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DLECTRICITY

September 26 - 27, 2014, 7pm - Midnight

DLECTRICITY

Dlectricity, presented by DTE Energy, Detroit’s nighttime festival of art and light, returns this fall to present 35 local, national and international artists whose cutting edge works of art, lighting design, and performance will illuminate the historic architecture of Midtown. MOCAD is pleased to present three free programs in association with Dlectricity.

Atlantis Dance City, presented by artist Cary Loren, is an interactive installation created inside the Mobile Homestead garage, based on the designs of Sun Ra, 1970s Detroit dance show The Scene, and Diver Dan, an underwater puppet show from the 1960s. Wear a mask and follow the dance runway. Live music by Monster Island. Stop by in a costume, enter the future and shake a tail-feather!

Mother: Assuming the form of a Detroit-style house party, Mother is an interactive performance which explores conceptions of the divine feminine through sound, movement, and light. Presented by Sameer Reddy and featuring performances from Christina Sears-Etter (Artistic Director of People’s Dancing), Ivan Antonio Gamboa, Ta’rajee Omar, Bailey Scieszka, and more. DJ sets by Aaron ‘FIT’ Siegel on Friday and Scott Zacharias on Saturday.

Broken Dance (Beatboxed): Shaun Gladwell is renowned for his mesmerizing studies of the body in motion set against the backdrop of gritty urban environments or remote landscapes. The dual-channel video installation Broken Dance (Beatboxed) continues his engagement with the nexus between embodied expression and urban subcultures.

Full information available here




Dara Friedman Projecting
May 16 - July 27, 2014

Dara Friedman is best known for her film and video installations, in which she uses the techniques of structuralist filmmaking to depict the lushness, ecstasy, and energy of everyday life. She often distills, syncopates, reverses, loops, or otherwise alters familiar sounds and sights, drawing attention to the distinct sensory acts of hearing and seeing. Whether her work portrays a series of narrative fragments or a single evocative scene repeated over and over, Friedman heightens the emotional impact by cutting directly to the films climax in order to, as she puts it, “get to the part you really care about.”

Musical, 2007-8

For three weeks, in the fall of 2007, midtown Manhattan was the stage for Musical, a series of spontaneous actions orchestrated by artist and filmmaker Dara Friedman. From dawn to dusk, and occasionally in the middle of the night, office workers, mothers, schoolchildren, taxi drivers, doormen, tourists, divas, and grandparents broke into song, creating unexpected musical events and serendipitous urban moments for all who encountered them. Throughout the course of the project, nearly one hundred individual actions took place throughout the day and night, weekdays only, in the blocks between Grand Central Station and Central Park South, and between Broadway and Park Avenue.

Dancer, 2011

For Dancer (2011) Friedman enlisted Miami-based dancers of all stripes to dance through the city streets for the camera. Shot on 16mm black-and-white film and transferred to HD video, Dancer celebrates both the city and the medium of dance. With the city streets as a backdrop, dancers improvise, expressing the specificity of their styles and skills and making meaning through movement. Friedman explores notions of performativity, urban space, and the individual in the public sphere in this ebullient, poetic work.

PLAY, 2013

PLAY was developed as part of Friedman's residency at the Hammer Museum in Los Angeles.
In PLAY, 18 couples, some real life couples, others paired by the artist, all of them actors, develop and play out scenes of intimacy. The poetic, intense and humorous situations grow intuitively from a process of improvisational theater games created for the purpose. With this new work Friedman engages with actors and their ability to receive and transmit projected desires while at the same time laying bare theatrical and cinematic devices with Brechtian pleasure. The work is filmed in The Hammer Museum's Billy Wilder Theater, a hippie shack in Topanga Canyon, and the streets of Los Angeles.

Friedman’s work can be found in the collections of the Museum of Modern Art in New York and the Whitney Museum of American Art, among others. She has exhibited most recently at the Hammer Museum in Los Angeles, the Hirshhorn Museum in Washington D.C. and the Museum of Contemporary Art in Chicago. Born in Bad Kreuznach, Germany, Friedman now lives and works in Miami, Florida.

Exhibition programming support is generously provided by the Taubman Foundation and the Andy Warhol Foundation for the Arts. Additional funding for programming and educational initiatives is provided by the Edith S. Briskin/Shirley K. Schlafer Foundation. Additional support is provided by The Michigan Council for Arts and Cultural Affairs and Renaissance Media.

Dara Friedman: Projecting is organized by MOCAD. It is curated by Elysia Borowy-Reeder, Executive Director of MOCAD and coordinated at MOCAD by Exhibitions Coordinator Zeb Smith.




Steve Locke there is no one left to blame
May 16 - July 27, 2014


a brief history

a brief history, 2005-2012
Oil on wooden panel (recto); vintage “Black Americana” figurine and Japan color on verso; metal poles, connectors, and flanges; enamel and latex on wooden box; oil and acrylic on wooden base
65 x 24 x 24 inches
Private Collection, Boston MA

"For several years Detroit native, Steve Locke, has been making images of male heads with their tongues sticking out. Lushly painted, in a wide-ranging palette, they are alternately disturbing, comical, vulnerable, and sensual. They trouble the historical propensity to image men as invariably authoritative and powerful, and instead explore a more ambivalent array of ideas and emotions regarding masculinity. The paintings evoke historical traumas such as the beheadings of the French Revolution, or the lynching of African Americans, as well as reference the more current anxieties of the last decade: terrorism, war, and torture. Whether embedding them in the wall of the museum, or propping them onto sculptural supports, Locke experiments with a variety of display strategies for paintings. In each instance, “business as usual” is refused, suggesting subtle hopes for new ideas and expanded freedoms."

- Helen Molesworth, Barbara Lee Chief Curator, Institute of Contemporary Art Boston

Steve Locke was born in 1963 (Cleveland, Ohio), grew up in Detroit, Michigan and lives in Boston. In 2013, Steve Locke exhibited in his first solo museum exhibition there is no one left to blame, Institute of Contemporary Art Boston. In 2014, there is no one left to blame travels to the Museum of Contemporary Art Detroit. He is a recipient of the 2014 Pollock-Krasner grant from the Pollock Krasner Foundation. He has received a Contemporary Work Fund grant from the LEF Foundation, and a travel grant to Turkey from the Art Matters Foundation. He has received multiple nominations for the Louis Comfort Tiffany Award, the Joan Mitchell Award and the Foster Prize from the Institute of Contemporary Art, Boston. In 2008, he was the visiting professor and artist in residence at the Savannah College of Art and Design. He received his MFA from the Massachusetts College of Art & Design in 2001 and holds Bachelor's degrees from Boston University and MassArt. He currently is an Assistant Professor of Art Education at the Massachusetts College of Art & Design. Steve Locke is represented by Samsøn Gallery in Boston, Massachusetts. He is the proud product of a Jesuit education.

Support for Steve Locke: there is no one left to blame provided by Samsøn, the Patrice K. Aaron Family Foundation, Burt Aaron, and Spectrum Neon.

Exhibition programming support is generously provided by the Taubman Foundation and the Andy Warhol Foundation for the Arts. Additional funding for programming and educational initiatives is provided by the Edith S. Briskin/Shirley K. Schlafer Foundation. Additional support is provided by The Michigan Council for Arts and Cultural Affairs and Renaissance Media.

Learn More about Steve Locke below:


In Praise of a Newsstand, Art Papers, Nov/Dec 2013.
Steve Locke by William Kaizen, ArtForum, November 2013.
Boston Globe Magazine Cover, Boston Globe Magazine, March 19, 2006.




José Lerma La Bella Crisis
May 16 - July 27, 2014


On the cover of MODERN PAINTER July/August 2014 Issue


Click image for full PDF

In La Bella Crisis Puerto Rican artist José Lerma revisits MOCAD’s history by transforming the museum’s main gallery, once an auto showroom, into an “art fair”. Lerma’s site specific installation is a still life comprised of found materials, paintings, and personal artifacts, constructed over the period of a month and dismantled at the end of the exhibition.

Lerma will be working in the gallery using the space as a studio to complete his installation, visitors are encouraged to engage with Lerma during this month long residency. La Bella Crisis comments on obsolescence, the effects of transient economic models and the beauty of impermanence, while addressing labor and the authenticity of simple objects. See Lerma’s socio-political finished portrait on June 13, 2014.

José Lerma currently lives and works in New York and Chicago, where he is a faculty member at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago.

Support for José Lerma: La Bella crisis partially provided by Kavi Gupta CHICAGO|BERLIN, Andrea Rosen Gallery, and INCA Detroit, an artist/scholar/poet in residency and an exhibition/lecture space in Detroit, founded by Bergman/Salinas in 2011.

Exhibition programming support is generously provided by the Taubman Foundation and the Andy Warhol Foundation for the Arts. Additional funding for programming and educational initiatives is provided by the Edith S. Briskin/Shirley K. Schlafer Foundation. Additional support is provided by The Michigan Council for Arts and Cultural Affairs and Renaissance Media.

José Lerma: La Bella Crisis is organized by MOCAD. It is curated by Elysia Borowy-Reeder, Executive Director of MOCAD and coordinated at MOCAD by Exhibitions Coordinator Zeb Smith.



