Gloom and Doom 2006
with Steve Rowell
Contemporary Art Center, Kaplan Hall Lobby Gallery, Cincinnati
Weston Art Gallery, Cincinnati, OH
Gloom and Doom was a two-part exhibit taking on notions of safety, security, and defense, on both a personal and national level. A symbol of our national defense, the enormously complex and expensive B-2 Stealth Bomber, was represented as an acoustic tile ceiling in the Cincinnati Contemporary Art Center’s grand lobby, designed by Iraqi-born Zaha Hadid. On the domestic level, an independent inhabitable structure was built in the lobby of a Cesar Pelli designed center for the arts. The structure and its furnishings were a nod to law enforcement training buildings referred to as “hot houses”, where live ammunition is fired at paper targets representing potential threats that law enforcement may encounter in real life situations. Each installation had its own sonic overlay: In the hot house, recordings of air force sonic booms occurred at random intervals, In the Contemporary Art Center lobby an ambient soundtrack of reporters in Baghdad during the early days of the US invasion of Iraq emanated from the idiosyncratic drop ceiling.