sculpture, and performance that offer a range of approaches to the subjects of water, liquidity, and feminism. The exhibition will debut four new commissions by Paul Maheke, Josèfa Ntjam, Claudia Peña Salinas, and a collaborative work by Calista Lyon and Carmen Winant alongside new and existing work by an international group of artists. The work in Breaking Water explores themes of fluidity, connectivity, and resistance, and addresses timely concerns including water rights, climate change, and the effects of natural disasters. The exhibition will be accompanied by a parallel film screening program that extends the exhibition’s central themes.

Breaking Water is co-curated by CAC Senior Curator Amara Antilla and independent curator and writer Clelia Coussonnet, with CAC Assistant Curator Stephanie Kang.

Center of Unfinished Business by Contemporary And (C&)
April 22 – August 28, 2022

The Center of Unfinished Business is a roving reading room and discursive program organized by the multimedia platform Contemporary And (C&) and conceived by C& co-founders and artistic directors Julia Grosse and Yvette Mutumba. The project was launched in 2017 and has since traveled to art spaces and museums around the world. The CAC’s iteration, sited in the lobby, features a curated selection of influential books and a series of discussions that respond to water as a literal and metaphorical framework for exploring African American and African diasporic experiences, culture, and literature. This activation responds in part to the themes of Breaking Water, also on view at the CAC from May through August 2022.

The Center of Unfinished Business is curated at the Contemporary Arts Center by Amara Antilla, CAC Senior Curator and Dr. Chandra Frank, Post-Doctoral Fellow at the Charles Phelps Taft Research Center at the University of Cincinnati.

Artist-Run Spaces
May 27 – September 11, 2022

The CAC and local organization Wave Pool are co-organizing Artist-Run Spaces, a convening of independent arts organizations, nonprofits, and collectives throughout Ohio and northern Kentucky. In a moment of reflection and reopening amid the pandemic, the interests and needs of these artist-run and independent spaces, which are often able to pivot and react to current events much quicker than larger organizations, are timely and important. This exhibition features ten artist-run spaces and collectives that will develop an installation highlighting their work and ethos, with a focus on showcasing the work of artists and makers within their networks.

Artist-Run Spaces is co-curated by CAC Senior Curator Amara Antilla and Wave Pool Co-Founder and Executive Director Cal Cullen, with CAC Assistant Curator Stephanie Kang.

On the Line: Documents of Risk and Faith
September 9, 2022 – January 15, 2023

On the Line: Documents of Risk and Faith is a group exhibition of artists whose work engages the complex and contested relationship humans have with notions of environment, wilderness, nature, and place. Drawing metaphorically from the phrase “on the line”—what is at risk; what is at stake; the body caught and captured; following the path of a line—the exhibition repositions various artistic interventions, with a focus on ephemeral acts to suggest an expanded conception of photographic time and the document. On the Line comprises a diverse selection of artists from the Americas and includes works in all media, with a special emphasis on photography, video, and performance.

On the Line is co-curated by Makeda Best, Richard L. Menschel Curator of Photography at Harvard Art Museums, and Kevin Moore, FotoFocus Artistic Director and Curator. The exhibition is part of the 2022 FotoFocus Biennial: World Record.

Baseera Khan (working title)
October 1, 2022 – February 11, 2023

The CAC presents the first institutional solo exhibition in the Midwest by New York-based artist Baseera Khan. Featuring a new body of sculptures, existing photographic collages, video, and sculptural work, as well as a site-specific installation, the exhibition addresses issues such as access, colonialism, cultural appropriation, and migration—while responding to architectural signifiers of power. The exhibition is co-organized with the Moody Center for the Arts at Rice University, where it will be on view in the summer of 2022.

The exhibition is co-curated by CAC Senior Curator Amara Antilla and curator Ylinka Barotto, and is part of the 2022 FotoFocus Biennial: World Record.

Images on which to build, 1970-90
October 1, 2022 – February 11, 2023

Through photographic documentation of activism, education, and media production within trans, queer, and feminist grassroots organizing of the 1970s through the 1990s, Images on which to build reveals the technologies through which influential image cultures were constructed and circulated. The exhibition presents a range of photographic practices to explore the process of learning within alternative schools, workshops, demonstrations, dance clubs, slideshow presentations, correspondences, and community-based archive projects. Featured artists and collectives include: Diana SolísJoan E. Biren (JEB), Lola Flash, the Lesbian Herstory Archives, and the Sexual Minorities Archives, among others. The exhibition is co-organized by the Leslie-Lohman Museum, New York, where it will travel in the spring of 2023.

Images on which to build is curated by writer and curator Ariel Goldberg. The exhibition is part of the 2022 FotoFocus Biennial: World Record.

Cameron Granger (working title)
October 1, 2022 – February 11, 2023

For his solo project at the CAC, Ohio-based artist and filmmaker Cameron Granger develops a new iteration of The Line (2021) for the CAC lobby that draws from his personal biography as a Black man raised by his mother and grandmother in Ohio. By juxtaposing live-action scenes, autobiographical texts, and found footage, Granger’s videos and installations weave stories that complicate accepted interpretations of the past and present. His works thus offer poignant meditations on Black history and culture, highlighting the ways in which systemic racism continues to oppress members of the Black community while also conveying a spirit of hope and joy for the future.

This project is curated by Stephanie Kang, Assistant Curator at the CAC.

About the Contemporary Arts Center

The Contemporary Arts Center is a catalyst for dialogue and discovery, driven by the art, artists, and ideas of our time. Through our exhibitions, performances, educational and community programs and partnerships, the Contemporary Arts Center (CAC) provides opportunities for encounter: with artists both local and global, with cultural thought leaders, and with one’s own creative potential. Embedded in the fabric of its community and committed to lifelong learning, the CAC aims to serve as an integral forum where people can reflect, create, collaborate, and connect around a more inclusive and sustainable culture of tomorrow.

Since its founding in 1939, the CAC has been a champion of emerging ideas in contemporary art, hosting one of the first Midwest exhibitions of Picasso’s Guernica in 1939; mounting an early exhibition of Pop Art in 1963; representing the United States at the São Paulo Biennial in 1975; and presenting— and successfully defending—the 1990 Mapplethorpe retrospective that became a lightning rod in the era’s culture wars and propelled the CAC into the national spotlight. Today, the CAC occupies the Lois & Richard Rosenthal Center for Contemporary Art, the first museum designed by architect Zaha Hadid and the first U.S. museum designed by a woman.


Image: Vian Sora (b. 1976, Baghdad, Iraq; lives and works in Louisville, KY), Bathers, 2020. Oil on canvas, 60 x 72 inches(152.4 x 182.9 cm). Courtesy of the artist and Moremen Gallery, Louisville, KY.