Click images for the full photo album
Jose Lerma
Jose Lerma
Jose Lerma
Jose Lerma Gif



Midwestern Voices and Visions
June 13 - July 27, 2014

Curated by Alix Refshauge

a brief history

Photography by David Joel


Seven artist residency programs, led by the Alliance of Artists Communities and The Joyce Foundation, set out to identify strong voices that represent today’s most promising and provocative talent and that reflect the rich diversity of the Midwest – artists whose work may as yet be unfamiliar but whose compelling visions help define the region and the country.

Midwestern Voices and Visions celebrates, supports, and promotes the work of highly talented, yet under-recognized artists of color and broadens awareness of and support for the opportunities available at Midwestern residency programs for artists of diverse backgrounds.

FEATURED ARTISTS
Maria Calderon
C.C. Ann Chen
Cristina Correa
Sayaka Ganz
Eric J. Garcia
LaMont Hamilton
Jiieh G. Hur
Diane Ramos

Opening reception and meet-the-artists event:
Friday, June 13, 6 - 8pm

More information about the program:

Exhibition Information

Artist Information

Alliance for Creative Communitites

The 2014 Midwestern Voices and Visions exhibition is fully funded by The Joyce Foundation

The Joyce Foundation

MWVV Residency Sites:

Anderson Center for Interdisciplinary Studies, Red Wing, Minnesota
Art Farm, Marquette, Nebraska
Bemis Center for Contemporary Arts, Omaha, Nebraska
John Michael Kohler Arts Center, Sheboygan, Wisconsin
Ox-Bow, Saugatuck, Michigan
Prairie Center for the Arts, Peoria, Illinois
Ragdale Foundation, Lake Forest, Illinois


2013-14 MWVV Jurors

Ra Joy
Executive Director
Arts Alliance Illinois
Chicago, Illinois

Shannon Linker
Director of Artist Services
The Arts Council of Indianapolis
Indianapolis, Indiana

Mitchell Squire Installation artist, sculptor and performance artist; teacher; previous Midwestern Voices and Visions awardee Ames, Iowa

Paul Tyler
Grants Director
Art Council of Metropolitan Kansas City
Kansas City, Missouri



James Lee Byars: I Cancel All My Works At Death
February 7 - May 4, 2014

I Cancel All My Works at Death is the first comprehensive survey of the plays, actions, and performances of James Lee Byars (Detroit 1932 - Cairo 1997). Spanning the period from 1960 (when he created his first action in Kyoto, Japan) to 1981 (when de Appel arts centre in Amsterdam presented a year-long survey), the exhibition, which is titled after Byars' now-famous speech act, adopts the premise that the artist and his work are better mis-remembered than re-experienced. I Cancel All My Works at Death therefore presents none of his actual performances; nor does it include objects made, owned, or used by him, nor vintage ephemera--with the exception of obituaries published in newspapers at the time of his death. What it does include are suits and costumes, scripts, theater posters, props, puppet videos, a detailed timeline, among other elements. It also includes new, un-authored solo actions and group events that will be carried out sparingly and intermittently during the run of the show.

The exhibition is curated by Triple Candie, a phantom-like institution that existed in Harlem as an alternative space from 2001 to 2010. Run by two art historians who now live in Philadelphia, Triple Candie produces exhibitions about art but devoid of it and realized without the involvement of artists. Recent projects include Epigraphe pour une preface: The Original is Unfaithful to the Copy (FRAC Le Plateau, Paris, 2013), Of the Siren and the Sky: The Life and Work of Michael Whipple (Utah Museum of Contemporary Art, 2013), and Maurizio Cattalan is Dead: Life and Work, 1960-2009 (Deste Foundation, Athens, 2010). At the request of Triple Candie, this exhibition has been dramaturged by Jens Hoffmann, MOCAD's guest curator.





State of Exception
February 7 - May 4, 2014

Backpacks
Installation created by Richard Barnes and Amanda Krugliak, photograph Richard Barnes, featured in the New York Times Magazine, July 2013. Originally from the exhibition State of Exception, hundreds of backpacks left behind by undocumented migrants in the Arizona desert; from the archives of Jason De León's Undocumented Project

The exhibition State of Exception, originally installed at the University of Michigan Institute for the Humanities Gallery in 2013, represents the collaboration between artist/photographer Richard Barnes, artist/curator Amanda Krugliak, and U-M anthropologist Jason De León, considering how best to curate objects from De León’s Undocumented Migration Project. The exhibition presents backpacks, water bottles, border restraints and other objects left behind by undocumented migrants on their journey into the U.S., and audio interviews from migrants relaying their own perspectives and experiences, and their relationships to these objects. There are also video and photographs shot by Richard Barnes on location along the U.S. Mexico border.

The first serious curation of De León’s research, Barnes and Krugliak approach the exhibition conceptually, presenting this human experience always within the frame of Jason’s research and methodology and informed by the perspectives and fieldwork carried out by De León and his crew.

State of Exception conveys the complexity and ambiguity of these found objects, and what they may or may not have revealed in terms of transition, humanity, commerce, culture, violence, and accountability.

Read articles about State of Exception:
University of Michigan Institute for the Humanities
HyperAllergic
New York Times

This exhibition is made possible by the support of The University of Michigan's Institute for the Humanities and MOCAD.


State of Exception Brochure viewable online here or by clicking the image below.

State of Exception Brochure



September 6, 2013 - January 5, 2014
The Past is Present


William Jones
The Battle of the Overpass, 1937, 2013
Painted by Lisa Poszywak

2013 marks the 80-year anniversary of Diego Rivera's 27-panel mural, Detroit Industry. Commissioned by the Detroit Institute of Arts and financed by the Ford family, Detroit Industry portrays the successful fusion of man and machine. Representing the city through a series of intricate vignettes, Rivera's mural celebrates the working man, the advancement of technology, and the industrial wonder of the time—the Ford V-8.
 
Over the past 80 years, the city of Detroit has faced many challenges, and, sadly, fewer triumphs. Looking back across the historic events that have shaped the Detroit of the present, the fifteen artists commissioned for The Past is Present offer unique perspectives on the city. From the riots of 1943, and the decline of the manufacturing industry, to the advent of Motown, and the present urban gardening movement, The Past is Present will feature 15 newly-commissioned murals. Made by artists from around the world whose works are rooted in explorations of history, political conflict, and social change, these works allow an opportunity to begin where Rivera left off, examining the history of the city from contemporary points of view.

While Rivera may be remembered as often for large-scale controversies as he is for his large-scale frescoes, the impact of his works - their ability to capture history, energize resistance, and celebrate change - cannot be denied. It is in this spirit that this exhibition is based. Providing a looking glass into the past, the murals presented in The Past is Present allow for a reflection of what Detroit was, what it is, and what it may become. 

The Past is Present is curated by Jens Hoffmann, MOCAD's guest curator and coordinated by MOCAD exhibitions department Zeb Smith, Jonathan Rajewski, and Liz Glass. The murals were conceived by Jennifer Allora and Guillermo Calzadilla, Julieta Aranda, Katherine Ball, Andrea Bowers, Carolina Caycedo, Nicolás Consuegra, Harrell Fletcher, Claire Fontaine, Maryam Jafri, William E. Jones, Daniel Martinez, Pedro Reyes, Martha Rosler, Slanguage, and Hank Willis Thomas. The murals were then painted by Detroit-area artists Jon Anthony, Michael Burdrick, Daniel DeMaggio, Edward John Charles Foster, Nick Jaskey, Jesse Kassel, Sunshine Lee, Sylvia Molina, Chris Morris, James Noellert, Lisa Poszywak, Tylonn J. Sawyer, Lindy Marie Shewbridge, Vaughn Taormina, Adam Thibodeau, and Vince Troia.


Here is what curator Jens Hoffmann had to say about this thrilling exhibition.



June 7 - July 28, 2013

(in)Habitation


Matt Kenyon, Spore

Curated by Gregory Tom and featuring the work of Jason Ferguson, Osman Khan and Matt Kenyon, (in)Habitation aims to consider (and reconsider) the concept of "domesticity". Ubiquitous elements of the home — for instance, a table and chairs, a houseplant or a simple beam — are altered or subverted by complex ideas about faith, the current mortgage crisis, globalization and even classic American representations of family fun. The sculptural works featured are both serious and playful. They engage through movement, flashing lights and the spectacular, but ultimately lead us to question our existing biases and assumptions about what the idea of "home" really means.

Jason J. Ferguson's work reflects on the relationship between art, science and experience, juxtaposing seemingly unrelated subjects to create performance, video and sculptural work. Ferguson is an assistant professor in the Art Department of Eastern Michigan University, where he teaches sculpture and 3-D design.

Matt Kenyon is interested in the convergence of art, emerging technologies and popular culture. His recent works often feature wearable computing technologies or robotics to express a cultural critique. He is an associate professor in the Penny W. Stamps School of Art & Design at the University of Michigan, where he teaches physical computing, video and 3D animation.

Osman Khan's constructed artifacts, interactive installations and site-specific interventions convey the way in which technology shapes our understanding of identity, communication and public space. Khan is an assistant professor at the Penny W. Stamps School of Art & Design at the University of Michigan, where he teaches computational media, sculpture and social practice.

