DETROIT — Detroit faces the best/worst of times. It teems with inventive artists and entrepreneurs whose work and presence generate solid philanthropy and investment. At the same time, increasingly severe budget cuts are hitting schools, police, firefighters and transportation systems hard; poverty and crime remain high. Understanding the city’s open land mass (roughly 143 square miles with a population of just over 700,000 — compare this to Manhattan with about 34 square miles and over 1,600,000 residents) helps to make sense of things.
Detroit Is Not a Utopia
I don’t actively seek out photographs and films documenting Detroit’s decay. Detroit ruin porn could be cast as a useful reminder that no city is invincible, but in recent years the sheer quantity of photographs coming out of Detroit hasn’t felt remotely empowering. The images of the destruction are sad and offer no sense of a desire to change the problem, or suggestions for how that could even be done. However, I wanted to give the new documentary Detropia, made by Rachel Grady and Heidi Ewing, the creators of the bone-chilling documentary Jesus Camp, a chance. I figured if anyone could investigate and show a Detroit outsider what it means to be in Detroit, it would be them.
Take a Tour of Detroit with an Insider’s View
LOS ANGELES — One Day in Detroit is a crowdsourced tour guide experience with a simple goal.
Finishing “Mobile Homestead” After the Death of the Artist
Just a few months after the sudden death of artist Mike Kelley, the Museum of Contemporary Art Detroit (MOCAD), the LUMA Foundation and Artangel have announced that one of his last projects, “Mobile Homestead,” will be likely completed at MOCAD by the end of the year.
Why I Love Twitter … and @DKleinGallery @BetsyEby @TheBoBartlett and @Alyssamonks
From Twitter to real life. My story.
Detroit is a myth. In a twisted, ironic way, the city has become an art-world Shangri-La, a place where artists are discovering — thanks in part to insanely low rents — creative possibilities to remake and reform a large geographic area with public art projects, interventions and community building. Detroit has become a rich backdrop for contemporary art.
Photographer Looks Out On the Edge of Detroit’s High Rises
LOS ANGELES — Standing atop buildings in skyscraper-bound cities like New York and Hong Kong, we’re bound to look out. And across. And somewhat downward. But never down, like straight down. Detroit-based photographer Dennis Maitland took a different approach.
The Best Installation Art in Detroit!
DETROIT — I am not a car guy. There I said it. I live in Michigan, work in Detroit and I am not a car guy. I cannot tell a catalytic converter from a hemi — I am not even sure if those are real words. Nevertheless, I went to the North American International Auto Show (“NAIAS”) to view the spectacle.
A New Yorker in Detroit
DETROIT — Wouldn’t it be refreshing if an outside artist came to Detroit and focused on the nuanced, complex nature of Detroit? I mean, the abandoned building narrative is not really that original or thought provoking is it? By now I think the only dialogue an artist could illicit would be, “oh, poor, poor, Detroit … let’s move on to the next topic.” Enter New Yorker Judith Hoffman.
An Insider’s Guide to Detroit’s Contemporary Art Scene
DETROIT — The rumors are true: Detroit’s contemporary art scene thrives. The rumors are also true: [insert standard boilerplate about Detroit’s struggles]. For my first article for Hyperallergic, I provide a brief guide to Detroit’s contemporary art scene.
Planted Stories: Jef Geys Touches Down in Detroit
Belgian conceptual artist Jef Geys has been commissioned by the Museum of Contemporary Art Detroit to create his latest project titled “Woodward Avenue” on the Detroit street of the same name. It will span almost 30 miles and incorporate local vegetation.
Oldest Graphic Design Found, Islamic in Detroit, Mexican in LA
… P.S.1’s Brooklyn is Burning event gets out of control last weekend … #class gets invited to Pulse … a HUGE statue of Amenhotep III is discovered in Luxor, Egypt … Milan Fashion Week includes protestors peeved at Anna Wintour’s quick ditch.