Contemporary Arts Center in Cincinatti, United States (CAC) celebrates the 20th anniversary of its Zaha Hadid-designed building with the exhibition A Permanent Nostalgia for Departure: A Rehearsal on Legacy with Zaha Hadid.


This group exhibition examines legacy through a collection of new commissions by an international roster of artists that proposes a take on Hadid’s practice and the CAC building itself.
A Permanent Nostalgia for Departure reflects on what legacy means. It asks, what are the possibilities of actively engaging with the outcome of a creative action, which—once emancipated from the author—opens a range of questions and concepts that continue to generate an ecosystem of knowledge. This exhibition actively uses Hadid’s architectural thinking as a starting point, a source of knowledge that can be activated, transferred and evolved. 

Working throughout a diverse set of media and with multiple cultural backgrounds and practices, the participating artists include Rand Abdul Jabbar (b. Baghdad, 1990, currently lives and works in Abu Dhabi), Khyam Allami (b. Damascus, 1981, currently lives and works in Berlin), Emii Alrai (b. Blackpool, 1993, currently lives and works in Leeds), Hera Büyüktaşcıyan (b. Istanbul, 1984), Andrea Canepa (b. Lima, 1980, currently lives and works in Berlin), Dima Srouji (b. Nazareth, 1990, currently lives and works in London), and Hamed Bukhamseen (b. Kuwait City, 1991) and Ali Ismail Karimi (b. Manama, 1989) as founders of Civil Architecture Studio.

The show reflects upon the idea of distance in time, history, cultural background, landscapes, and how a legacy can become a passageway for these ideas. Accompanying all the context-specific and personally-situated responses of each of the artists, the exhibition brings a selection of paintings and ephemera by Zaha Hadid that depicts the new aesthetic regime the architect created and brings back a vocabulary that, far from any built project, preserves full potentiality to keep expanding.

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