Friday, August 11, 2006

mocad interviews

Don't miss the interviews in the detroiter between Nick and Kertess (curator of inaugural show) and Pylypchuk (artist in show).

I found Kertess' comments on the detroit pick interesting. My brain says don't criticize - this is a great thing but my gut says that they could have found a visual detroit artist if they only broadened their hunt.

Kertess: "I wanted badly to have someone local in the show, but I wasn't hitting pay dirt. I also haven't seen enough. Then I thought since music is such a big part of Detroit's culture, I thought it would be great to have a soundscape as part of the show. Christopher all but appeared. These kids who ran a gallery [Commonwealth, we assume] knew his work and said to Mitch "you should go see him," so Mitch and I went to see him at the former Polish Veterans Hall. He played some music for me and I asked him some questions. I woke up in the morning and I thought that that was so incredibly beautiful, and the way he described what he wanted to do was made to order for this show. It was totally serendipitous, we'd heard other musicians, and no one quite understood - they thought we wanted party music for the opening, which wasn't the case. No one understood that I actually wanted was a piece that was part of the exhibition. Christopher was making something that was perfectly suited for what we were doing.
He's busy doing that now. If the weather is right at the opening he will play it outside, and there will be other scheduled performances throughout the run of the show." (detroiter)


Anonymous Anonymous said...

"If the weather is right at the opening he will play it outside"...
thats nice. if he is really really good they will let him use the restroom.

12:21 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Too bad metro detroit art world elites are so bunched up the ass or they would have found pay dirt.

1:35 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

are we looking at this the right way? couldn't this be viewed as performance art? perhaps this isn't what detroiters are used to, but does that mean it isn't museum-worthy?
don't get me wrong, i definatly feel that there are many detroit artists worthy of being displayed in this setting, but i actually feel a little bad for the guy who will be performing.

3:50 PM  
Blogger the cubegallery blog said...

um, i think the opening line up is rad for the new museum. just chris and kara walker alone are awesome, and i'm interested in seeing if barry macgee can in fact turn the facade of the building on it's head without falling flat.

4:33 PM  
Blogger the cubegallery blog said...

in response to other comments:

i think recontextualizing with an outside view of detroit is important. we as detroiter think we have some precious hold on the urban decay and found objects. in a way, we do. but we need to let others explore it too, we may just learn something about ourselves in the process.

4:36 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

It is an insult to open museum with no local artist.

5:06 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

i think the whole "i found the band and am calling them performance art" sounds like a gigantic cop-out. Sugary for the newsreporters, of course. I'd say everyone should follow their gut instinct on this one... I think that there are agendas going on and the lowermost is what's best for the community at large.

5:36 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

there's nothing in the interview/upcoming show that really speaks to detroit and its community (including a detroit artist). having these guys come here and say they've discovered urban decay and are inspired by it is like saying a bunch of artists are doing a show in berlin and are creating work inspired by wwii.

get over it.

10:28 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Speaking of germans: jon weaver put together a stellar show in an empty warehouse in eastern market, and it said wonders about detroit just by its installation and site.

and detroiters have been creating this sort of art forever (kertess wasn't shown the right artists obviously, a key signal to the incompetence of those in charge).

this sort of attitude taken by this group at this point in detroit's history is like a non-jew making jewish jokes, or, a non-brother saying "hey, nigga" to me. it's naive, juvenile and just an open insult.

10:38 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

you should all move to Ann Arbor - i hear their real loyal at the Ann Arbor art fair, we could all get a booth - they don't cost much?

i feel a diaspora coming on


12:37 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Let's not forget that Suzanne Hillberry is personally involved with this project and friends with Kertess, the curator.
I think she is just out to sell her own stable of artists and could care less about anything else.

2:45 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

so what galleries did scott take this curtis guy to? lemberg, revolution still around? we can bet hillberry? center galleries? cranbrook studios? wayne? ccs? sestok? gilda? tyree?

how deep did he really dig? he found an artist out of manitoba, but not one in detroit?!

5:45 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

so a dj replaces 2 visual artists in this show? yeah, that evens out. where'd they dig up this fart curator! couldn't do a painting show cause the space was such a mess. where'd they dig up mocad? detroit really hit pay dirt here! the whole bunch are supposed to represent the city and make us proud about contemporary art. all the names, and all the supposed money and we get a hole in the wall!!! my ass!

2:26 AM  
Blogger Brad said...

"We wrote a manifesto and we were scrap artists for a little while." Wow, a manifesto! That's pretty heavy. I wonder if it's too late to recruit Ultra-renaissance guy.