   

 

May 11 - July 28, 2013

Mobile Homestead




Mobile Homestead is a permanent art work by the late Mike Kelley located on the grounds of the Museum of Contemporary Art Detroit. It's both a public sculpture and a private, personal architecture – based on the artist's childhood home on Palmer Road in Westland, a neighborhood which primarily housed workers for the Big Three auto makers: Ford, Chrysler and General Motors.

To coincide with the opening of the homestead, MOCAD presents Goin' Home: Mike Kelley's Mobile Homestead Videos and Documentation inside Museum galleries. Kelley and Artangel produced three hour-long videos based on footage of the travels of the Mobile Homestead on Michigan Avenue, intercut with interviews with different people living and working on that major thoroughfare. The Mobile Homestead videos were screened at the Whitney Biennial in New York in 2012.

Mobile Homestead is commissioned by Artangel in association with MOCAD, LUMA Foundation and Mike Kelley Foundation for the Arts with the generous support of the Artangel International Circle. Community programs in Mobile Homestead are supported by the Robert Rauschenberg Foundation.
   

 

April 10 - April 28, 2013


The Art X Detroit: Kresge Arts Experience is sponsored by The Kresge Foundation, in partnership with the College for Creative Studies, Artserve Michigan, Midtown Detroit, Inc. and the Museum of Contemporary Art Detroit (MOCAD). For more information visit www.artxdetroit.com.

   

 

February 1 - March 31, 2013

When Attitudes Became Form Become Attitudes


View of the Kunsthalle Bern by Kender-Shunk, 1969. Photo: Shunk-Kender © Roy Lichtenstein Foundation.

When Attitudes Became Form Become Attitudes is a sequel to, and a reevaluation of, the legendary 1969 exhibition Live In Your Head: When Attitudes Become Form (Works – Concepts – Processes – Situations – Information), which was curated by Harald Szeemann at Kunsthalle Bern in Switzerland. It showcases over 80 international contemporary artists who follow, in various ways, the legacy of Szeemann’s iconic exhibition.

The 1969 show brought together new tendencies in the art known today as Postminimalism, Arte Povera, Land art and Conceptual art, from Western Europe and the United States. It contributed a great deal to our historical understanding of the art of that time, how exhibitions themselves can influence artists and their works, and also how exhibitions can define art history. It was influential in promoting a wider understanding and acceptance of Conceptual art, as it included many non-material and process-based works.

Mostly known by its short title, When Attitudes Become Form has been discussed, researched and examined in a wide range of essays, books and conferences; When Attitudes Became Form Become Attitudes is the first major exhibition it has inspired. Curated by Jens Hoffmann and organized by the CCA Wattis Institute for Contemporary Arts, San Francisco, the new show presents existing pieces by artists working in relation to the history of Conceptual art as well as newly commissioned works by artists such as Zarouhie Abdalian, Abraham Cruzvillegas, Annika Eriksson, Simon Fujiwara, Jeppe Hein, Jonathan Monk, Nicolás Paris and Hank Willis Thomas, who respond directly to the history of the 1969 show. With the contemporary artworks installed alongside archival materials, floor plans and installation images from the 1969 show, this new exhibition does not make a distinction between what is past and what is present, but rather considers When Attitudes Become Form as a living past.

Zarouhie Abdalian
Pablo Accinelli
Meriç Algün Ringborg
Jennifer Allora and Guillermo Calzadilla
Jonathas de Andrade
Kathryn Andrews
Nazgol Ansarinia
Nicolás Bacal
Christopher Badger
Alessandro Balteo Yazbeck
Yto Barrada
Taysir Batniji
*James Beckett
Nina Beier
Walead Beshty
Cezary Bodzianowski
Matthew Buckingham
Johanna Calle
Arabella Campbell
Juan Capistran
Mariana Castillo Deball
Etienne Chambaud
Marcelo Cidade
Claire Fontaine
Nicolás Consuegra
Abraham Cruzvillegas
Alexandre da Cunha
Maria Eichhorn

Michael Elmgreen and Ingar Dragset
Cevdet Erek
Annika Eriksson
Lara Favaretto
Aurélien Froment
Simon Fujiwara
Meschac Gaba
Dani Gal
Ryan Gander
Mario Garcia Torres
João Maria Gusmão and Pedro Paiva
Alexander Gutke
Jeppe Hein
Emily Jacir
Maryam Jafri
Alicja Kwade
Luisa Lambri
Adriana Lara
Tim Lee
Mateo López
Marie Lund
Kris Martin
Vincent Meessen
Simon Dybbroe Møller
Jonathan Monk
Shahryar Nashat

Roman Ondák
Fernando Ortega
Christodoulos Panayiotou
Nicolás Paris
Pratchaya Phinthong
Amalia Pica
Kirsten Pieroth
Wilfredo Prieto
Pablo Rasgado
Nicolás Robbio
Will Rogan
Pamela Rosenkranz
Fabrice Samyn
Kim Schoenstadt
*Tino Sehgal
Sean Snyder
Mark Soo
Mateo Tannatt
Ron Terada
Hank Willis Thomas
Jan Timme
Clarissa Tossin
Guido van der Werve
Natasha Wheat
Akram Zaatari

 

*San Francisco version only

Generous support for When Attitudes Became Form Become Attitudes provided by C. Ross Sappenfield and Laura Brugger, Robin Wright and Ian Reeves, and Laura and Joe Sweeney.

       

 


Watch MOCAD's Adjunct Senior Curator Jens Hoffmann speak about When Attitudes Became Form Become Attitudes.

       

 

September 7 - December 30, 2012

VISION IN A CORNFIELD


Photo by Megan Major

Vision in a Cornfield is a large-scale collaboration that unites distinct creative communities in Detroit: the psyche/art rock band Destroy All Monsters, the urban arts group Ogun and the electromechanical art collective Apetechnology. The inspiration for the exhibition is two-fold. It is based on an unexpected encounter shared by Destroy All Monsters' Mike Kelley and Cary Loren, which took place in a cornfield in Wixom, Michigan. It is also a reunion and reimagining of an unsanctioned art project in the streets of Detroit by Ogun, named after the Yoruba orisha of iron, hunting, politics and war.
The centerpiece of the exhibition is the ceremonial transformation of abandoned autos into African fetishes known as “Urban Monumentz.” The vehicles will be decorated by the artists of Ogun. Members of Apetechnology set the vehicles in motion through robotics so that they communicate with each other and with Museum visitors. The project is produced together by M. Saffell Gardner, Lester Lashley, Aaron Ibn Pori Pitts, Dianetta Dye (of Ogun), Cary Loren, Mike Kelley (of Destroy All Monsters), Chip Flynn, Leith Campbell, Brad Ballard (of Apetechnology) with additional work by Olayami Dabls, Jennifer Price and Levon Millross.

A selection of mixed media works by Aaron Ibn Pori Pitts lays the groundwork for the exhibition. Known as an activist, artist and poet, Pitts founded Ogun more than 30 years ago, as well as the local press Black Graphics International, Kcalb Gniw Spirit and Band Unit #10. He was a member of the Detroit radical labor group League of Revolutionary Black Workers. Taken as a whole, Vision in a Cornfield reflects Pitts’ paradigm. It is a philosophical and spiritual inquiry into urban identity and the communal sense of self.
In conjunction with the exhibition, MOCAD presents the premiere issue of BOX #1, an homage to a short-lived quarterly by the same name produced in the late 1970s. BOX is published in a limited edition of 150, each of which hold at least 30 works by local and national artists, musicians and writers whose work has a relationship to the themes present in the exhibition. BOX includes, among other items, a second edition of Faruq Z. Bey’s seminal text of music theory and existentialism, entitled Toward a ‘Ratio’nal Aesthetic.

Vision in a Cornfield is curated by M. Saffell Gardner, Cary Loren and Rebecca Mazzei. The exhibition is organized by the Museum of Contemporary Art Detroit with coordination by Zeb Smith and Jonathan Rajewski.

Major support for MOCAD exhibitions is provided by the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation. Related programming support is provided by the McGregor Fund and Edith S. Briskin/Shirley K. Schlafer Foundation. Vision in a Cornfield is supported in part by the General Motors Foundation.

       

 

September 7 - December 30, 2012

ANRI SALA: TWO FILMS

Anri Sala: Two Films is an exhibition of Dammi i Colori (2003) and Long Sorrow (2005) by the Albanian-born Sala, who lives and works in Berlin, Germany. The films are artistic metaphors and social documents, presenting portraits of communities in crisis and reflections of the human condition. Although the films are distinctly different art works, both reveal the connective tissue between cities and people. In Long Sorrow, saxophone player Jemeel Moondoc is suspended outside a window of a building in Berlin which inhabitants nicknamed Lange Jammer ("Long Sorrow"). The building was constructed as part of a plan of “urbanity by density” in West Berlin, immediately after the construction of the Berlin wall. Dammi i Colori is set in the artist’s hometown of Tirana, Albania. The film depicts the way in which color injects life-blood back into a city and its people, degraded by decades of indifference.

