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PAST / CURRENT / UPCOMING

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


La Bella Crisi

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". In essence, the 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. La Bella Crisis comments on obsolescence, the effects of transient economic models and the beauty of impermanence, also addressing labor and the authenticity of simple objects.

Born in Spain, raised in Puerto Rico, and now living in New York and Chicago, artist José Lerma is best known for producing playful, intricately rendered portraits of long­ lost historical figures. In recent years, Lerma has expanded his painting practice to include repurposing nontraditional materials such as reflective fabric, plastics, and industrial carpet. Lerma incorporates found objects such as electric keyboards, patio light fixtures, and military parachutes from United Kingdom. In dialogue with changing artistic practices over the past decade, Lerma explores various uses of materials for his paintings but also mulls over the medium’s relationship to history with a capital “H.” This will be Lerma's largest exhibition to date and will working in an open studio fashion in the MOCAD galleries inviting visitors to engage and add to the process.

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 and Andrea Rosen Gallery.

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.



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



The People's Biennial
September 5, 2014 - January 4, 2015

Curated by Jens Hoffmann and Harrell Fletcher

People’s Biennial is an exhibition series conceived by artist Harrell Fletcher and curator Jens Hoffmann in 2009. It examines the work of 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, artists and other creative individuals, who operate outside the conventional art world. As such it recognizes a wide array of artistic expression present in many communities across the United States. In covering the little known, the overlooked, the marginalized, and the excluded, the project overall offers a view into a diverse range of creative practices in America today.



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.