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MOCAD hosts musical, literary and artistic events throughout the year. Check back often or contact us at info@mocadetroit.org if you would like to be kept up to date on upcoming events.

All events are Free (Suggested $5 Museum Donation) and open to the public and take place at MOCAD unless otherwise indicated.

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Day of the Dead Ofrendas and Retablos
Saturday, October 3, Noon - 4pm

In celebration of the traditional Mexican holiday Día de los Muertos, MOCAD has invited local artist Kia Arriaga to create a community ofrenda and guide participants through a guided tour of the many symbols associated with the celebration . Visitors will create miniature shrines called retablos with a variety of supplies provided by MOCAD.

Relax in the galleries for storytime or dance to a blended mix of folkloric, traditional, jazz, rock, and vocal sounds of Mexican/Italian music by DJ Pilar Cote. MOCAD Teen Council youth docents will be on hand to help you gain fresh perspectives on the exhibitions. Cafe 78 will offer a special kid-friendly menu of lunch and treats. Great for ages four years and older.This event is made possible through the generosity of the Taubman Family Foundation.

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Frankie Banks + Detroit Clothing Circle
Sunday, October 4, 11 - 5pm

Café 78 invites you to immerse yourself in a sumptuous brunch of beats, art, and pop-up shopping. Contemporary leaders of the Detroit electronic music club community create the sonic ambience while guests enjoy classic cocktails, an array of Anthology coffee drinks, and a menu of seasonal food specialties curated by James Beard Award-nominated chef Marc Djozlija. Plus, the MOCAD galleries are open! The series happens every Sunday from 11am - 5pm.

Frankie Banks, long-time Detroit-based maverick DJ/producer is well known nationally underground for both classy cocktail hours and raging late-night parties.

Detroit Clothing Circle brings customers a mix of vintage and contemporary fashion they desire, with a price tag that brings a smile.

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Kraftwerk After Hours @ MOCAD
Monday, October 5, 10pm - 2am
Admission: $7 MOCAD Members/$10 Non-Members

Juan Atkins in partnership with Museum of Contemporary Art Detroit presents Kraftwerk After Hours @ MOCAD. Join us at the Museum after the concert for DJ sets by Juan, Kevin Saunderson, Derrick May, and other special guests. Don’t miss a rare opportunity to see these pioneers and creators of techno music: Detroit’s contemporary sound.

21 and over

Purchase pre-sale tickets here:

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Dora Apel, Beautiful Terrible Ruins
Wednesday, October 7, 7pm

In Beautiful Terrible Ruins, art historian Dora Apel explores a wide array of images of Detroit, ranging from photography, advertising, and television, to documentaries, video games, and zombie and disaster films. Apel warns that these images, while pleasurable, have little explanatory power, lulling us into seeing Detroit’s deterioration as either inevitable or the city’s own fault, and absolving the real agents of decline—corporate disinvestment and globalization.

Dora Apel is a professor of art history and visual culture and W. Hawkins Ferry Endowed Chair in Modern and Contemporary Art History at Wayne State University.

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Learn more about Detroit Speaks here.



Helado Negro
Sunday, October 11, doors at 8pm
Admission: $10 ($5 for MOCAD Members)
Purchase Tickets Here

The son of Ecuadorian immigrants, Helado Negro’s music is suffused with tropical heat, refracted in the rich sounds and colors of the Latin American cultures of southern Florida. Roberto Lange, as the multifaceted creator of Helado Negro, is a visual artist working with mediums such as video, sound, and performance. Helado Negro, beyond the persona, serves as a creative space encouraging a cohesive collision of art and music.