Sala has been awarded first prize in several international film festivals, including the Biennale di Venezia (Young Artist Prize), Venice, Italy, and his work as been show at the Centre Pompidou in Paris, the Serpentine Gallery in London, the Contemporary Arts Center in Cincinnati, the Art Institute of Chicago and National Museum of Art in Osaka, among other museums and galleries. He is represented by Marian Goodman Gallery in New York.

Anri Sala: Two Films is organized by the Museum of Contemporary Art Detroit and coordinated by Zeb Smith and Jonathan Rajewski. Major support for MOCAD exhibitions is provided by the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation. Related programming support is provided by the McGregor Fund and Edith S. Briskin/Shirley K. Schlafer Foundation.

       

 

May 11 - July 29, 2012

Post-Industrial Complex

 

Photos by Corine Vermeulen


Post-Industrial Complex is a survey, group exhibition, and source book that explores the ingenuity and adaptivity of human-scale production at the heart of Detroit. The exhibition disrupts the notion that there is a story of the city. A true metropolis is comprised of multiple stories and multiple voices. From a prolific inventor to a collective working to keep an aboriginal language alive, the artists included in this exhibition—all of whom responded to an open call for “makers, inventors, problem solvers, fabricators, modifiers, etc...”—are a small, yet representative, sample of the diverse range of brainpower that exists in a city often oversimplified by metanarratives.

Programming includes a trading post, how-to sessions, exhibition tours led by community members and barbeques in the back parking lot. This exhibition is organized by Museum of Contemporary Art Detroit Curator of Public Engagement Jon Brumit and Curator of Education Katie McGowan.

Major support for Post-Industrial Complex is provided by the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation and Team Detroit. Related programming support is provided by the McGregor Fund and Edith S. Briskin/Shirley K. Schlafer Foundation.

 
Photo by Kottie Gaydos.

   

 

May 11 - July 29, 2012

Vertical Urban Factory

 

Photos by Corine Vermeulen


Vertical Urban Factory features the innovative design of factory buildings that are both urban — located in cities or shaping cities — and vertical — multistoried and dense. Included are significant examples from around the world, spanning the Modern era to the present. By examining the significance of these spaces, this project points to the impact of global economies on local industries and aims to stimulate ideas for the sustainable reintegration of the factory into the urban fabric.

Vertical Urban Factory is an independent project and exhibition curated by architectural historian and critic Nina Rappaport.

Funding for Vertical Urban Factory comes from the New York Foundation for the Arts. Additional funding from Autodesk, Elise Jaffe + Jeffrey Brown, Jullani Foundation, Santiago Calatrava Architects, Duggal Visual Solutions, Grainger, Netherlands Architecture Fund, Swiss Consulate General in New York, Spanish Consulate General in New York, French Cultural Consul in New York, Chilewich Sultan, Turner Construction and Velux.

MOCAD funding for the exhibition is provided by the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation. Related programming support is provided by the McGregor Fund and Edith S. Briskin/Shirley K. Schlafer Foundation.

 
Photo: Fiat factory Lingotto, engineer Giacomo Matte-Trucco, completed 1926, Turin, Italy. Courtesy of the Fiat Company.

   
 
February 10 - April 29, 2012

Joshua White and Gary Panter’s Light Show

Joshua White and Gary Panter’s Light Show is a new exhibition organized especially for the Museum by two great pioneers of multimedia art. White and Panter have been working together since the late 1990s, and this exhibition is their largest collaborative project to date.

Occupying nearly all of the Museum’s 22,000 square foot area, this immersive installation features a “permanent” light show designed by White (of Woodstock and Fillmore East fame) that will be on view through the entirety of the exhibition’s run. Panter, whose prolific output is most recognized in the set design for Pee-wee’s Playhouse, will construct a funhouse of his imagination. Bridging these two worlds is a historical corridor, filled with ephemera illuminating their long-running careers. Materials from the archives of both artists will be on display to illustrate the range and depth of their work.

As intended by White and Panter, the exhibition will serve as a platform for performances by guests working in a variety of media and disciplines, including musicians, video artists, comedians and engineers, who are invited to interact with the work and activate the space.

Joshua White and Gary Panter's Light Show is supported by a generous grant from The Taubman Foundation.

Additional funding for the exhibition and related programs is provided by the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, Masco Corporation Foundation, McGregor Fund and Edith S. Briskin/Shirley K. Schlafer Foundation.
 
Image courtesy the artists

   
 

September 16 - December 30, 2011

barely there
Part II

A group exhibition featuring Francis Alÿs, Marcel Broodthaers, Luis Camnitzer, Frank Capra, Hans-Peter Feldmann, Félix Gonzalez-Torres, Kimsooja, Mark Lombardi, Christian Marclay, Max Ophüls, Wilfredo Prieto, Yvonne Rainer, Paul Ramirez-Jonas, Ranjani Shettar, Nicolás García Uriburu, Franz Erhard Walther and Francesca Woodman. barely there is a group exhibition that explores issues of immateriality, presence, absence, performance and the performative. The exhibition also considers the ability of art to engage broad and often intangible concepts by generating a series of connections rather than functioning as a prescribed whole. barely there includes a multigenerational group of artists and artworks produced in the span of over eighty years from the late 1920s to the present.

barely there is a two part group exhibition that explores issues of immateriality, presence, absence, performance and the performative. The exhibition also considers the ability of art to engage broad and often intangible concepts by generating a series of connections rather than functioning as a prescribed whole. barely there includes a multigenerational group of artists and artworks produced in the span of over eighty years from the late 1920s to the present.

The first installment of the exhibition presented this summer dealt with the mind, touching on abstract concepts such as death, love, identity, imagination, knowledge and the unintelligible—many of them a constant fascination to artists over the centuries. The second part, on view in the fall of 2011, features work that focuses on the body as a generator of knowledge, memory and as an instigator of social, political and spiritual change and as capable of leaving invisible traces to mark space.

The artworks in barely there are ephemeral, immaterial and/or transparent—as the title suggests—and exist in a permanent state of contingency without trying to generate true or false answers, focusing instead on the immense and open-ended possibility of art to pose large questions but also to be meaningful rather than decipherable.

barely there, an exhibition in two parts, is organized by the Museum of Contemporary Art Detroit (MOCAD) and curated by Luis Croquer, Director and Chief Curator. Support for barely there (part two) is provided in part by the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation.

 

 
Hans Peter Feldmann Lovers, 2008 Courtesy 303 Gallery, New York
Image courtesy of the artist

   

September 16 - December 30, 2011


Stéphanie Nava: Considering a Plot (Dig for Victory)

 

Considering a Plot (Dig for Victory) is a work in progress, developed by French artist Stéphanie Nava. Its installation at MOCAD marks the artist’s first solo exhibition in the United States. The installation is based on the specifications and history of English allotments, or subsistence gardens. Started in London in 2001 as part of the Institut Français Villa Médicis Hors les murs residency program, the project evolved over time and holds at its core issues revolving around the United Kingdom and United States government programs encouraging citizens to “grow your own” [food] during the Second World War, as a system of setting produce shortages.

The installation addressed questions of representation in drawing: namely the relationship between plane and perspective, issues of dexterity and skill, as well as the importance of the line as constructor of space both in two and three dimensions. Nava draws from multiple genealogies of drawing, referencing archival, botanical, architectural, and technical forms of the discipline all at once. The mixed media installation considers the role of the allotment, as a site of political, economic and military strategy; community relationships and of course, of gardening and urban farming through a narrative form that draws from areas of expertise such as urban planning and tourism.

The exhibition is curated by Luis Croquer and organized by the Museim of Contemporary Art Detroit. Major support for the Stéphanie Nava: Considering a Plot (Dig for Victory) is provided by The Graham Foundation For Advanced Studies In The Fine Arts, The Mason Française, The Cultural Services of The French Embassy and the Institut Français. Additional support is provided by the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation.

 

 

Image courtesy of the Artist.

   
 

May 26 - July 31, 2011

barely there
Part I
A group exhibition featuring James Lee Byars, Luis Camnitzer, Jason Dodge, Pablo Helguera, Christoph Keller, Lee Lozano, Rivane & Sergio Neuenschwander, Wilfredo Prieto, Pascale Marthine Tayou and Adolf Wölfli.

 

Photos by Corine Vermeulen


James Lee Byars/Jef Cornelis, World Question Center, 1969
Courtesy of Argos Centre for Art & Media, and the Estate of James Lee Byars

barely there is a group exhibition that explores issues of immateriality, presence, absence, performance and the performative. The exhibition also considers the ability of art to engage broad and often intangible concepts by generating a series of connections rather than functioning as a prescribed whole. barely there includes a multigenerational group of artists and artworks produced in the span of over eighty years from the late 1920s to the present.

The two part exhibition deals in its first installment with the mind, touching on abstract concepts such as death, love, identity, imagination, knowledge and the unintelligible—many of them a constant fascination to artists over the centuries. The second part, to be presented in the fall of 2011, features work that focuses on the body as a generator of knowledge, form, memory and as an instigator of change in diverse spheres.

