Tuesday, December 13, 2005

nobody knows about mocad?

Maybe this post is already becoming hidden...but I am still curious why no one knows about MOCAD??

13 Comments:

Anonymous fredo said...

rumor:
the museum of contemporary art detroit (mocad) held their last board meeting november 17th. they should have another soon. burt aaron and mrs. karmanos are on this one - so money and art clout.

klaus kertess (critic,curator,owner of Bykert gallery in sixties)attended the meeting. he has been asked to curate mocad's first show, to exhibit 6 "hot" ny artists and 2 from detroit. while he was in town scott hocking drove him to visit different detroit artists' studios. it was probably a very select group.

their first event should be in spring of 2006. a fund-raiser of some sort.

word is that the "museum" is also supporting an art's journal,titled i.e. detroit --- with lynn crawford and mitch cope as editors and hartmut austen as one of the first contributors.

manoogian has decided to foot a good portion of the bill.

that is all.

12:21 PM  
Anonymous jef said...

of course no one knows what's real or not, since everything is cloaked in rumor and oaths of secrecy.

how's this thing ever gonna get off the ground if it doesn't get a groundswell of support.

can't happen if its potential supporters are left in the dark.

it's just gonna fall out of the sky one day. not a good sign for its future success. screw it, i'm already taking back my membership.

12:48 PM  
Anonymous fredo said...

latest from the mill:

clint snyder and mitch kope are the 2 detroit artists.

2:21 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

i heard that it was clint and scott for the first show. i didn't think mitch was to be showing. i heard he is scheduled to be the director. you never know what is true though.

2:57 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm glad to see they're reaching for new talent and keeping it local. really pushing some boundaries.

jk.

god help us all.

3:03 PM  
Blogger ann said...

Why is it always clint and scott? Ok, yes they did relics...but they keep dragging that installation everywhere. I feel a conspiracy between miss hilberry and the "boys". Don't get me wrong I love clint and scott, I just feel that Detroit has more than two up and coming artists. I guess I just hate that things in the city move so slow and secretive that no one but a "chosen" few tend to move up the ladder. As someone said to me, "It is all about sleeping with the right people!" I think I need to find a new partner!! ha ha!

3:41 PM  
Anonymous justanotherartguy said...

I agree with Ann and Jef. It seems to always be the same old same old in Detroit as if we only have a limited talent base and the "urban grit aesthetic." I guess it's all a matter of packaging Detroit for the potential art consumer. We really need a serious contemporary space so local artists and the broader public can get some exposure to more than the same old Detroit artists we see year after year. Why are the plans for MOCAD so secret anyway? Contemporary art must be more subversive than I thought.. hope it turns out to be just that instead of just another staid institution for the insiders.

9:57 AM  
Anonymous jef said...

Just some thoughts on the running commetary:

John Tusa is a British writer, curator, etc - who wrote a book five years ago called WHY ART MATTERS.
He was just quoted, musing five years after the book, saying that things are basically the same as five years ago. His musings can seem more pertinent to Detroit than London:

The arts matter because they are local and relevant to the needs and wishes of local people. They help citizens to express their needs and to clothe them in memorable forms. They offer a way of expressing ideas and wishes that ordinary politics do not allow. The arts regenerate the rundown and rehabilitate the neglected. Arts buildings (nuseums, galleries) lift the spirits, create symbols that people identify with, and give identity to places that may not have one. Where the arts start, jobs follow.

Anywhere that neglects the arts shortchanges its people.


So, driving home yesterday, I was thinking about what I read on ann's blog and current comments there, and started to remember how art once mattered (as best it could and not so long ago)in Detroit. By the time the art bubble burst everywhere in 1990, there was a strong gathering of galleries here: Feigensen/Preston, Morris, Bunting, Alexa Lee, OK Harris, Hill, Lemberg, Shaw/Guido, Xochipili, Anderson, Hilberry, Focus, Joyce Emory, Kidd, Klein, soon-to-be Revolution, Halsted, Start, Sybaris. Those are just the ones that I can remember but all these were on par with what was showing at the galleries in NYC. There were plenty of other smaller grassroot galleries as well: like 2 South and that other one you had to hand crank an elevator to get up to. And I'm sure I'm leaving out plenty.