7:31 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

MOCAD has had 7 years and some big hitters like Manoogians and Taubmans and Karmanos behind this project -- to do this right.

They've had fund-raisers and donations (which they haven't acknowledged with thank you's/ notes for tax deductions) and have built up some equity.

So why are they starting this in a "hole in the wall"? A space that made Kertess shudder and decide that all of Detroit is about urban decay! "Not fit for painting."

Why haven't they fixed up the place?! They have an architect. What's he doing, designing the lavatories?!

None of this makes good sense for a contemporary museum anywhere. It's an embarrassment, made all the more apparent by those big shakers and movers who are sponsoring it. Shame on them! And shame on them for neglecting the city's art community.

There's no good reason not to include a Detroit artist in this. Obviously Kertess didn't do much digging, or those with the "shovel" didn't offer him the opportunity to explore beyond their friends to find real "pay dirt"!

11:27 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...




3:24 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

there are more than plenty of venues for music in this town.

but in the end it's what you see or don't see at mocad.

and reggae-based!?

anyway i don't think the slinging was ever at the dj so much as a curator who can't find "pay dirt" in the visual spectrum here.

3:43 PM  
Blogger the cubegallery blog said...

so what are we going to do? blog about it?
if there are so many people who feel so adamant about this, we should write a letter directly to mocad- as artists, we should demand representation and show them where to find us. are we waiting to "be discovered"? it's already been proven that these people don't know where to look for detroit artists. stop complaining and SHOW them.

4:22 PM  
Blogger art blogs are fun said...

A group of us met with the mocad panel a few months back. They have their plans and I assume they don't intend to change. They only become more upset with us artists the more we voice our opinion. They think we are negative and ungrateful.

4:38 PM  
Blogger the cubegallery blog said...

can we do it in a way that is then positive and grateful?

i don't think we should kiss ass, but there has to be an approach that shows we are a learned, talented and viable group of artists that MOCAD can't live without, while still being excited that MOCAD is going to exist.

what can we do to bring detroit artists into the third and forth show, for example.

6:07 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Picket line.

Abstaine from going to the openings.

Or, hold a competing gallery event directly opposite, come together as a force to be reconned with, and get more coverage. Bring to light in publicity the fact that MOCAD isn't supporting the local community.

Social dissidence.

8:09 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

PS., B.Daisley,

I feel sorry for your freind. If he is indeed as authentic a musician/artist as you say, it's even more unfortunate. Kertess makes him out to sound like a stooge (as in the old 50's definition of a stooge, not as in the 3-stooges).

Back off the caps, man.

8:11 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Yes it all feels so condescending.
The first show should be more focused on the jewels of detroit.
They are there and in great numbers. Some events or happenings to counter this injustice should defenitely occur.
I hope artists get together to talk personally about what to do.

9:36 PM  
Blogger Jef Bourgeau said...

look, when we met with mocad in april to advocate for detroit artists - they met us with open arms. they were kind hosts and agreed with all our issues, telling us they could have written what we proposed themselves and that a major concern of theirs was to include detroiters in their first exhibitions. i gave them the letter below, and they all agreed they could have authored it and signed their own names to it. Oh well.

THE LETTER: April 12, 2006

For the last twenty-five years at least, there has been a lack of recognition and institutional support for Detroit-based art.

What has to be placed in context is that Detroit does have an art history all its own, albeit unchronicled. That just like today, artists here have always been aware of the art being made in the rest of the world but have had a stubborn confidence all their own that has enabled them to make their own brand of solid art.

We live in a global marketplace for art, so any effort to break down any old notions of regionalism is a good thing. New York is a region, as are Los Angeles, London, Berlin and Paris. They just have maintained more visible platforms than Detroit in terms of spreading the word.

Any such new project as MOCAD must look at the talent that will support it. MOCAD will not simply make its mark by recycling global art here, but by including the best of Detroit's in that mix.

We need to be reminded that Detroit doesn't need to be isolated anymore, that we will not succeed as an arts' venue merely on the quality of visiting art. It is not sufficient to just import good art.

For real success at MOCAD, the talent here also needs to garner attention, to be written about, be heard, and to be seen in a global context as well. In turn this will give both Detroit and MOCAD a distinct art context of their own.

MOCAD hopefully will develop this active and critical dialogue about culture in our city in concert with that of the world. A dialogue we hope that will be ongoing, inclusive and participatory with each and every exhibition.

For any art community to flourish, it has to feed itself. It creates a contemporary museum that serves out-of-town fare along with local dishes. This in turn creates a dialogue between a complex of artists and art communities.

