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08 Sep 2010

SPACES presents Paul Druecke's Cleveland

Finnish Garden, Cleveland Cultural Gardens, 2010 Photo courtesy of the artist

Paul Druecke: Cleveland


Opens Friday, September 10, 6 - 9 p.m.
The projects remain on view through October 22, 2010

Sarah Beiderman
+1 216.621.2314
+1 216.621.2314

2220 Superior Viaduct
Cleveland, OH 44113

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SPACES World Artists Program
Artist in Residence, Cleveland, OH

Residency: Jul 25 – Sep 11, 2010
Exhibition: Sep 10 – Oct 23, 2010

Milwaukee-based artist Paul Druecke is interested in how cities are put together—or not put together, in some instances. His exhibition, 'Cleveland,' as part of the SPACES World Artists Program (SWAP), assembles the city though the eyes of an outsider. Druecke's overall project, consisting of three works, invites questions about the city, its inhabitants, and their relationship to authority and to one another.

In 'Where the Wild Dogs Roam Or No,' Druecke sheds light on a common perception that the Gardens are more of a route, rather than a destination. Through the promotion of events happening anywhere but the Cleveland Cultural Gardens, Druecke will frame the Gardens as negative space, locate them in a psychological landscape, and perhaps make them the highlight of the evening.

On September 10 between 6 – 9 p.m., nothing will be happening at the Cleveland Cultural Gardens and Paul Druecke will be nowhere in sight. The Gardens and Rockefeller Park will be as they normally are; nothing will take place. Druecke's piece Where Wild Dogs Roam Or No is a non-event and will transpire without a single audience member. The Gardens themselves are the reason for the artistic gambit. He says, 'I love the Cultural Gardens. They have such a unique combination of factors that lead to their not being used, which is also an indication of their potential. I've organized lots of successful events as part of my art practice, but the gardens required something else, something both more and less dramatic.'

For a continuing list of events not happening in the Cultural Gardens, visit


Druecke concurrently presents 'Camp Cleveland, Future History Parts I and II' at SPACES on Friday, September 10, 2010, 6 – 9 p.m. during a public reception.

As documentation of his investigation throughout the region, Druecke has taken rubbings of bronze plaques from Ohio memorial sites. This allows him to focus on the landmark's sculptural form while transcribing their iconic, static presence into a medium that is both fragile and transportable. The rubbings also question absence and malleability. Finally, Druecke intends on unveiling his own gift to the city of Cleveland during the run of the exhibition.

Since the beginning of his residency, his work has been inspired by monuments and plaques in Cleveland which function as 'official' history of the city even as they fade into the background or disappear altogether. He is interested in stories not told on the surface of the plaque—political machinations, financial where-with-all, and the critical mass needed for different cultural groups to stake their claim to history and public recognition. Through this engagement with Northeast Ohio and its social histories, Druecke is addressing how history is written into the infrastructure of communities and how these resources stand as authoritative symbols of representation.

In past works that have informed his upcoming projects at SPACES, Druecke has created a number of works that explore how the act of acknowledgment intertwines with power, desire and memory. In his work, the artist has employed collaborative, interactive processes to address subjects including celebrity, social perspective of the public realm, and memorializing, among other topics.

Paul Druecke's projects have been presented throughout the United States and in Europe in venues including the Kölnischer Kunstverein, Cologne, Germany; Many Mini Residency, Berlin House, Berlin, Germany; Outpost for Contemporary Art, Los Angeles, California; and the Contemporary Art Museum Houston. His work has been featured in Camera Austria and InterReview, along with publications including Metropolis, Artforum, Art in America, and Art Papers.

Druecke joins SPACES, Cleveland's resource and public forum for artists who explore and experiment, as the 29th artist-in-residence through SWAP. SWAP is a residency initiative begun in 2002 that invites national and international artists to spend significant amounts of time in Cleveland. SWAP supports the creation, presentation and discussion of artwork while facilitating collaboration among audiences.

SPACES is generously funded by the citizens of Cuyahoga County through Cuyahoga Arts and Culture. The Ohio Arts Council helped fund these exhibitions with state tax dollars to encourage economic growth, educational excellence and cultural enrichment for all Ohioans.

Major support for SPACES comes from Toby Devan Lewis; Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, The Cleveland Foundation, The George Gund Foundation, the John P. Murphy Foundation; the National Endowment for the Arts; the Nimoy Foundation; and The William J. and Dorothy K. O'Neill Foundation.

SPACES is located at 2220 Superior Viaduct, in Cleveland. Gallery hours are Tu–Su, 12: p.m.–5:00 p.m.; Th, open until 8:00 p.m. Tours available upon request. Admission (and parking) during regular gallery hours is free and open to the public. For more information, visit, call 216.621.2314 or email