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SPRING/SUMMER 2016 EXHIBITION OPENING
Nancy Mitchnick Uncalibrated, + Mitch McEwen + Annette Kelm + Carlos Rolón/Dzine, with Music by Britney Stoney
Friday, May 6, 2016

  • 6-7pm: Members' preview hour, free for members.
  • 7-9pm: Public preview
  • 10pm: Musical performance by Britney Stoney at 10pm
Free/$5 suggested donation from 7-9pm, $7 starting at 9pm.


Nancy Mitchnick: Uncalibrated

On view Friday, May 6 - Sunday, July 31, 2016

Nancy Mitchnick
Nancy Mitchnick, 13757 Buffalo Street, 2015, Oil on canvas, 99 x 88 in. Courtesy of the artist.

Born in Detroit in 1947, Nancy Mitchnick began to paint in earnest around age twenty. She quickly became enmeshed in the artistic milieu building around her, though as a woman in a movement that was very focused on masculinity, and as a figurative painter in a moment where abstraction ruled the day, she was always something of a divergent figure. Despite this seeming clash, the intensity of Detroit's Cass Corridor scene—a neighborhood that in the 1960s and 70s was home to a vigorous group of young artists—was a perfect match for her extraordinary drive to paint. Working from the world around her and from photographs, the paintings she produced were energetic, assertive, and direct.

Mitchnick left Detroit for New York in 1973. Eventually she came to work as a Professor at Bard, CalArts, and Harvard, taking her from coast to coast and back again over the following decades. With each new environment her subjects evolved. In Detroit she had painted the visages of her artist friends. In New York she discovered her skills as a landscape painter. When she moved to New England to teach at Harvard, she painted the muddy landscapes of Ipswich.

Mitchnick was still living in Massachusetts when she began revisiting the landscapes of Detroit; today she has returned physically as well, and is working out of a studio in the Russell Industrial Center. Her paintings reflect the city, with its idiosyncratically doleful emptiness and bucolic appeal. The images are strong, bright, unabashed, and full-frontal, and are among the strongest works of Mitchnick's career.

Curated by MOCAD's Susanne Feld Hilberry Senior Curator at Large Jens Hoffmann

Exhibition support for Nancy Mitchnick's Uncalibrated is generously provided by Ethan and Gretchen Davidson, David and Elyse Foltyn, Marsha Miro, and the Taubman Foundation.



DEPE Space Resident Mitch McEwen
Methexis

Mitch McEwen, A(n) Office / McEwen Studio with a video series curated by A(n) Office and Dawn Lundy Martin

On view Friday, May 6 - Sunday, August 28, 2016

 House Opera, courtesy of McEwen Studio / A(n) Office
V. Mitch McEwen, Photo of House Opera during SigiFest 2015, courtesy of McEwen Studio / A(n) Office

The DEPE (Department of Education and Public Engagement) Space Residency Project and exhibition series presents interdisciplinary art that serves as a catalyst for learning and transformative conversation about complex social issues. DEPE Space offers opportunities to reflect upon the personal relevance of these topics and how they relate to communities in Detroit and throughout the world.

In the DEPE exhibition produced by V. Mitch McEwen and collaborators, a series of design studies, maps, and abstract design codes will reimagine processes of demolition and preservation, specifically focusing on the tens of thousands of vacant houses in the city that were built in the early 20th century. This extensive collection of studies continues the ongoing research of McEwen Studio and A(n) Office focusing on demolition alternatives for publicly owned vacant structures. Visitors will encounter an excessive number of architectural scale models arranged from the floor of the gallery to the steel girders above. These architectural models, fabricated both by hand and digital processes, coalesce into a large sculptural field. Alongside these study objects, animations and interactive tools show how these design tactics would impact the image of the city.

The design research of Methexis began with McEwen Studio’s House Opera | Opera House project. House Opera | Opera House, located in Southwest Detroit, is McEwen's long-term collaborative project, involving Marcelo López-Dinardi, partner of A(n) Office, Dawn Lundy Martin, and a number of artistic collaborators. For Methexis, McEwen produces new designs to address the tens of thousands of buildings structurally and materially similar to House Opera. Rather than attempting an artisanal solution for each vacant house, McEwen deploys algorithmic methods to present alternatives for vacant buildings.

The film series accompanying the design exhibition extends this negotiation of architecture with drama, process, and language. Curated by A(n) Office and Dawn Lundy Martin, 3 series of videos punctuate each month of the exhibit with one of these relationships. Firstly, Lundy Martin explores architecture and drama–dramas of embodiment. Secondly, A(n) Office presents videos of architecture and process, mining the oeuvre of Gordon Matta-Clark and others. Finally, Lundy Martin presents a poetically rooted video grouping exploring architecture and language. Each segment of videos runs for about a month at a time &emdash; three weeks in May and July, and four weeks in June.

May: Dawn Lundy Martin curates videos around leisure as a problem, form, and desire of bodies. Videos include works from Ronaldo V. Wilson and Martin's own video titled Impossibility.blackness.Leisure.

