Detroit USA: Material, Site, Narrative


Detroit, USA: Material, Site, Narrative

This exhibition investigates the dynamic and ever-shifting creative, cultural, and physical topography of this city. Engaging Detroit as material, site, and narrative, the artists’ work comes in dialogue with the city’s social, cultural, built, and natural environments.

In exploring the Motor City, questions arose of how to negotiate the narratives that have come to represent it. As created by the city’s residents, visitors, and media, these depictions (sometimes conflicting and sometimes complementary) pose challenges to deciphering and selecting which portrayals to incorporate, and which ones to leave out.

The invited Detroit artists and archive materials represent different approaches of how artists, makers, and activists respond to these questions and challenge their city as a resource for artistic production. In addition, some works and documents present a history of the city, offering insights into the development process of what, how, and who have come to thrive in contemporary Detroit.

Detroit USA features ephemera from the city’s historical collections, the Living Archive from the research residence FILTER DETROIT, Detroit artists and designers:

Danielle Aubert and Maia Asshaq, Jon Brumit, Kate Daughdrill and Mira Burack, Design 99, Scott Hocking, Chido Johnson, jessica Care moore, Catie Newell, Gilda Snowden, Corine Vermeulen

and work by these SAIC students works developed during recent study trips to Detroit: Kendall Martin Babl, Lise Ross Baggesen, Anna Rose Castellanos, Inah Choe, Jacob Dimuzio, Eunsil Drew, Jason Matthew Friedes, Tucker Brooks Hugge, Brittany Hayward, Kennedy Howard Jones, Tara Lynn Morton, and Erin T Toale

Curators: Kevin Kaempf, Kirsten Leenaars and Kerstin Niemann

video tour of exhibition:

Chicago Tribune’s 10 things to get excited about on Chicago’s fall art scene:

Review exhibition: The Great Refusal and Detroit USA exhibitions, currently on view at the Sullivan Galleries at SAIC


Images of the show

Erin Toale_Archive and Title

James Prinz_Install 3

James Prinz_Hocking Snowden

James Prinz_Install 4

James Prinz_Install

Erin Toale_Install 4

James Prinz_Jason Johnson

James Prinz_Archive