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The CAC Announces #fail, an Exhibition of Works by 25 Artists Exposing Systemic Failures Facing Our World

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Abdul Aziz Line of Deceit 2020 Vinyl photographic print 18 ft 14 ft Courtesy of the artist

Abdul Aziz, Line of Deceit, 2020. Vinyl photographic print, 18 ft 14 ft. Image courtesy of the artist

NEW ORLEANS (February 16, 2022): Today the Contemporary Arts Center, New Orleans (CAC) announced #fail, its Spring exhibition curated by Anthony Spinello. On view at the CAC March 12 – June 19, 2022, the multimedia group exhibition brings together works by twenty five artists from across the U.S. that expose the systemic failures facing our world.

Featured artists include: Nathalie Alfonso, Eddie Arroyo, Abdul Aziz, Gregory Coates, Joseph Cuillier, Cara Despain, Dawn DeDeaux, Rahehleh Filsoofi, Leon Ford, Nash Glynn, Shana M. griffin, Micol Hebron, Sinisa Kukec, Susan Lee-Chun, Justin H. Long, Emilio Rojas, Sherrill Roland, Naama Tsabar, Frances Trombly, Juana Valdes, Elizabeth M. Webb, Agustina Woodgate, Derrick Woods-Morrow, Antonia Wright, and Octavia Yearwood.

The exhibition explores a world in crisis and it is treated as social and poetic materials. Through a multidisciplinary presentation, the artists express existence as a failure worth narrating.

The opening night celebration for #fail takes place Saturday, March 12, 2022 from 7 to 10 pm, and will feature film screenings, performances, and interactive installations. Artist Naama Tsabar will be performing live, new, original compositions with New Orleans musicians on two of her Melodies of a Certain Damage sculptures at 7:30 pm and 8:30 pm in the CAC’s first floor gallery. Throughout the evening, guests are invited to contribute to the completion of a new work by artist Sinisa Kukec, entitled Sympathy for the Stone (2022), inspired by the James Webb Telescope. This collectively-created sculpture will later be placed in the CAC Atrium in conversation with Dawn DeDeaux’s monumental 30-foot MotherShip Ring: Alpha Omega (2012-2022), and Cara Despain’s video work 2020: A Year in Flames (2020). Sherrill Roland’s participatory installation, AFTER THE WAKE UP (2017), invites visitors to carve into the gallery walls in response to questions about innocence and guilt as posed by the formerly-incarcerated artist. Adjacent to Roland’s work, New Orleans-based photojournalist Abdul Aziz will debut Line of Deceit, 2020, a mural-sized photograph. Concurrently during the opening, Octavia Yearwood’s Imagine: A Video Anthology of Black Thoughts will be screened continuously in the CAC Black Box Theater. The exhibition will also feature Displaced New Orleans: In 10 Words by Shana M. griffin, a public artwork on the exterior facade of the building facing St. Joseph Street.

Admission is free to the public, with RSVP required on the CAC’s website.

On Sunday, March 13 from 1 pm to 4:30pm, the CAC will feature two 90-minute panel discussions with exhibiting artists, moderated by Alpesh Kantilal Patel, art historian, art critic, and author of Productive failure: Writing queer transnational South Asian art histories. Sinisa Kukec’s interactive sculpture entitled Sympathy for the Stone (2022) will be activated for participation from 11 am to 1 pm.

“#fail offers a sobering reflection of our imminent future, bringing together a diverse and intersectional group of artists who are collectively responding to the precarious nature of our environment and existence, “ said Anthony Spinello, #fail Curator.

“This exhibition reverberates with the crisis of the past two years. In both monumental and subtle ways, the artists make visible the often invisible systems that orient our society,” said George Scheer, Executive Director of the CAC. Scheer adds, “Audiences are treated to an array of media, immersively intertwined and multidisciplinary. #fail makes a persuasive argument for our collective future.”

#fail is made possible by The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, through its support of the CAC’s Inter[SECTOR] program, a three-year multidisciplinary arts program centering cross-sector engagements with the fields of carceral justice, healthcare, and the environment. With generous support of the Knight Foundation, the CAC will utilize technology to expand access and support the creation and distribution of the exhibition to global audiences. CAC will create an online exhibition with 360° virtual experiences, combined with multimedia didactics giving audiences a deeper understanding of artists and the context of their work. In collaboration with Boardroom One, a dedicated livestream service, the CAC will broadcast opening weekend panel discussions with New Orleans and Miami-based artists participating in the exhibition.