June: A(n) Office curates short videos about themes of algorithms, variations, control, and time, as well as the condition of vacancy. Including Gordon Matta-Clark: Bingo (1974, 09:45 mins, color, silent) and George Maciunas: End After 9 (1966, 1:00 min, b&w, silent)

July: Dawn Lundy Martin presents a poetically rooted video grouping exploring architecture and language.

Sune Woods, A Feeling Like Chaos, 2015, two channel video projection (4 minutes 6 seconds); Amir George's film, Moments of Intention, 2016 (11 minutes 11 seconds).

DEPE Space is supported by the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation. Mitch McEwen's Methexis is supported by the University of Michigan Office of Research, John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, and the Taubman College, University of Michigan.



Detroit City/Detroit Affinities: Annette Kelm

On view Friday, May 6 - Sunday, August 28, 2016

Annette Kelm, Percent for Art, 2013, c-print, 6 parts, 28 3/8 x 19 3/4 in. Courtesy of the artist and Andrew Kreps Gallery.
Annette Kelm, Percent for Art, 2013, c-print, 6 parts, 28 3/8 x 19 3/4 in. Courtesy of the artist and Andrew Kreps Gallery.


Berlin-based artist Annette Kelm's photographic works often feature a single, vaguely familiar object, which she renders using a direct and realistic style that oscillates between genres of photography--such as documentary and advertising--to unfold that object's social, economic, and cultural context. As she makes series revolving around these objects, consequently pressing the relationship between photography and sculpture--her work moves between the creation of an image and the recording of a staged object or objects--Kelm shares much with contemporaries such as Josephine Pryde and Wolfgang Tillmans. But perhaps her clearest influence is Christopher Williams, who also puts his camera at the service of finding historical marks and contexts embedded within form. Yet whereas Williams typically provides lengthy captions that help viewers decipher and unpack his images, Kelm offers few clues, making that deconstruction more part of her artistic process.

The display at the Museum of Contemporary Art brings together a series of works from throughout the artists' career that outline the above-mentioned concerns. In particular the work Art Car (2007) offers a link to Detroit, a photographic diptych depicting an automobile that has been deconstructed. In fact, the convertible's body is stripped down in every sense: The door handles, mirrors, and bumpers have been removed from the car (made in the 1980s by Volkswagen) and stuck in its backseat. Kelm's photographs are similarly unfinished in sensibility, since the car is shot in ordinary daylight against a plain white backdrop it seems to present the bare bones beneath a supple commercial image, depicting the car in a manner that is more in keeping with mug shots than with the glossy, seductive representations of automobiles to which we are accustomed to.

Curated by Susanne Feld Hilberry Senior Curator at Large Jens Hoffmann

As part of:
MOCAD

DETROIT CITY is comprised of three concurrent series: Detroit Affinities (exhibition), Detroit Speaks (education), and Detroit Stages (performance). This multi-year research program is one of the most ambitious undertakings to date at MOCAD.




Carlos Rolón/Dzine Vintage Voyages and Atomic Memories

On view Friday, May 6 - Sunday, August 28, 2016

Carlos Rolón: Vintage Voyages and Atomic Memories Photo Credit: CW Mosier
Get Nailed 2011 Public intervention and performance | New Museum, New York, New York Image credit: Chris Mosier. From the publication, Nailed: The History of Nail Culture and Dzine.

Carlos Rolón makes art a universal experience for everyone to share. For his Mobile Homestead project, Vintage Voyages and Atomic Memories, Rolón will create a pop-up nail salon within the context of a domestic space reminiscent of his family's home on the Southside of Chicago. On Saturdays during the run of the exhibition, gifted nail artists will work in the installation, creating customized nail designs for visitors who have made prior appointments. Each room will be decorated and finished with vintage wallpaper, framed mirrors, and craft based works such as hanging handmade macramé's for visitors to explore. Rolón views this project as a community service in both micro and macro forms. The various retro decorated rooms will serve as visual backdrop and speak to the many influences of an era when ornate tchotchkes, optic and geometric wallpaper design went beyond kitsch and into modern art. The complete installation and nail salon creates a sense of wonder that is bold and brilliant, leaving the viewer with visual re-discoveries and new conversations.

ARTIST TALK: Friday, May 6 at 7pm with Carlos Rolón/Dzine in the Mobile Homestead, book signing to follow.

The Mike Kelley Mobile Homestead is commissioned by Artangel in association with MOCAD, LUMA Foundation and Mike Kelley Foundation for the Arts with the generous support of the Artangel International Circle. Additional funding for Vintage Voyages and Atomic Memories is generously provided by Nancy Rogers, Dallas, Texas



SUPPORT

Exhibition programming support is generously provided by the Taubman Foundation.

DETROIT CITY funding is provided by the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, Kayne Foundation (Ric & Suzanne Kayne and Jenni, Maggie & Saree), Quicken Loans, Andre Sakhai, Liz and Jonathan Goldman, Jane Suitor, Scholar Property LTD, Jasmin Tsou, the Krawiecki Gazes Family, Kimberly Brown, and William Leung.

Detroit Speaks funding is provided by the Community Foundation for Southeast Michigan.