Since its dawn, Helado Negro has achieved a successful organic growth. The inclusiveness of myriad forms of meticulous music craftsmanship has kept Helado Negro flourishing with a powerful force. Roberto Carlos Lange, the voice and mastermind behind the act, has cultured his identity, ideology and musical dexterity with constant artistic and introspective development; Lange is an innovator involved in every phase of his creation. He has brilliantly accomplished powerful works with formidable statements, altogether praised by public and media. Yet, most importantly, every release has served as an exploration of practice of Lange’s unique nature of expression. Full-length LPs such as 'Invisible Life,' 'Canta Lechuza' and 'Awe Owe' hold a common denominator of experimentation and refinement that serve as the solid foundation of Lange’s fundamental pillar in the process of music; by building upon every LP and EP every step unveils a new layer of Lange’s talent. A music making process which is illustrated with the chapters of originality throughout the Island Universe Story series, released in three EPs, which instantly became a distinctive mark to Lange’s commitment to produce and engage in music. The result is a contentious approach in creativity that exemplifies a perfect equilibrium of electronic music with shades in kraut rock bathed in mesmerizing rhythms and loops with hair-raising melodies. Lange provokes a sensorial, imagery and emotional experience. Lange pours his heart and full sincerity in his music. The lyrics, in his soothing and enchanting voice, are accompanied by musical arrangements which overall create a solid and well-rounded result.

Born in Florida to Ecuadorian immigrants and currently residing in Brooklyn, Lange’s upbringing provides essential elements to the backbone of his music, in particular his songwriting. Helado Negro has a consistent bilingual – English and Spanish– presence in lyrics. With a hybrid identity and music as a vehicle, Lange eradicates barriers of language and space hence positioning culture at a balanced intersection. His music crosses physical borders and creates a cross-cultural connection where Spanish and English exist in congenial and harmonious manner; as well as people being united through music in boundless space of real time.

Thomas Wincek opens the show.

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Adva Zakai: Last Seen Standing Between Brackets
Wednesday, October 14, 7pm
Admission: $5 (Free for MOCAD Members)

Belgium-based Adva Zakai’s choreographic works explore how body and language are perceived through each other, and evoke an experience that can be grasped through multiple perspectives. Last Seen Standing Between Brackets attempts to separate a body from its own movements, a text from its writer, and a person from their own mind in order to be able to imagine all these elements existing without the one who created them. Zakai introduces a fragmented self, manifested simultaneously in different spaces and temporalities—virtual, actual, private, public, organic, and digital.



Troublemakers: The Story of Land Art
Wednesday, October 14, 7pm
Admission: $8 (Free for MOCAD Members)
Purchase Tickets Here

MOCAD is honored to host the Michigan premiere of this new documentary about land art!

Troublemakers unearths the history of land art in the tumultuous late 1960s and early 1970s. The film features a cadre of renegade New York artists that sought to transcend the limitations of painting and sculpture by producing earthworks on a monumental scale in the desolate desert spaces of the American southwest. Today these works remain impressive not only for the sheer audacity of their makers but also for their out-sized ambitions to break free from traditional norms. The film casts these artists in a heroic light, which is exactly how they saw themselves. Iconoclasts who changed the landscape of art forever, these revolutionary, antagonistic creatives risked their careers on radical artistic change and experimentation, and took on the establishment to produce art on their own terms. The film includes rare footage and interviews which unveil the enigmatic lives and careers of storied artists Robert Smithson (Spiral Jetty), Walter De Maria (The Lightning Field) and Michael Heizer (Double Negative); a headstrong troika that established the genre. As the film makes clear, in making works that can never be possessed as an object in a gallery, these troublemakers stand in marked contrast to the hyper-speculative contemporary art world of today.

Troublemakers points out that land art was rife with contradiction and conflict, a site where architecture, landscape, sculpture, technology, archaeology and photography would all converge. Against the backdrop of the Vietnam War, Cold War anxieties and other political uncertainties of the nuclear age, land artists often subscribed to a dystopian view of the future that questioned the military-industrial complex, consumerism and the banalities of modern life and culture.

The period was also marked by the release of the first image of the entire earth. Produced by NASA, such images turned the conceptual space of earth into a two-dimensional sphere; an object on which to conceivably draw, design and create. The most compelling land art sites offered viewers a means to imagine and negotiate the scale of the human body with the enormity of our planet. Land artists were exploring a larger canvas to work on while simultaneously seeking to create works that induced awe in the viewer, thus producing a new kind of pilgrimage and a new kind of visceral viewing experience. The film shows how nature performs in these works and alters them over time, sometimes radically reclaiming them, creating an ongoing competitive dialogue between artist and the natural world.

Using original footage produced with helicopters and rare re-mastered vintage footage from the period, Crump’s cinematic journey takes viewers on a thrill ride through the most significant land art sites in California, Nevada, New Mexico and Utah, an immersive and physically transportive experience that movie goers will not forget.