But it wasn't just that there were so many, as to some lost traits. Although there is strength in numbers. The big papers had one or two reviews a week back then. The general public was reading about the art in their own community on a regular basis.

But, if you were an artist of some "worth", you were showing at one of these galleries. You belonged to their "stable". And with that pride came a sense of loyalty. Whenever there was an opening you attended, yours or not. I discovered the same support system a few years later. And then again when I showed in NYC. All the artists showed up, which drew even more art patrons -- given the chance to talk to so many other artists as well.

And, second but most important, the galleries supported you back. They didn't just give you a wall once a year. They worked and networked with other galleries. I know artists who got shows in a NY gallery because of the pitching of their Detroit gallery. And then the same with Chicago, and California. Detroit galleries connected with these others and they began to share their artists.

One reason why Matisse, Picasso and that group went global and succeeded beyond Paris was because of their gallery networking outside France (Pierre Matisse had a gallery in London and then opened one in NY in 1931, and before that Stieglitz's 291 was showing their work in NY as early as 1910 -- with the encouragement and connection of the Steins and Steichen in Paris).

None of this happens anymore in Detroit. Once a gallery has given an artist a show, don't expect to see him/her again. The artist usually has already moved to another gallery, and another. (Unless you hang at Hilberry looking for scraps.)

There are even simultaneous exhibitions by one artist.

All this undercuts a strong art community. The artists end up shortchanging themselves and neglecting the survival of a gallery system that can support and nurture them here and elsewhere.

11:38 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

nice text jef, but matisse and picasso have nothing to do with contemporary art, gallery systems or the fact that poor detroit is as steadfastly provincial as they come

12:08 PM  
Anonymous jef said...

Anonymous said...
nice text jef, but matisse and picasso have nothing to do with contemporary art, gallery systems or the fact that poor detroit is as steadfastly provincial as they come

Jef says to Anon:
First, why are writers to Ann's blog afraid to use their names? Second, read my comments for the MONA bit elsewhere on this blog.

They {P and M) were at the start of a contemporary networking of galleries -- that also existed very much in Detroit until recently, and still operates everywhere else.

There's a reason why artists skyrocket overnight. It isn't due to one show at one gallery. There's a system that they plug into. Trust me. I've been there.

And Matisse and Picasso were at the beginning of this contemporary gallery system (spearheading it with a little nepotism), and so very relevant.

2:37 AM  
Anonymous fredo said...

hey anon, get a name!

picasso and matisse (jeff also said "and group) have nothing to do with contemporary art?!!!

gimme a break! that's like saying the beatles aren't relevant to rock!!!

2:10 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Galleries and artists do still support one another in Detroit, and Detroit gallerists do still try to promote their artists' works both out of town and in other venues in town--though there are certainly fewer other venues in town than there used to be. Many galleries in town have very close working relationships and support one another in their seemingly futile efforts to continue bringing art to a town that seldom seems to care whether you notice it or not.

12:07 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Detroit is having a hard time supporting its existing arts institutions and Mocad is already turning people off with its perceived lack of organization, "secret society", clubby (i.e. self-serving, non-including, elitist) behaviors.

Haven't these folks learned anything from Detroit's previous failures? Unless they've got one GIGANTIC (like, build-out plus five years of expenses) check coming from Manoogian this thing will never solidly get off the ground without a wide base of support from the area arts community and they've already pissed A LOT of people off with their let's-stick- with-two artists,-one dealer,-and-a- handful-of-arts-patrons-in-town-attitude.

7:49 PM  

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