Frank Green passed away on Wed 1/23/13. Frank was a formidable intellectual force on the Cleveland avant-garde scene. I knew him as a performance artist, and we presented his work at the Performance Art Festival numerous times. The work was dense, challenging, rigorous. We struggled to find ways to stay true to his vast, complex vision while opening it up to larger audiences. We didn’t always succeed. His activism and work as a writer and arts critic was transcended by his performance work, which deeply impressed those who were lucky enough to witness Frank at his most intense, thoughtful and creative.
Three friends of Frank’s, each from a different aspect of his life, have stepped forward to write personal remembrances of Frank’s life. Cindy Barber, the owner of the Beachland Ballroom, was Frank’s editor when she edited the Free Times in the ’90’s. Jordan Davis worked at SPACES when Frank was making his artistic presence known. And Cindy Penter was a personal friend who spent much time with Frank over the years.
#1 From Cindy Penter, a friend:
Frank always had a political understanding and sense of conscience. He began his many forays into spoken word at this time with pieces such as Arraignment and Marco Polo. His work was always edgy. He took several film classes while at Kent, notably producing the short experimental film, The Dark. When he went to NYC after college he continued to grow as an artist, often performing at the Nuyorican Café while working in the city’s best bookstores. While in the city, he acquired and later courageously licked a drug problem…
Read more from Cindy Penter here.
#2 From Cindy Barber, who edited him at the Free Times:
I found random pieces and remembered how much Frank knew about art history and how he used that to make his points, always favoring art that made statements. In November of 1995, he wrote a smart cover piece about SPACES’ Radical Ink show featuring an assortment of underground cartoonists, including local visual radicals derf, Gary Dumm and Clay Parker, and contrasted them to the era of ‘60s pop culture…
Read more from Cindy Barber here.
#3 From Jordan Davis, who presented his work at SPACES:
His performance pieces were confrontational, risky and shocking, but only because he himself felt confronted by the risks and shocks of life, and he sought to make sense of it all. His emotional scenery could be intricately crafted and frighteningly intimate, yet his delivery was assured and detached, and often presented with a sophisticated formal structure. He knew his references. He could channel J.G. Ballard, William Burroughs, Phillip K. Dick and James Joyce all in a single evening, and still remain uniquely himself…
Read more from Jordan Davis here.
The family are planning a service, at the Unitarian Church West and an afternoon or evening memorial will be held at the Beachland – both to happen at the end of February or beginning of March, when brother Jason can get home.
There will be an exhibit of Frank Green materials at the next Tremont Art Walk Fri 2/8 at the Tremont West Development Corp where Frank once worked.