Museum of Contemporary Art Detroit

Funding Received: 2011
Detroit, MI
Funding Period: 1 year and 5 months
September 26, 2011

The very same day that the news of our ArtPlace grant went live, we opened our fall exhibitions season. So it was a pretty busy -- and exciting! -- week for us.

Our two current exhibitions are "barely there (part two)", a group exhibition that includes a multigenerational group of artists and artworks produced in the span of over eighty years from the late 1920s to the present, and Stéphanie Nava: "Considering a Plot (Dig for Victory)", a young French artist’s first solo show in the United States.

"Barely there," which features 17 artists -- including Luis Camnitzer, Frank Capra, Kimsooja, Christian Marclay and Wilfredo Prieto -- explores issues of immateriality, presence, absence, performance and the performative. The artworks 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.

"Considering a Plot" is based on the specifications and history of English allotments, or subsistence gardens, and holds at its core issues revolving around United Kingdom and United States government programs encouraging citizens to “grow your own” [food] during the Second World War as a system of offsetting produce shortages. Comprised of over a hundred drawings on paper and other objects, it examines critically the Victory Garden as a point of departure for urban greening movements in contemporary society, but also reflects incisively on issues of history, community and the practice of art itself.

Opening night saw neighbors, artists and funders alike strolling through the Museum, examining the exhibitions. The visitors then converged in our café to hear Moon Pool and Dead Band, an electronic music duo from Detroit, and Crash Course in Science, an obscure, Philadelphia-based electronic music act. It was a lovely fall evening of art and music at MOCAD.