JUN 5 – SEPT 22, 2012

Situated between Homer, Twitter, and the singing telegram, Cantastoria is an exploration of how contemporary artists communicate histories and culture using languages, messengers, and witnesses as creative material. This exhibition explores the notion of the cantastoria as a metaphor across cultures and specifically within contemporary art.

Historically, cantastoria, which means “history singer” or “sung story” in Italian, were prominent in preliterate culture as vehicles for transmitting news, heritage, and history. Their information was conveyed theatrically in a town square through song and pictograms.

Revisiting conventional formats of history painting and narrative-driven compositions, Cantastoria presents artworks that communicate information through languages, song, storytelling, and lyricism. It analyzes origins and relationships with news media while touching on languages born out of cultural specificities of Utah itself or contemporary activism onto parallel and bygone eras such as the former USSR. Other artists reconnect us with dead and dying languages that are no longer understood as well as putting us in contact with those languages beyond our Earth. It is a way to look at how we transmit information, reminisce about languages of communication that are lost and obsolete, while exploring new pathways of connection that are emerging around us.

Participating artists include: Ignasi Aballi (Spain), Aram Bartholl (Germany), Adam Bateman (USA), Beehive Design Collective (USA), Aleksandra Domanovic (Slovenia), Omer Fast (Israel), Jakup Ferri (Kosovo), Janos Fodor (Hungary), Carey Ann Francis (USA), Rainer Ganahl (Austria), Andy Graydon (USA), Pablo Helguera (Mexico), Bob Moss (USA), Lucia Nimcova (Slovakia), Lisa Oppenheim (USA), REP Group (Ukraine), Ignacio Uriarte (Spain).

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  • On Friday,  June 15 from 7:00 pm – 9:00 pm we will have a public opening in honor of the artists appearing in Cantastoria. The night will also be in celebration of the opening of Play Me, I’m Yours, with pianist  Eric Rich.
  • July 6, 7:00 pm – 8:00 pm  Q&A with artist Rainer GanahlPresenting three projects and a performance within the group exhibition Cantastoria, Austrian artist Rainer Ganahl’s practice spans languages and learning to alternative modes of producing contemporary art. Please join us for a brief Q&A with the artist and UMOCA’s Senior Curator Aaron Moulton.