The artworks in barely there are ephemeral, immaterial and/or transparent—as the title suggests—and exist in a permanent state of contingency without trying to generate true or false answers, focusing instead on the immense and open-ended possibility of art to be meaningful rather than decipherable.

barely there, an exhibition in two parts, is organized by the Museum of Contemporary Art Detroit (MOCAD) and curated by Luis Croquer, Director and Chief Curator.

 
James Lee Byars, World Question Center, 1969. Photo credit: Corine Vermeulen

 
 

February 4 - April 24, 2011

Edgar Arceneaux: Miracles and Jokes, Circle Disk Rotation and 22 Lost Signs of the Zodiac

Photos by Corine Vermeulen

Miracles and Jokes, Circle Disk Rotation and 22 Lost Signs of the Zodiac are three distinct but interrelated bodies of work that share investigations about the limits of what we can know, and the devices we use to reduce those limits. The triangulation of the permanent with the ephemeral, image with text and abstraction with the bodily serves as a vehicle for the artist to embark on an open exploration of the human condition.

In dealing with these large and obscure topics of life and art, Edgar Arceneaux's approach is to describe rather than explain, creating a space for viewers to become active participants in a search to establish the deep connections between ancient and universal history and the contemporary moment.

Edgar Arceneaux: Miracles and Jokes, Circle Disk Rotation and 22 Lost Signs of the Zodiac is organized by The Museum of Contemporary Art Detroit and curated by Luis Croquer, Director and Chief Curator. Major support for the exhibition is provided by the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, to highlight excellence, innovative exploration and promote community engagement in contemporary art.

 
Edgar Arceneaux, Circle Disk Rotation, 2008. Photo credit: Corine Vermeulen

 
 

April 6 - April 24, 2011

Art X Detroit

Photos by Corine Vermeulen


The Art X Detroit: Kresge Arts Experience is sponsored by The Kresge Foundation, in partnership with the College for Creative Studies, Artserve Michigan, the University Cultural Center Association (UCCA) and the Museum of Contemporary Art Detroit (MOCAD).

For more information visit artxdetroit.com

 
 
 

February 4 - March 27, 2011

LifeStories
A group exhibition featuring Pina Bausch, Patricia Esquivias, Simryn Gill, Peter Lemmens, Jàn Mančuška and Rachel Mason.

 

Photos by Corine Vermeulen

The exhibition LifeStories presents artworks by six international artists that deal with issues of personal history or that draw from other people's life stories to eschew traditional ways to present, encapsulate and narrate biography. The individual and suites of pieces presented in the show include video, sculpture, drawing and installation, and demonstrate how contemporary artists see their lives and those of others connected to larger and more complex contexts. They do so by focusing on physical attributes and identity as constructors of a greater whole, critically reconsidering lifetime achievements and production and giving new value to the ephemeral as an integral part of life. Artists included in the exhibition are the famed German choreographer Pina Bausch, undoubtedly one of the most intriguing and influential figures of post-war European dance, as well as Patricia Esquivias, Simryn Gill, Peter Lemmens, Jàn Mančuška and Rachel Mason.

LifeStories is organized by the Museum of Contemporary Art Detroit and curated by Luis Croquer, Director + Chief Curator. Major support for the exhibition is provided by the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, to highlight excellence, innovative exploration and promote community engagement in contemporary art.

 
Rachel Mason, The Ambassadors, 2008. Courtesy of the artist and Andrew Rafacz Gallery. Photo credit: Corine Vermeulen
 
 

September 10 - December 30, 2010

Spatial City: An Architecture of Idealism

 

Photos by Corine Vermeulen

Spatial City, the first exhibition in the United States of artwork drawn from the French Regional Contemporary Art Funds (Frac), brings together an international, multi-generational array of contemporary artists whose work contends with utopian thinking and the idealism and cynicism it inspires.

The exhibition Spatial City originated with the theoretical architecture of the same name by Yona Friedman (b.1923). In his first manifesto, Mobile Architecture (1958), Friedman defined the structures in this ideal city as being transformable, transportable and occupying as little ground area as possible, pushing structures to hover over the earth rather than occupy its surface directly. Friedman’s ideas, disseminated in the aftermath of World War II, have influenced subsequent generations both indirectly and directly. While Friedman’s concepts informed the framework of the show, the selection of artwork reflects the cycling and recycling of optimism and cynicism in postwar and contemporary culture. Artists in the exhibition are responding to society’s complex problems: the failed utopian social experiments that resulted in the dehumanizing conditions of Brutalist architecture, the rise and fall of totalitarian states, the tensions resulting from post-colonial immigration, and the destruction of the environment in the name of progress.

Artists in the exhibition include: Lida Abdul, Christian Alexa, Élisabeth Ballet, Yves Bélorgey, Berdaguer & Péjus, Katinka Bock, Monica Bonvicini, Jeff Carter, Maurizio Cattelan/Philippe Parreno, Jordi Colomer, François Dallegret, Edith Dekyndt, Peter Downsbrough, Philippe Durand, Jimmie Durham, Simon Faithfull, Didier Fuiza Faustino, Cao Fei, Robert Filliou, Elise Florenty, Yona Friedman, Dora Garcia, Ben Hall, Camille Henrot, Séverine Hubard, Pierre Huyghe, Stefan Kern, Bouchra Khalili, Bertrand Lamarche, Vincent Lamouroux, Mark Leckey, Didier Marcel, François Morellet, Sarah Morris, Juan Muñoz, Stéphanie Nava, June Bum Park, Philippe Ramette, Sara Schnadt, Kristina Solomoukha, Tatiana Trouvé, Marie Voignier, herman de vries, Clemens von Wedemeyer, Stephen Wetzel, Raphaël Zarka and others. The presentation in Detroit includes the work of Detroit-based artist Ben Hall in his first museum exhibition and Paris-based artist Katinka Bock (b. 1976), who was in residence at MOCAD during the summer to produce site-specific artworks for the exhibition. MOCAD is thrilled to announce a special installation by architect Yona Friedman (b. 1923) that encapsulates the progressive ideas that informed the exhibition.

Curator Nicholas Frank (Inova, Peck School of the Arts at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee) originated the concept and exhibition.  Participating curators are Allison Peters Quinn (Hyde Park Art Center), Luis Croquer (Museum of Contemporary Art Detroit - MOCAD), Eva González-Sancho (Frac Bourgogne), Yannick Miloux (Frac Limousin) and Marie-Cécile Burnichon (Platform-Regroupement des Fonds régionaux d'art contemporain – the association of the Frac).  The project and tour were developed in partnership with Platform and Polly Morris (formerly of Inova) and the Cultural Services of the French Embassy in the United States.  Spatial City has visited two other architecturally rich Midwestern cities, originating at the Institute of Visual Arts (Inova) (http://www3.uwm.edu/arts/about/inova.html) at the Peck School of the Arts at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee (February 5-April 18, 2010) and Chicago’s Hyde Park Art Center (http://www.hydeparkart.org/) (May 23-August 8, 2010), and will be at the Museum of Contemporary Art Detroit from September 10-December 30, 2010.

There will be a catalog to accompany the exhibition, edited by Polly Morris with Marie-Cécile Burnichon.  The catalog will feature photos from each institution’s installation, along with critical essays, artist biographies and checklists of the work in the exhibition.

The project Spatial City: An Architecture of Idealism was supported in part by Culturesfrance-French Ministry of Foreign and European Affairs, the French Ministry of Culture and Communication (Délégation Générale de la Création Artistique-service des arts plastiques), the Cultural Services of the French Embassy.  Katinka Bock’s residency is made possible with the support of Étant donnés, the French American Cultural Exchange (FACE).


 
Yona Friedman, Ville spatiale, 1959-1960. Photography: François Lauginie. Collection Frac Centre.
 
 

September 10 - December 30, 2010

Martha Friedman: Rub

 

Photos by Corine Vermeulen

Artist Martha Friedman’s (b. 1975) sculptures are inspired by common things including food, office supplies and body parts. By enlarging the scale and focusing on details of their shape and surface, her work engages the viewer with the sculptural aspects of these everyday forms. Friedman explores the textural qualities of the materials that she uses and sets them up to create unexpected dialogs between viewer and object. The exhibition Rub will consist of two major new works commissioned by MOCAD. Tongue Flap is a giant rubber tongue that reveals the negative space underneath a large black rubber flap, while Rubbers is a matrix of 108 oversized, hand cast rubber bands stretching to bridge the twenty-foot span between the Museum’s floor and ceiling.  Whereas Tongue Flap is a contained—albeit monumental—sculptural work, Rubbers occupies nearly the entire space of the gallery where it is installed, creating a unique environment where these re-imagined and enlarged objects confront and interact with the viewer.

Martha Friedman: Rub is organized by The Museum of Contemporary Art Detroit and curated by Luis Croquer, Director and Chief Curator.

