Took advantage of MOCA Cleveland's "Free Fridays" admission to take in Duke Riley's exhibit, An Invitation to Lubberland. I was hoping for good art. I was looking for an education. I got a small amount of both.
The video part of the art event was a bit of a disappointment, a man in a bowler and frock coat (is he the man from the government who counts hobos, is he a hobo himself ... is he one who becomes the other ..?) was difficult to watch and included inter-titles which led to a conclusion which one unfamiliar to the history of Kingsbury Run might find interesting. They did not rise to the level set by the artist's very interesting and well-crafted drawings and mosaics (see above.)
I do not know why I have been put on this earth to be the guardian or avenger of Eliot Ness' tarnished reputation, or rather a "Speaker for the Dead" hell-bent on providing an depiction of his humanity, his goodness and his failings, free of all of the mythic bullshit. This exhibit goes so far as to state that it is because of Ness' failure to catch the so-called torso murder, and his torching of the shanty town that he lost the 1947 election. I have nowhere else seen this to be the case.
However, the claim (as etched into a Buffalo nickel) that the citizens of Cleveland were so appalled by the destruction of the hobo city of Kingsbury Run that during the election they threw mannequin parts up into the trees ... it is an evocative image, though I question whether many had their own mannequins lying around to expend on such public art.
By the way, I do not think it was actually part of the exhibit that the MOCA docent follow me around like a fucking stalker. That was really irritating. He kept bobbing in and out of my line of sight, or standing right behind me like I was going to swipe something. Get lost pal, you are creepy.
officer of the law lives here
UPDATE: The Plain Dealer really loved this installation:
"A triumph for him and for MOCA. It also sets a benchmark for any local art institution that commissions an artist -- local or otherwise -- to create something new. It's a mark that will not be easily surpassed any time soon." - Steven Litt, 12/14/2010