Through MOCAD, different kinds of artists using different mediums will be encouraged to exhibit here and share ideas with Detroit’s artists, all in pursuit of a shared voice, a voice that then allows us to connect with each other, back and forward.

Yours truly,

The Detroit Advocacy Group for Michigan Artists

11:51 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

You should've come up with a name that would allow the acronym to be DOGMA. Or DAGWOOD would be good too.

9:29 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Why do we hate our own? Why is it a human impulse to be cruelest to your own family or care giver?

Mocad is dropping the ball and their insensitivity is left carved in stone. What the hell are you all thinking!

There should be other happenings besides the Mocad opening so that
Detroit artists are empowered.

10:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

detroit artists can only empower themselves. mocad can't and won't. detroiters will never organize into anything beyond a bunch of whiners. but if they did, they could change the face of the art scene here. they could pressure mocad and the dia into presenting the best of detroit's art culture. they could...

10:13 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

What exactly is MOCAD's mission, anyway? Is there a written statement that says that they have any intention of supporting Detroit artists, or is it just an assumption on the part of the rest of you? I really don't know, and since I'm not part of your clique the rest of the Detroit "scene" won't give me the time of day any more than MOCAD will. It's really no loss to me either way but if you all feel that strongly about it you should schedule a thousand gallery openings and other events to coincide with their opening. It would get the message across loud and clear if nobody showed up except for a handful of people from Bloomfield.

The whole idea just sounds like DIA-lite and we all know how much that venerable institution has to do with the city and people of Detroit.

2:40 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

if you want the time of day from art-scenesters, which doesn't matter much anyway, you may want to include your name.

2:52 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm happy with anon, liz, but I answered my own question with a short Google search. From their web page:

The mission of the Museum of Contemporary Art Detroit is to present art at the forefront of contemporary culture. As a non-collecting institution, MOCAD is responsive to the cultural content of our time, fueling crucial dialogue, collaboration, and public engagement.

As I thought, no mention of Detroit outside of the title. Their contact number is a 248 area code and the address is in Bloomfield Hills. I think you all expect too much. They won't be around a year from now anyway. You can tell them that anon said it first.

3:04 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Well said, Bert. With whatever respect Kertess deserves, City in Crisis(or whatever) is seriously lame and lazy. Sadly, he feeds into the racism (conscious or not) surrounding this Metro area.

4:40 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

while i don't want to be involved in all of the mocad bashing, that is a pretty mediocre mission statement.

4:40 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think a good solution would be to organize a consciencious objection. Print a bunch of shirts that say something like "I've been excluded" or "what about detroit art" or something punchier. Attend the opening en masse in this shirts. That way, you have supported this important step in detroit gallery growth... while still making your point. If the angry t-shirts outnumber the people from Bloomfield.... ?

4:48 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Dear bloggers:

MOCAD is not a gallery. Ok, Im going to repeat that one more time so you really get it.

MOCAD is NOT a gallery. It is an international contemporary art museum. I think we are freaking out because we've never had such a great space and opportunity, and we want a piece of it. The potential for us to shine in this museum is so great. But, just because it's in detroit doesnt mean it's purpose is to show local detroit artists. If we were living in NY, we wouldnt bitch and complain that we arent being curated into PS1. Its not about that.

MOCAD is here to bring us contemporary art, to ship it to us, to install it and offer its presence. Its here so that detroit has the opportunity to see new work. If someone in Detroit wanted to catch a glimpse of the greater contemporary art world, on a larger scale, where would they go? Our options have been so limited. MOCAD will allow someone to go in and see an amazing work, and hang out with it for an hour, the same way one can go into the DIA and stare at the Diego Rivera for a long period of time. If an artist's work warrants it's place in a big time museum, great. Art that finds its way into a museum is there for a reason.

Detroit has galleries for artists to gain experience in showing their work. Maybe someday MOCAD will have a show dedicated to it's local artists. Why are you expecting the first exhibition to showcase us? I think that's so egotistical.

Yeah, we are bad ass, and we deserve it. But our time will come. Keep making work, keep showing it, and someday, when our work is ready, we will be recognized.

Give MOCAD a chance, its the best thing thats happened to Detroit in a long time.

You'll see.

Oh, and its so pathetic that such passionate detroit artists are able to segregate who we call an artist. Music is art, art is music. Art is life, manifested into so many different ways. Stop restricting what "art" is and you might learn something.

Stop being so whiney and get your asses in your studios.

4:21 PM  

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