 
Martha Friedman, process photo of Tongue Flap, 2010. Courtesy of Wallspace, New York and the artist
 
 

May 27 - July 25, 2010

Jef Geys
Woodward Avenue

 

Photos by Corine Vermeulen

Highly esteemed and critically acclaimed Belgian artist Jef Geys (b. 1934) will present a new body of work specifically based on Detroit entitled Woodward Avenue. Geys rarely exhibits in the United States, making this project a remarkable and unique opportunity for visitors to engage with the artist’s extraordinary work, which encompasses conceptual approaches, educational activities, experiments and cooperative formats. Woodward Avenue is both an expansion and a departure from his Quadra Medicinale project, an interdisciplinary exhibition presented at the Belgian Pavillion at the 53rd Venice Biennale.  For the Detroit project, Geys asked Dr. Ina Vandebroek, an ethnomedical research specialist, to collect weeds at twelve intersections along Woodward Avenue beginning at Cadillac Square, in the heart of the city of Detroit, and ending at Saginaw Street, nearly 30 miles north in the neighboring city of Pontiac.  Woodward Avenue’s installation includes the collected and dried plant specimens with their corresponding scientific descriptions, photographs and specific maps. The exhibition also features two new films that record an ethnobotany workshop with traditional health practitioners run by Dr. Vandebroek in Bolivia. A special edition of the “Kempens Informatieblad” (Kempens Information Journal) will accompany the exhibition, as well as public programs and workshops that are an integral part of this art project.

Woodward Avenue is organized by The Museum of Contemporary Art Detroit and curated by Luis Croquer, Director and Chief Curator.

This exhibition is made possible in part through the generous support of Flanders House, promoting the arts and culture of Flanders (Belgium) in the United States.

 


Cadillac Square / Chenopodium ambrosioides, 2010
Courtesy of the artist
 
 

May 27 - July 25, 2010

Design 99
Too Much of A Good Thing

 

Photos by Corine Vermeulen

Detroit-based artist Mitch Cope (b. 1973) and architect Gina Reichert (b.1974) constitute the husband-and-wife collaborative, Design 99. Working on a model of discursive community engagement, their new project entitled Too Much of A Good Thing continues their exploration of art, community, architecture and spatial and social constructs. The project is centered around the Neighborhood Machine, an intervened and modified bobcat that is part moving sculpture, part functional tool. The Neighborhood Machine is connected both physically and conceptually to their ongoing Power House project, a similar initiative to turn a house into both an art object and an innovative community space, and the Heartland Machine a modified boat that undertook a major journey through the United States’ heartland in search of connections and transformational initiatives. Design 99’s work explores the edges of art practice, utilizing, design, architecture, found materials and utilitarian objects to propose creative solutions to complex problems. Their practice has at its core the belief that transformation can happen in a natural way, if we only take a look, think out-of-the-box and take action.

Too Much of a Good Thing is organized by The Museum of Contemporary Art Detroit and curated by Luis Croquer, Director and Chief Curator.

 
Sketch for The Neighborhood Machine, 2010
Courtesy of the artists

 
 

May 27 - July 25, 2010

LaToya Ruby Frazier
Mother May I

 

Photos by Corine Vermeulen

Mother May I is the first solo museum exhibition of artist LaToya Ruby Frazier (b. 1982).  The exhibition presents a selection of works that stem from a personal documentary and portraiture project that the artist initiated nearly ten years ago and that culminated in a series of photographs called The Notion of Family. The exhibition also includes four films—some never publicly exhibited—that are shown together for the first time. Frazier’s still and moving images are true, poetic and poignant testimonies that record the artist’s home(s) and family life. The unstaged, naturally lit, stark work is subtly informed by the photographs of Roy de Carara and Carrie Mae Weems, among other notable figures of the world of photography and art. Frazier’s work deals incisively and singularly with the psychological and biological lineage that unites her grandmother, mother and herself, revealing at the same time the unavoidable issues of race, class, conflict and substance abuse that surround them. The emotionally charged relationships captured on film, at times appear to blur the line between real life and performance, making viewers part of a private and otherwise inaccessible world, and engaging them in an uncomfortable exercise in voyerism that urges us to reconsider any preconceived or idealized notions of family and community.

Mother May I is organized by The Museum of Contemporary Art Detroit and curated by Luis Croquer, Director and Chief Curator.

 
Me and Mom's Boyfriend Mr. Art, 2005
Courtesy of Higher Pictures
 
 

2010 Graduate Degree Exhibition of Cranbrook Academy of Art

April 17 - May 9, 2010

 

Photos by Corine Vermeulen


Organized by Cranbrook Art Museum in collaboration with the Museum of Contemporary Art Detroit (MOCAD)

 
 
 


For the blind man in the dark room looking for the black cat that isn't there
February 5 — April 4, 2010

 

Photos by Corine Vermeulen

For the blind man in the dark room looking for the black cat that isn’t there starts with the premise that art is not a code that needs cracking. Celebrating the experience of not-knowing and unlearning, the artists in this exhibition understand the world in speculative terms, eager to keep art separate from explanation. Embracing a spirit of curiosity, this show is dedicated to the playfulness of being in the dark.

Artists:
Anonymous, Dave Hullfish Bailey, Marcel Broodthaers, Sarah Crowner, Mariana Castillo Deball, Eric Duyckaerts, Ayse Erkmen, Hans-Peter Feldmann, Peter Fischli & David Weiss, Rachel Harrison, Matt Mullican, Bruno Munari, Nashashibi/Skaer, Falke Pisano, Jimmy Raskin, Frances Stark, Rosemarie Trockel, Patrick van Caeckenbergh, David William. Catalog designed by Will Holder.

For the blind man in the dark room looking for the black cat that isn't there was organized by the Contemporary Art Museum St. Louis Chief Curator Anthony Huberman.

Different versions of the exhibition are being presented at the following venues:

Sept. 11, 2009 – Jan. 3, 2010: Contemporary Art Museum St. Louis
Dec.3, 2009 – Jan. 31, 2010: Institute of Contemporary Arts, London
Febr. 5 – April 4, 2010: Museum of Contemporary Art Detroit
13 Febr. – 28 March 2010: de Appel arts centre, Amsterdam
May – Aug. 2010: Culturgest, Lisbon

 
Photos:
Dave Hullfish Bailey, To do with a wide spot along a dusty road crossing a dry channel, between the old end of Old Red and the dead end of the New West (working prototype), 2009. Mixed media installation. Courtesy of the artist.
 
 

MOCAD is proud to present the 10th anniversary of
Christian Marclay: The Sounds of Christmas

Saturday, December 12, 2009 to Sunday, December 20, 2009

First organized in 1999, The Sounds of Christmas is a seasonal work presented during the month of December in a different city every year. The project consists of 1200 Christmas LPs made available to the public for consultation and to local DJs on scheduled events. The installation also comprises six videos, which document the album covers, while a video projector shows documentation of past performances at other venues.

During the one-week installation noted DJs create remixes of their own selection from Marclay's Christmas records. Part community project, part art installation, this work provides an impressive and exhaustive archive of Christmas music to DJs and turntablists for live performances which disturb the dismal and hackneyed holiday season soundscape.

The installation has appeared at the Tate Modern (London), Musée d’Art Moderne et Contemporain (Geneva), Museum of Contemporary Art (Miami), DHC/ART Foundation for Contemporary Art (Montreal) and The New Museum of Contemporary Art/Media Z
Lounge (NYC).

Please return for more information and a schedule of performances.

 
Courtesy DHC/ART
Photo: Guy L'Heureux
 
 

Alexander Gutke
September 11 — December 27, 2009

Photos courtesy the artist

The solo survey of the Swedish, Malmö-based artist Alexander Gutke (b. 1971) at the Museum of Contemporary Art Detroit will present a focused selection of the artist’s film-based and slide-based works, offering audiences a comprehensive introduction to Gutke’s work from 2000-2008.

Preoccupied with modes of reproduction, self-reflexivity, illusionism and cinema, the work of Alexander Gutke could be characterized by a kind of mystical materialism. His exploration of these concerns moves into a variegated and allegorical territory whose many terrains include space and the void, animation and illusion, and the micro and the macro. Gutke's meticulous and poetic sensibility is that of an unusual storyteller whose works narrate their own material conditions with a sublime economy.

The exhibition offers an opportunity to evaluate Gutke's contribution to neo-conceptualism. The persistence of his preoccupations, as well as the complexity and metaphorical potency of his work set him apart from the more directly citational practices of some of his peers. If Gutke adopts and expands upon strategies initially forged by historical predecessors, he does so to explore issues that are both personal and universal with a depth and richness matched only by his work's stark simplicity and hypnotic beauty.

Curated by Chris Sharp.
This exhibition is organized by the Museum of Contemporary Art Detroit, with special thanks to Galerija Gregor Podnar, Berlin and Culturgest,Porto.

 

Alexander Gutke
The White Light of the Void, 2002
16 mm animation, 4:3 format, seamless loop, length 1 min, including loop system, Ed. 4 + AP
Courtesy Galerija Gregor Podnar, Berlin / Ljubljana

Exploded View, 2005
Kodak carousel slide projector, 81 slides, stand, timer, 55 mm lens Ed. 3/4 + AP
installation view at Art Forum Berlin, 2006
Courtesy Galerija Gregor Podnar, Berlin

Lighthouse, 2006
Kodak carousel slide projector, 81 slides, timer, stand Ed. 4 + AP
Courtesy Galerija Gregor Podnar, Berlin

 
 

Ann Lislegaard: 2062
September 11 — December 27, 2009

Photos by Corine Vermeulen

Entitled with the date when the artist will be 100 years old, the exhibition provides a comprehensive look at Danish artist Ann Lislegaard’s (b. 1962) extended investigation of the science fiction genre. The show comprises six major installations along with other works that explore notions of time, space, and place. In her work the artist employs sound and light architecturally to reflect on and investigate how we perceive and move through the physical and the psychological environments that we inhabit.