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The Three Grace(s) Triptych, with a live soundtrack performance by Adult.
Friday, October 23, 8pm
Admission: $10 ($8 for MOCAD Members)
Purchase tickets here

For the first time in Detroit in over five years, Detroit electronic duo ADULT. present The Three Grace(s) Triptych, a unique evening of original silent film and live soundtrack performance. Consisting of three interconnected films, it focuses on an aesthetic of midwestern horror and interdisciplinary endeavor. This unorthodox film trilogy does not conform to a traditional format, but relates more to the surrealist 1950 Orphic Trilogy by Jean Cocteau, had its mythology been placed in enduring horror iconography instead of Greek legend.

The Three Grace(s) Triptych was written, scored, filmed, edited, and directed by ADULT. members Nicola Kuperus and Adam Lee Miller and will be screened with ADULT. performing the soundtrack live.

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50 Years of the Fifth Estate Zine Workshop
Saturday, October 24, Noon - 4pm

Sign up for this one-of-a-kind zine workshop with multimedia artist Laura Beyer and Peter Werbe of Fifth Estate. Make a group or a personal zine and learn different bookbinding techniques. This workshop is great for ages 8 and up, free, and open to the public but space is limited to 20 participants.

Please register with Augusta Morrison by email to amorrison@mocadetroit.org. MOCAD supplies all materials.

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Realizing the Witch: Science, Cinema, and the Mastery of the Invisible with a screening of Häxan
Wednesday, October 28, 7pm
Admission: $5 (Free for MOCAD Members)
Purchase Tickets Here

Benjamin Christensen's Häxan stands as a singular film within the history of cinema, with its powerfully staged historical scenes of satanic initiation, possession, and persecution. Häxan blends spectacle and argument to provoke a humanist re-evaluation of witchcraft in European history, as well as the contemporary treatment of female “hysterics” and the mentally ill. In Realizing the Witch, scholars Richard Baxstrom and Todd Meyers show how Häxan opens a window onto wider debates regarding the relationship of film to scientific evidence, and the complex relations between popular culture, artistic expression, and concepts in medicine and psychology. Meyers, an associate professor of medical anthropology at Wayne State, will be present to introduce the film, and lead a discussion following the screening.

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Industrial Soundtrack for the Urban Decay
Wednesday, November 11, 8pm
Admission: $8 ($5 for MOCAD Members)
Purchase Tickets Here

Industrial Soundtrack for the Urban Decay traces the origins of Industrial music, taking a journey through the crumbling industrial cities of Europe to America's thriving avant garde scene. Industrial music emerged in the mid 1970s, providing a vibrant, provocative, and artistic soundtrack to the picket lines, economic decline, and cultural oppression of the era. Whether factory workers, students, or unemployed, industrial music pioneers were all educated, artistically minded and politically aware artists who started with little to no musical background and went on to change musical history. Featuring Throbbing Gristle, Cabaret Voltaire, and many other pioneers.

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DIY Drum Garden
Sunday, November 15, Noon - 4pm
At Mike Kelley's Mobile Homestead

The Mobile Homestead continues its series of neighborhood jam sessions, hosted this season by the Michigan State Community Music School Detroit. Join percussion artist Zac Brunell for a DIY drum building workshop using car parts. Enter the Drum Garden workshop and pick your parts: mufflers, brake drums, axel rods, and more to make your own drum or noisemaker. Then on December 13, return to join community members of all ages and skill levels for an afternoon of improvised music. Bring the instrument you made, or another of your choosing, and play along in a free form jam session. Tambourines, shakers, and other noisemakers will be available for those without an instrument.

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The next Jam Session #8 will be hosted on December 13, Noon - 3pm



The All-New 2015 Rightsized Limo
Sunday, November 15, 11am - 5pm

Toronto-based multidisciplinary artist Jon Sasaki hosts his first U.S. solo exhibition in Detroit. Tailgate in MOCADʼs parking lot as Sasaki rips apart a 1980s limo with help from Cranbrook Academy of Art graduate students. They'll dismantle and then weld an aging behemoth back together, debuting the All-New 2015 Rightsized Limo while simultaneously commemorating its remains.

