'The People's Museum of Revisionist Natural Itstory' Challenges the Historical Narrative at SPACES

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SPACES isn’t a gallery. It’s a common mistake, but the nonprofit organization’s physical location is a space – a formless vessel that can be manipulated around any conceivable idea. It is in this spirit that SPACES’ latest group exhibition transforms the venue into the People’s Museum of Revisionist Natural Itstory (PMRNI). Billed as “a national leader in revising dominant scientific and cultural narratives,” PMRNI is dived into seven departments, each with multiple exhibits that challenge the male-dominated historical narrative. PMRNI also includes “the world’s finest outdated natural history library;” featuring books, periodicals, original artwork, as well as video and audio interviews.

The People’s Museum of Revisionist Natural Itstory is the first exhibition curated by SPACES Executive Director Christina Vassallo since she moved to Cleveland from New York City, where she served as Executive Director of Flux Factory, a nonprofit arts collective in Queens. 

"The People's Museum of Revisionist Natural Itstory is a collaborative effort seeking narrative justice,” explains Vassallo. “As a working group, we are interested in reflecting discoveries of new evidence and alternative interpretations. We hope this exhibition will empower viewers to question information they readily accept as fact.”

What museum would be complete without its own gift shop? The PMRNI gift shop features apparel, jewelry, publications, toys and more that reflect the collections displayed throughout the museum. Proceeds from purchases will help fund educational programming at PMRNI.

Vassallo elaborates, “We'll also have a functional gift shop in the ‘museum,’ curated by Pita Brooks, and containing salable limited edition work by artists in the exhibition plus 10 additional artists. The holidays are drawing near and this is the perfect place to find presents for 8 days straight or for stuffing stockings.”

The People’s Museum of Revisionist Natural Itstory opens with a free, public reception from 6 to 9 p.m. on Friday, Nov. 20. The exhibition remains on view through Jan. 15 during regular gallery hours: Tuesdays through Sundays from noon to 5 p.m. (8 p.m. on Thursdays; closed Mondays).

Participating artists include Amber J. Anderson (Cleveland Heights), Lana Z Caplan (Boston, MA), Elena Harvey Collins (Los Angeles, CA), Lauren Davies (Broadview Heights), Jacob Feige (Collingswood, NJ), Keith Freund (Akron), Jonathan Gitelson (Brattleboro, VT), Brandon Juhasz (Berea), Heather Kapplow (Allston, MA), Marc Lefkowitz (Cleveland Heights), Michelle Murphy (Chicago, IL), Julia Oldham (Eugene, OR), David Politzer (Houston, TX), and Corrie Slawson (Cleveland Heights), Nanette Yannuzzi & Arzu Ozkal (Oberlin, OH & San Diego, CA).

Additionally, SPACES has planned a full schedule of programming in support of the exhibition. For a complete calendar of events, visit naturalitstory.org/calendar/

(SPACES) 2220 Superior Viaduct, 216-621-2314, spacesgallery.org
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