Lislegaard’s trilogy of video works, accompanied by sound installations and several site-specific sculptural works, unite elements of recent art history with themes rooted in science fiction literature. Lislegaard reinterprets these varied sources to create experiences within imagined places that lie firmly outside of logic and the habitual.

Ann Lislegaard: 2062 is accompanied by a catalogue, published by the
Henry Art Gallery, which critically examines the works presented in the exhibition. The catalog is available in the MOCAD Store.

Curated by Elizabeth Brown, Chief Curator at Henry Art Gallery.
Ann Lislegaard: 2062 is organized by the Henry Art Gallery in Seattle and is generously supported by the Paul G. Allen Family Foundation, ArtsFund, the Mayor’s Office of Arts & Cultural Affairs, the Danish Arts Council Committee for International Visual Art, the American-Scandinavian Foundation, and the Scan?Design by Inger & Jens Bruun Foundation.

 
Ann Lislegaard. The Left Hand of Darkness. 2008. Three-channel video installation. Courtesy of the artist and Murray Guy, New York.
 
 

ART SPIEGELMAN: PORTRAIT OF THE ARTIST AS A YOUNG %@&*!
May 29 - July 26, 2009

 

Photos by Corine Vermeulen

“It's a manifesto, a diary, a crumpled suicide note and a still-relevant love letter to the medium I adore."
— Art Spiegelman

In 1978, an alienated and ignored underground cartoonist named Art Spiegelman published Breakdowns. By producing this publication, Spiegelman, a respected but misunderstood fixture of the underground comix scene was attempting to break a long-standing social and cultural taboo by calling himself an artist and his medium an art form.

Breakdowns was instrumental in making comics culturally respectable, helping them to infiltrate mainstream libraries and universities. In Breakdowns Spiegelman explored and expanded comics, their boundaries and limitations, transforming a medium that was generally regarded as cheerful and banal into a site of artistic exploration, biographical testimony and a territory to exorcize personal demons.

The exhibition zooms in on a few excerpts from the now iconic book juxtaposed with film, drawings and mementos that highlight Art Spiegelman's personal history and some of his key influences; it also sheds light on the forces that helped him revolutionize his art form.

Spiegelman's interest in art, experimental films, and popular and underground culture (among other high and low sources) became his inspiration and tools to look incisively at and question the “stuff" of his own medium. This exhibition presents some of the unique, rich and multilayered sources that served as his springboard to embarking on a quest to forever rupture the illusion of time that the drawn boxes had imposed on the printed page until then.

Art Spiegelman: Portrait of the Artist as a Young %@&*! was organized by the Museum of Contemporary Art Detroit and curated by Luis Croquer, Director and Chief Curator

 

Art Spiegelman, Breakdowns (Process sketch), 1997
 
 

LINKAGE
ARTISTS SELECT ARTISTS
May 29 - July 26, 2009

Photos by Corine Vermeulen


Art Spiegelman selects Gary Panter
Gary Panter selects Bob Zoell
Bob Zoell selects Roger Herman
Roger Herman selects Eli Langer
Eli Langer selects Michael Rashkow
Michael Rashkow selects Nancy De Holl
Nancy De Holl selects Jesse Chapman
Jesse Chapman selects Michael Delucia


Throughout the history of art, mentoring, influence, appropriation and personal relationships between artists have been crucial to the creation of artworks. Linkage, Artists Select Artists explores the broad and seemingly unrelated influences between a chain of nine artists originated by the creator of the graphic novel, Art Spiegelman.

Each of the artists in the exhibition suggested a fellow artist and also personally selected one or several works of art to represent them in the show, creating through this process a unique network that encompasses diverse generations, approaches, artistic practices and mediums.

The exhibition aims to highlight the strong, functional and enriching relationships, as well as the informal support structures that exist within the artistic community, raising the question not only of who an artist looks at and supports, but also whose work an artist thinks and dialogues with.

The artists in Linkage, Artists Select Artists are bound by friendships, common interests and explicit and/or subtle connections in the works they create, providing the unexpected juxtapositions, the freshness and the free-flowing narrative of exhibitions that are more often found outside institutional frameworks.

Linkage, Artists Select Artists is organized by the Museum of Contemporary Art Detroit.
The artworks included were personally selected by the artists in the exhibition. MOCAD is grateful to all those who made this exhibition possible, especially the artists, Art Spiegelman, Gary Panter, Bob Zoell, Roger Herman, Eli Langer, Michael Rashkow, Nancy de Holl, Jesse Chapman and Michael Delucia, whose work and commitment to the show have been crucial to see it realized. We also acknowledge Marsha Miro, Board President and Founding Director, Burt Aaron, the MOCAD Exhibitions and Programming Committee and Chris Byrne for contacting the artists and for the initial ideas that helped to shape this show. Thanks also to Marianne Boesky Gallery, New York, Alan Koppel Gallery, Chicago, Jason and Leslie Pickleman and the Harkey Family Collection for their generous loans to the exhibition.

 

Gary Panter, Lake Arlington Couple, 1997

 
 

JESPER JUST | WITH MIXED EMOTIONS
May 29 - July 26, 2009

This exhibition focuses on three works by Danish artist Jesper Just: The Lonely Villa, 2004, No Man Is an Island II, 2004, and A Vicious Undertow, 2007.

Just creates works that explore the interstitial spaces between the visual and sculptural fields, appropriating and reinventing conventions used as narrative devices in avant-garde, noir and mainstream cinema. His films often resist the narrative impulse and are constructed from fragments that usually connect traditional cinematic story lines. The process of linking inconsequential moments creates visual corridors and passages that seduce viewers with sensual and stylized imagery, and guide them into a labyrinthine experience that often contains an invisible but tangible, powerful and cryptic emotional charge.

The three works selected for this exhibition touch upon unresolved human relationships and interactions mostly between men and, in the case of A Vicious Undertow, a triangle composed of an older woman and a younger couple.

In all three films, Just uses popular music as a vehicle to move the viewer in unexpected directions, counteracting and avoiding the linearity and narrative aspect that music imposes in the traditional soundtrack.

The artist uses music, decontextualizing and sometimes transforming it to a point were it is barely recognizable. The juxtaposition of images and pop songs creates a non-hierarchical series of correspondences that at times seem familiar and, at others, impenetrable—engaging the viewer in an experience that is mental, emotional and physical.

Jesper Just | With Mixed Emotions was organized by the Museum of Contemporary Art Detroit and curated by Luis Croquer, Director and Chief Curator

 
Jesper Just, A Vicious Undertow, 2007
 
 

BLACK IS, BLACK AIN'T
February 13 - May 3, 2009



Black Is, Black Ain’t examines the topic of race from a fresh perspective and in the context of a post-Civil Rights era, where discussions of race have shifted from a focus on inclusion and equality as expressed in the dreams of Martin Luther King Jr., to a concerted but open-ended effort to make race socially and politically irrelevant.

The exhibition features works by over 20 African-American and non-African-American artists who thoughtfully and provocatively touch and reflect on subjects such as race, gender, sexuality, representation and language. History and class also feature prominently, offering a unique opportunity to revisit and rethink these important topics of race through the eyes of exceptional contemporary artists.

Curated by Hamza Walker and organized by the Renaissance Society of Chicago.

Sponsorship for the Museum of Contemporary Art Detroit’s 2009 exhibitions is provided in part by The Kresge Foundation, The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, Inc, and Masco Corporation Foundation.

 
Hank Willis Thomas, It's About Time, 2006. Photo by Corine Vermeulen.
 
 

I REPEAT MYSELF WHEN UNDER STRESS
February 13 - May 03, 2009


I Repeat Myself When Under Stress examines the ways that contemporary artists compulsively duplicate visual, narrative and formal elements in their work. Repetition and reproduction have been recurrent themes in artistic practice since 1945—as a means of embracing medium hybridity and as a stylistic device—revealing both the compulsions of consumption and the psychological constraints artists face in climates of economic and political uncertainty.

In the exhibition, Ceal Floyer, known for her extremely precise and subtle interventions in exhibition spaces, presents already existing works. Hans Schabus has created a site-specific installation on a simultaneously micro- and mega-scale, and Tris Vonna-Michell has expanded a work created in response to his encounters with the social history and revolutionary potential of the City of Detroit.

The artists, both individually and collectively, reflect and focus on repetition, a concept that acquires special significance in the context of Detroit—the city where the assembly line was invented. Once a great symbol of modernity and automatization, this industrial process relied on an inherent linearity and repetitiveness that over time has, without significant adaptations, become virtually obsolete, particularly in an increasingly interconnected world.

Curated by Trevor Smith, Curator of Contemporary Art, Peabody Essex Museum, Salem, Massachusetts, and Thomas Trummer, Project Manager for the Visual Arts at Siemens Arts Program, Munich, I Repeat Myself When Under Stress is presented in collaboration with the Siemens Arts Program.

