Taking a break from its recent series of conceptual, process-oriented exhibition, the latest exhibition hosted by Transformer Station celebrates artists who share an equal passion for both music and photography, many of whom also write, make videos and have produced photography books and works on vinyl. Organized by Transformer Station co-founder Laura Ruth Bidwell, Them! examines the role these creative relationships may (or may not) play in each artist's creative process.
"I've organized this show without a traditional curatorial thread," says Bidwell. "THEM!, which features photographers who are also musicians, will appeal to photography lovers and music lovers. Vinyl, show-related books and artifacts will be on display. Headphones and playlists of the artists' music will be available as well as comfortable seating for visitors so that they can spend time looking as well as listening."
Them! features artists such as Cleveland-based Jacob Koestler whose work often blurs the line between audible and visual art, incorporating music directly into their work, as well as artists who separate their creative practices, such as Melissa Auf der Maur and Nick Zinner who have played in internationally renowned bands like Hole, Smashing Pumpkins and the Yeah Yeah Yeahs.
Photographers/Musicians featured in Them! are Melissa Auf der Maur, Tim Davis, Joseph Desler Costa, Jacob Koestler, Darin Mickey and Nick Zinner. In addition to these artists, the exhibition features a selection of hand-poured and hand-pressed, one-of-a-kind records made in Cleveland at Gotta Groove Records by Wax Mage vinyl artists Heather Gmucs and Sarah Barker. A multisensory experience, guests are encouraged to handle these unique objects and enjoy the wide range of music produced by the exhibition's artists.
The exhibition's title pays homage to many sources, including the 1954 science fiction film from which the exhibition derives its name, as well as the 1968 Japanese film Destroy All Monsters, which shares its name with the Detroit anti-rock band formed by Mike Kelley and Jim Shaw in 1973.
Them! opens with a members-only preview from 5 to 7 p.m. and free, public reception from 7 to 9 p.m. on Friday, May 19, and remains on view through August 13. Friday evening's reception features music by FreshProduce, DJ Red-I and Playne Jayne. On select Thursdays during the exhibition's run, Transformer Station hosts a series of CDJ2017 Small Hall Concerts from 7 to 8 p.m. The series includes: Uno Lady (Christa Ebert) on June 8, Collapsed Arc (David Russell Stempowski) on June 29 and Jeremy Bible on August 10. Admission is $5, but limited to only 50 guests. Each artist will perform new or rarely heard work. Tickets are on sale now at transformerstation.eventbrite.com.