Limited-edition air fresheners designed by Sasaki as an artistʼs multiple will be given to the first 100 visitors. Refreshments will be available for purchase inside the museum at Café 78. Sasaki's visit in Detroit is sponsored by Canadian Residency, a winner of the Knight Foundation's Knight Arts Challenge.

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Micachu and the Shapes
Thursday, November 19, 8pm
Admission: $12
Purchase Tickets Here

Mica Levi (also known as "Micachu") was born outside of London to a record collector and professional Cellist in a household where music was not just a hobby, but a starting point for everything. Mica was playing violin as soon as she was old enough to hold one. She was classically trained at the Purcell School on a scholarship from the Music and Ballet Scheme, then went on to win another scholarship to study composition at the Guildhall School of music where she met 'the Shapes' (of eventual band 'Micachu and the Shapes') Raisa Khan and Marc Pell. Largely on a laptop in Mica's bedroom Micachu and the Shapes made their critically acclaimed debut album 'Jewellery' (Rough Trade, 2009). Using unorthodox, handmade instruments the group collaborated with The London Sinfonietta (one of the world's leading contemporary orchestras), the group release the album 'Chopped & Screwed' (Rough Trade, 2011), recorded live in front of an audience at King's Place. In 2012, the band released their second studio album 'Never' (Rough Trade) which was fully recorded and produced by the band themselves at Pell's handmade studio. Renowned for recording with unconventional, often household or handmade instruments such as hoovers, decks of cards and bowed CD racks, on 'Never' the group built upon this resourceful creativity by visually accompanying the album with self-directed and produced music videos for every track.

Mica is an artist in residence at London's Southbank Centre, the youngest individual musician to have ever been granted this unique role.

Mica composed the soundtrack to Under the Skin, a film directed by Jonathan Glazer and starring Scarlett Johansson. The film is based upon the eponymous novel by Michel Faber. Mica was nominated for a British Independent Film Award for her music in Under The Skin in the Best Technical Achievement category, and the soundtrack continues to get praise from multiple sources.

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John Corbett and Joe McPhee
Saturday, November 21, 7pm
Admission: $5 (Free for Members)

Microgroove: Forays into Other Music continues writer John Corbett's exploration of diverse musics, with essays, interviews, and musician profiles. Corbett advocates for the relevance of “little” music, which despite its smaller audience is of enormous cultural significance. Corbett celebrates “other” music’s ability to open up pathways to new ideas, fresh modes of expression, and unforeseen ways of knowing.

Joining Corbett is music titan (and Microgroove cover star) Joe McPhee, a multi-instrumentalist, composer, improviser, conceptualist, and theoretician. With a career spanning nearly 50 years and over 100 recordings, he continues to tour internationally, forge new connections and reach for music’s outer limits.

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Joseph Keckler, Let Me Die
Saturday, December 12, 1 - 5pm

Joseph Keckler takes over MOCAD's performance space for an afternoon preview of his epic work in progress—restaging hundreds of death scenes from the canon of classical opera!

Straddling the worlds of music, art, performance and theater, Joseph Keckler has garnered acclaim for his rich, versatile 3+ octave voice and sharp wit. Most recently, Keckler playied Chaliapin in the opening run of Dave Malloy’s musical Preludes, directed by Rachel Chavkin and playing at Lincoln Center Theater. In 2013 Dixon Place commissioned his performance piece, I am an Opera. Keckler has been featured on BBC America’s The Nerdist and WNYC Soundcheck, and has appeared at venues including South by Southwest, Joe’s Pub, New Museum of Contemporary Art, Merkin Hall, Union Hall, and BAM. He has received residencies from MacDowell and Yaddo, as well as a Franklin Furnace Grant and a Fellowship in Interdisciplinary Work from New York Foundation for the Arts. The Village Voice named him “Best Downtown Performance Artist, 2013."

Borrowing the title from "Lasciatemi morire," the Monteverdi aria, Joseph Keckler's 'Let Me Die' approaches the canon of tragic opera as a "body perfumed with death" as he ties together and performs fragments of hundreds of operatic death scenes in this work-in-progress preview of a new durational piece.

In partnership with the Penny Stamps Speaker Series and the Roman J. Witt Artist in Residence Program.

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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.