Dear Cleveland

Dear Cleveland,


I love you, but I’ve been lying.


There, I said it.


The truth is, there is no one else.


My love letters over the course of the past month about you, your people and your art have had a recipient living back home, having their own emotional, intellectual and aesthetic experience of the east coast and of me, and this fair Midwestern city. But that person was also, and always has been, me and only me.


"Cleveland is for Lovers" has been an entirely self-reflexive project. For every letter I’ve published here, I have written a response from the lover back home.


This exercise in aesthetics and autoerotic desire, including the other side of the story (a total of about 30 love letters) will eventually be published in book form, but until then, I’d like to say that really, this whole love affair has been with the beautiful city of Cleveland and the state of Ohio.


Thank you to my amazing hosts at SPACES: Bruce Edwards, Christina Vassallo, Karl Anderson, Michelle Epps, Martha Madhuramurti Loughridge, and Marilyn Ladd-Simmons as well as the gracious and ridiculously fun Jeff Chiplis and Cynthia Chiplis. Thank you also to all the artists and institutions who welcomed me under their roofs and into their practices: MegLouise, Michelangelo Lovelace Sr., Kate Sopko, Preston Buchtel, Christa Ebert and Uno Lady, Corrie Slawson, Kasumi Filmska, Douglas Max Utter, Ryan Dewey, Liz Maugans, Sam Hubish, Lady and Steven Smith, Will Brown and Museum of Contemporary Art Cleveland MOCA, The Cleveland Museum of Art, The Beachland Ballroom and Tavern, Zygote Press, Inc. and Transformer Station (plus The Toledo Museum of Art and Brian Kennedy in Toledo).





Photo by Michael Conti

Photo by Michael Conti