 
Tris Vonna-Michell, Auto-Reverse, 2009. Photo by Corine Vermeulen.
 
 

BUSINESS AS USUAL
Curated by Jacob Proctor, Associate Curator of Modern & Contemporary Art, University of Michigan Museum of Art
September 12 - December 28, 2008

Business as Usual explores the complex intersection of art and commerce over the past decade. Both individually and collectively, the artists featured in the exhibition — Bernadette Corporation, Guyton\Walker, Josephine Meckseper, Carey Young, and Sislej Xhafa — explore the role and function of art in a culture increasingly dominated by the dictates of the market, both artistic and otherwise.

Business as Usual is curated by Jacob Proctor. Jacob Proctor is Associate Curator of Modern and Contemporary Art at the University of Michigan Museum of Art (UMMA), which will reopen to the public in Spring 2009 following a $41.9 million expansion and renovation project. Proctor is founding curator of UMMA Projects, a new series of exhibitions and publications focusing on emerging artists. Upcoming UMMA Projects include Walead Beshty, Lisa Anne Auerbach, Heather Rowe, Cory Arcangel, and Simon Dybbroe Moller, among others. Proctor is also currently organizing the first North American retrospective of seminal conceptual artist (and Michigan native) Douglas Huebler, who passed away in 1997.

Prior to joining UMMA in late 2007, Proctor spent three years at the Harvard University Art Museums while pursuing his PhD in History of Art and Architecture. His most recent exhibition, Multiple Strategies: Beuys, Maciunas, Fluxus, was presented to critical acclaim in early 2007 at Harvard’s Busch-Reisinger Museum. Between Object and Event, a volume of essays drawn from a symposium Proctor organized in conjunction with the exhibition, is forthcoming.

Read insights on MOCAD’s new neon sign: (Business as Usual artist)Sislej Xhafa’s Nothing Will Be Alright here.

 
Guyton/Walker, Untitled
 
 

BECOMING: PHOTOGRAPHS FROM THE WEDGE COLLECTION
Curated by Kenneth Montague
September 12 - December 28, 2008

Becoming: Photographs from the Wedge Collection examines ways in which personal and cultural identity are created, challenged, or affirmed. Through portraiture, these works by artists from Canada, the United States, Africa and throughout the Diaspora, trace the evolving politics of representation. Whether documentation of an era or reflections on family histories, the images provide insights into the changing roles of the artist and subject. This exhibition includes historical and contemporary photography, and is curated by Kenneth Montague, Director of Wedge Curatorial Projects in Toronto. Continue for more images...

 
Wayne Salmon, Mr. MacKenzie
 
 

BROADCAST
Curated by Irene Hofmann and co-organized by iCI, New York, and the Contemporary Museum, Baltimore
September 12 - December 28, 2008

Broadcast explores ways in which artists since the late 1960s have engaged, critiqued, and inserted themselves into official channels of broadcast television and radio.

Curated by Irene Hofmann, executive director of the Contemporary Museum in Baltimore, Broadcast features thirteen works from the early 1970s to the present by an international group of artists, including single-channel monitor-based videos, video-projection works, photography, installations, and interactive broadcasting projects.

Artists in this exhibition include:
Dara Birnbaum
Chris Burden
Gregory Green
Doug Hall, Chip Lord and Jody Procter
Christian Jankowski
Iñigo Manglano-Ovalle
neuroTransmitter
Antonio Muntadas
Nam June Paik
TVTV (Top Value Television)
Siebren Versteeg

Broadcast is co-organized by iCI, (Independent Curators International), New York, and the Contemporary Museum, Baltimore, and circulated by iCI. Continue reading...

 
Siebren Versteeg, CC, 2003
 
 

considering DETROIT
AND considering ARCHITECTURE: SUSTAINABLE DESIGNS FROM DETROIT

May 10 - July 27, 2008

considering Detroit and considering Architecture open at 7 pm May 10 and runs through July 27.

considering Detroit is the first in a projected series that will explore contemporary art somehow linked to the Detroit area, and document this recent artistic activity. considering Detroit will include five visual artists, one poet, and a collective. They are:

Ellen Cantor
Maurice Greenia Jr. (Maugre)
Jim Gustafson
Allie McGhee
Heather McGill
Gordon Newton
artist collective TIME STEREO

In conjunction with MOCAD's considering DETROIT show, considering Architecture: Sustainable Designs from Detroit will also be on view. This show will include the designs, architecture and products of several local area architecture firms and highlight their projects that include "green" or sustainable design practices. Continue reading...

 
Gordon Newton, Untitled (Swordfish), courtesy Wayne State University
 
 

ReFUSING FASHION: REI KAWAKUBO
February 8 - April 20, 2008

One of the most elusive fashion designers in the world, Rei Kawakubo of Japan, is known for remaking the forms of clothes. Her sweaters full of holes, jackets with only one sleeve and dresses that are part dress and part pants are unique, yet always wearable. She says she wants to "design clothes that have never yet existed." Her innovative fashion, unique methods of fabrication and collaborations with artists working in many different fields including the great modern choreographer Merce Cunningham, will be explored in a unique installation of her work at MOCAD. The exhibition will include over 40 key garments, costumes from and film of the Cunningham performance, photographs, runway footage and ephemera. Continue reading...

 
Photo by Corine Vermeulen
 
 

HOLY HIP-HOP!
NEW PAINTINGS BY ALEX MELAMID

February 8 - April 20, 2008

Click to see exhibition catalogue.

Icons from the world of hip-hop music will be the subject of an extraordinary exhibition of portraits by Russian-born American painter Alexander Melamid, the outspoken artist who once had his work dismantled and bulldozed by the Soviet government. Holy Hip-Hop! New Paintings by Alex Melamid will be on view at the Museum of Contemporary Art Detroit from February 8 through April 20, 2008. Holy Hip-Hop! marks the first-ever solo show for Melamid, who is world-famous for his collaborative partnership with fellow Russian-born artist Vitaly Komar. A fully-illustrated catalogue will accompany the exhibition. Continue reading...

 
Snoop Dogg, 2005 by Alex Melamid
 
 

WORDS FAIL ME
Curated by Matthew Higgs
September 16, 2007 - January 20, 2008
Opens September 15 at 7pm

Matthew Higgs curates the Fall 2007 show at MOCAD. Artists in the show will include: Lisa Anne Auerbach, Tauba Auerbach, Anne-Lise Coste, Martin Creed, Sam Durant, Peter Fischli, Ryan Gander, Siobhan Liddell, Jonathan Monk, Philippe Parreno, Jack Pierson, Carl Pope, Kay Rosen, Ron Terada, Rirkrit Tiravanija, David Weiss and Jennifer West.

Continue reading...


 
 
 

STUFF: INTERNATIONAL CONTEMPORARY ART FROM THE COLLECTION OF BURT AARON
May 12 - July 29, 2007

The Museum of Contemporary Art Detroit is proud to present STUFF: International Contemporary Art from the Collection of Burt Aaron. Featuring over 100 works of art by over 75 artists, this show brings rarely seen work from a private collection to the public eye.

Continue reading...


 
 
 

SHRINKING CITIES
In collaboration with Cranbrook Art Museum
February 3 - April 1, 2007

Shrinking Cities, a project by Germany's Federal Cultural Foundation, the Kulturstiftung des Bundes, explores a form of urban development that has become a global phenomenon. Starting in 2002, local teams were commissioned in Detroit (USA), Manchester/Liverpool (Britain), Ivanovo (Russia), and Halle/Leipzig (Germany) to investigate and document processes of urban shrinking. In more than fifty exhibition contributions, artists, architects, filmmakers, journalists, culture experts, and sociologists reveal and illuminate the changing realities of these cities. Continue reading...


 
Poster announcing call for proposals.
 
 

MEDITATIONS IN AN EMERGENCY
Curated by Klaus Kertess
October 28, 2006 - April 22, 2007

Click to see exhibition catalogue.

We seem to be residing in a world in which nature has frequently come to be referred to as a terrorist; and terrorism has come to be thought of as natural. Tornadic conditions prevail spiritually, mentally, and physically. Now directly, now obliquely, now with humor, never preaching, the artists included in the opening exhibition at the Museum of Contemporary Art - Detroit, explore this dark moment. Continue reading...


 
 
 
The Museum of Contemporary Art Detroit is a non-profit, tax-exempt organization supported through invaluable contributions from individuals and members. The Richard and Jane Manoogian Foundation provides leading support for the Museum of Contemporary Art Detroit since 2006. General operating support for MOCAD is generously provided by Fred A. and Barbara M. Erb Family Foundation, General Motors Foundation, The Kresge Foundation, Masco Corporation Foundation and The Taubman Foundation. Additional funding for programming and educational initiatives is provided by Edith S. Briskin/Shirley K. Schlafer Foundation. Valuable in-kind support is provided by Dykema. Museum of Contemporary Art Detroit is also supported, in part, by The Andy Warhol Foundation For the Arts, Robert Rauschenberg Foundation, Leveraging Investments in Creativity in partnership with the Ford Foundation, and ArtPlace, a collaboration of top national foundations, the National Endowment for the Arts and various federal agencies to accelerate creative placemaking across the U.S.