#fail is also made possible with support from The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, The Helis Foundation, The Old No. 77 Hotel & Chandlery, and Walda and Sydney Besthoff. The presentation of works by participating Miami artists in the exhibition is made possible with support from Oolite Arts Center in Miami Beach, Florida.

Anthony Spinello (b. 1982, Brooklyn, New York) is a curator and gallerist. In 2005 he founded Spinello Projects, a Miami-based contemporary art program. It is a gallery, creative space, and an innovative platform for nomadic site specific curatorial projects. In 2014 Spinello Projects produced Auto Body, a non-commercial exhibition featuring thirty three women artists, nominated by a platform of over thirty five international women curators, in Miami and in 2015 at Faena Art Center, Buenos Aires. In 2017 and 2018 respectively, Anthony Spinello organized, Fair. and FREE!, two non-commercial art fair curatorial projects at Brickell City Center, Miami, Florida. In 2018, Spinello was honored as a Miami Knight Arts Champion. Anthony Spinello lives and works in Miami, FL.

#fail Opening Weekend Schedule of Activities

Saturday, March 12, 2022

#fail Exhibition Opening Night

7 - 10 pm | CAC Atrium, 1st Floor Gallery

Free to the public with RSVP

Schedule of Activities:

Interactive Sculpture: Sinisa Kukec, Sympathy for the Stone

7 - 10 pm | CAC Warehouse

Sympathy For The Stone (2022) is a time-based, interactive sculpture relying heavily on active viewer participation, that encourages visitors to (responsibly) throw stones at a large-scale sculpture composed of 19 hexagonal aluminum mirrors, based on The James Webb Space Telescope.

Performance: Naama Tsabar, Melodies of Certain Damage

7:30 - 8 pm and 8:30 - 9 pm | CAC 1st Floor Gallery

Two public performances featuring New Orleans-area musicians performing on broken guitars created by artist Naama Tsabar’s series Melody of Certain Damage, which appropriates the iconic and overtly macho trope of breaking a guitar. Admission is free with exhibition RSVP. Capacity is limited.

Continuous Screening: Imagine: A Video Anthology of Black Thoughts by Octavia Yearwood

7 - 10 pm | CAC Black Box Theater

Sunday, March 13, 2022

Panel Discussion: Environment of Failure

1 - 2:30 pm | CAC Black Box Theater

A discussion about the environments we exist in, either constructed conditions or natural surroundings, that perpetuate a cycle of failure, for better or worse.

Featuring #fail artists: Cara Despain, Dawn DeDeaux, Shana M. griffin, Juana Valdes, Micol Hebron, Nathalie Alfonso

Panel Discussion: When We Crack

3 - 4:30 pm | CAC Black Box Theater

A discussion around the breaking points of our realities and society, how these artists have addressed systemic failures and the spectrum of failure that drives progress.

Featuring #fail artists: Susan Lee-Chun, Antonia Wright, Leon Ford, Octavia Yearwood, Eddie Arroyo, Joseph Cuillier

Interactive Sculpture: Sinisa Kukec, Sympathy for the Stone

11 am - 1 pm | CAC Warehouse

Sympathy For The Stone (2022) is a time-based, interactive sculpture relying heavily on active viewer participation, that encourages visitors to (responsibly) throw stones at a large-scale sculpture composed of 19 hexagonal aluminum mirrors, based on The James Webb Space Telescope.

Sunday is Art for All - Free Gallery Admission for LA Residents (Courtesy of the Helis Foundation)

11 am - 5 pm | CAC Atrium, 1st and 2nd floor Galleries

Open to the public (free for LA Residents)

Follow this link for #fail exhibition images and a full listing of works

Media Contact:

Laura Tennyson (She/Her)

Director of Communications

Contemporary Arts Center

New Orleans, LA 70130

Ltennyson@cacno.org

504 319-9943

About the CAC

The Contemporary Arts Center, New Orleans is committed to artists, the presentation of multidisciplinary work, and advancing the value and power of the art of our time. As a touchstone for Contemporary Art in New Orleans and the Gulf South, the CAC works to foster awareness of new ideas in contemporary art; provide exhibition and performance opportunities for artists pioneering in their fields; serve as a hub for artistic communities; and enhance access for New Orleans and Gulf South communities to contemporary art that provokes, inspires, and encourages critical and creative reflection on a just society. Museum admission is free on Sundays for Louisiana residents, courtesy of The Helis Foundation. Children and students through Grade 12 and under receive free admission, courtesy of The Helis Foundation. Visit the CAC online at cacno.org.

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