February 9, 2016 - Museum of Contemporary Art Cleveland - Xavier Cha: abduct / Stranger
February 9, 2016

Museum of Contemporary Art Cleveland

Xavier Cha, abduct (still), 2015, color video with sound, 12:13 minutes. Courtesy of the artist and 47 Canal, New York.

Xavier Cha: abduct
January 29–May 8, 2016

Museum of Contemporary Art Cleveland
11400 Euclid Avenue
Cleveland, Ohio 44106
United States
Hours: Tuesday–Thursday 11am–6pm,
Friday 11am–9pm,
Saturday–Sunday 11am–5pm

T +1 216 421 8671

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The Museum of Contemporary Art Cleveland presents a wide-ranging international season featuring Stranger, a group exhibition of artists exploring the imagined figure, as well as abduct, a new video commission by emerging artist Xavier Cha that explores uncontrollable emotional states.  

The season also includes Untitled, an animated video work by Oliver Laric, and Teenage Lontano, a haunting sound installation by Marina Rosenfeld. 

Huma Bhabha, Valérie Blass, Sascha Braunig, Antoine Catala, Ian Cheng, Simon Dybbroe Møller, Cécile B. Evans, Andro Wekua, and Lynette Yiadom-Boakye
Organized by Rose Bouthillier, Associate Curator

The figure is one of the most recognizable forms in art history. Throughout time, artists have used depictions of the body to confront humanity, channeling both desire and anxiety. As new technologies redefine our physical reality, the body has re-emerged as a site of urgent inquiry. 

Across a wide variety of genres and forms, the nine artists in Stranger explore the body as a powerful and perplexing vessel. They create “strangers” for viewers to meet on the canvas, pedestal, or screen. Although vaguely familiar, these strangers appear as fragments, ghosts, and uncanny stand-ins. While evoking memories and dreams, they also push back, asserting personality, presence, and an autonomous place in the world.

Together, the artworks on view convey a deep sense of time. They span the past, present, and future, with references ranging over ancient relics, classical portraiture, and digital avatars. Each work, each face or body, reveals a different aspect of how we imagine and exist in the world. Collectively, they prompt us to reflect on our own physicality and our continually evolving notion of being.

Xavier Cha: abduct
Organized by Rose Bouthillier, Associate Curator

Xavier Cha explores the body, self, and mediated experience within contemporary culture. She directs actors or participants through focused, controlled scenarios that generate intense expressions and reactions. Drawn to highly physical activities, Cha also has collaborated with opera singers, clowns, dancers, and body builders. In her work, the body is revealed as both a sculptural object and a powerful, responsive, and malleable machine. 

For abduct, Cha presents a newly commissioned video that captures actors as they battle conflicting emotions. While outwardly (and non-verbally) expressing an extreme emotion, such as livid rage, a more subtle emotion emerges from beneath the surface, like the corners of the actor's mouth distorting to suppress laughter. Both emotions function as foreign agents attempting to gain dominance, or hijack the vehicle of the actor's facial expression and body. 

abduct was produced in collaboration with Frieze Film, a series of new films commissioned from established and emerging artists premiered annually as part of Frieze Projects, Frieze London’s non-profit curated program. Frieze Film is supported by Channel 4’s Random Acts, who also broadcast the commissions.

Xavier Cha (b. Los Angeles) lives and works in New York. Solo exhibitions of her works have been held at 47 Canal, New York (2015, 2012); the Whitney Museum of American Art, New York (2011); and Contemporary Art Museum, St. Louis (2010). Her performances have been presented at INOVA, Milwaukee (2015); and New Museum, New York (2013). She has been included in group exhibitions at the Museum of Contemporary Art, Santa Barbara (2015); Kunsthalle Düsseldorf, Germany (2014); Institute of Contemporary Art, Philadelphia (2012); The Kitchen, New York (2010); Hammer Museum, Los Angeles (2009); and the 12 Biennale de Lyon (2013). In 2014, Cha was the recipient of a Guggenheim Fellowship for Creative Arts.

MOCA Cleveland, founded in 1968, is a leading force in Northeast Ohio’s cultural scene and is recognized nationally and internationally for its presentation of contemporary art and ideas. 

Museum of Contemporary Art Cleveland
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