James Lee Byars: I Cancel All My Works At Death
February 7 - May 4, 2014
I Cancel All My Works at Death is the first comprehensive survey of the plays, actions, and performances of James Lee Byars (Detroit 1932 - Cairo 1997). Spanning the period from 1960 (when he created his first action in Kyoto, Japan) to 1981 (when de Appel arts centre in Amsterdam presented a year-long survey), the exhibition, which is titled after Byars' now-famous speech act, adopts the premise that the artist and his work are better mis-remembered than re-experienced. I Cancel All My Works at Death therefore presents none of his actual performances; nor does it include objects made, owned, or used by him, nor vintage ephemera--with the exception of obituaries published in newspapers at the time of his death. What it does include are suits and costumes, scripts, theater posters, props, puppet videos, a detailed timeline, among other elements. It also includes new, un-authored solo actions and group events that will be carried out sparingly and intermittently during the run of the show.
The exhibition is curated by Triple Candie, a phantom-like institution that existed in Harlem as an alternative space from 2001 to 2010. Run by two art historians who now live in Philadelphia, Triple Candie produces exhibitions about art but devoid of it and realized without the involvement of artists. Recent projects include Epigraphe pour une preface: The Original is Unfaithful to the Copy (FRAC Le Plateau, Paris, 2013), Of the Siren and the Sky: The Life and Work of Michael Whipple (Utah Museum of Contemporary Art, 2013), and Maurizio Cattalan is Dead: Life and Work, 1960-2009 (Deste Foundation, Athens, 2010). At the request of Triple Candie, this exhibition has been dramaturged by Jens Hoffmann, MOCAD's guest curator.
State of Exception
February 7 - May 4, 2014
Installation created by Richard Barnes and Amanda Krugliak, photograph Richard Barnes, featured in the New York Times Magazine, July 2013.
Originally from the exhibition State of Exception, hundreds of backpacks left behind by undocumented migrants in the Arizona desert; from the archives of Jason De León's Undocumented Project
The exhibition State of Exception, originally installed at the University of Michigan Institute for the Humanities Gallery in 2012, represents the collaboration between artist/photographer Richard Barnes, artist/curator Amanda Krugliak, and U-M anthropologist Jason De León, considering how best to curate objects from De Leon’s Undocumented Migration Project. The exhibition presents backpacks, water bottles, border restraints and other objects left behind by undocumented migrants on their journey into the U.S., and audio interviews from migrants relaying their own perspectives and experiences, and their relationships to these objects. There are also video and photographs shot by Richard Barnes on location along the U.S. Mexico border.
The first serious curation of De León’s research, Barnes and Krugliak approach the exhibition conceptually, presenting this human experience always within the frame of Jason’s research and methodology and informed by the perspectives and fieldwork carried out by De Leon and his crew.
State of Exception conveys the complexity and ambiguity of these found objects, and what they may or may not have revealed in terms of transition, humanity, commerce, culture, violence, and accountability.
Read articles about State of Exception:
New York Times
This exhibition is made possible by the support of The University of Michigan's Institute for the Humanities and MOCAD.
Projecting: Films from Dara Friedman
May 16 - July 27, 2014
Dara Friedman is best known for her film and video installations, in which she uses the techniques of structuralist filmmaking to depict the lushness, ecstasy, and energy of everyday life. She often distills, syncopates, reverses, loops, or otherwise alters familiar sounds and sights, drawing attention to the distinct sensory acts of hearing and seeing. Whether her work portrays a series of narrative fragments or a single evocative scene repeated over and over, Friedman heightens the emotional impact by cutting directly to the films climax in order to, as she puts it, “get to the part you really care about.”
For three weeks, in the fall of 2007, midtown Manhattan will be the stage for Musical, a series of spontaneous actions orchestrated by artist and filmmaker Dara Friedman. From dawn to dusk, and occasionally in the middle of the night, office workers, mothers, schoolchildren, taxi drivers, doormen, tourists, divas, and grandparents will broke into song, creating unexpected musical events and serendipitous urban moments for all who encountered them. Throughout the course of the project, nearly one hundred individual actions took place throughout the day and night, weekdays only, in the blocks between Grand Central Station and Central Park South, and between Broadway and Park Avenue.
For Dancer (2011) Friedman enlisted Miami-based dancers of all stripes to dance through the city streets for the camera. Shot on 16mm black-and-white film and transferred to HD video, Dancer celebrates both the city and the medium of dance. With the city streets as a backdrop, dancers improvise, expressing the specificity of their styles and skills and making meaning through movement. Friedman explores notions of performativity, urban space, and the individual in the public sphere in this ebullient, poetic work.
PLAY was developed as part of Friedman's residency at the Hammer Museum in Los Angeles.
In PLAY, 18 couples, some real life couples, others paired by the artist, all of them actors, develop and play out scenes of intimacy. The poetic, intense and humorous situations grow intuitively from a process of improvisational theater games created for the purpose. With this new work Friedman engages with actors and their ability to receive and transmit projected desires while at the same time laying bare theatrical and cinematic devices with Brechtian pleasure. The work is filmed in The Hammer Museum's Billy Wilder Theater, a hippie shack in Topanga Canyon, and the streets of Los Angeles.
Born in 1968 in Bad Kreuznach, Germany, Dara Friedman lives and works in Miami and Germany. Friedman attended Städelschule, Frankfurt am Main, Germany (with Peter Kubelka); and Vassar College, Poughkeepsie, New York.
Steve Locke there is no one left to blame
May 16 - July 27, 2014
a brief history, 2005-2012
Oil on wooden panel (recto); vintage “Black Americana” figurine and Japan color on verso; metal poles, connectors, and flanges; enamel and latex on wooden box; oil and acrylic on wooden base
65 x 24 x 24 inches
Private Collection, Boston MA
"For several years Detroit native, Steve Locke, has been making images of male heads with their tongues sticking out. Lushly painted, in a wide-ranging palette, they are alternately disturbing, comical, vulnerable, and sensual. They trouble the historical propensity to image men as invariably authoritative and powerful, and instead explore a more ambivalent array of ideas and emotions regarding masculinity. The paintings evoke historical traumas such as the beheadings of the French Revolution, or the lynching of African Americans, as well as reference the more current anxieties of the last decade: terrorism, war, and torture. Whether embedding them in the wall of the museum, or propping them onto sculptural supports, Locke experiments with a variety of display strategies for paintings. In each instance, “business as usual” is refused, suggesting subtle hopes for new ideas and expanded freedoms."
- Helen Molesworth, Barbara Lee Chief Curator, Institute of Contemporary Art Boston
Steve Locke was born in 1963 (Cleveland, Ohio), grew up in Detroit, Michigan and lives in Boston. In 2013, Steve Locke exhibited in his first solo museum exhibition there is no one left to blame, Institute of Contemporary Art Boston. In 2014, there is no one left to blame travels to the Museum of Contemporary Art Detroit. He is a recipient of the 2014 Pollock-Krasner grant from the Pollock Krasner Foundation. He has received a Contemporary Work Fund grant from the LEF Foundation, and a travel grant to Turkey from the Art Matters Foundation. He has received multiple nominations for the Louis Comfort Tiffany Award, the Joan Mitchell Award and the Foster Prize from the Institute of Contemporary Art, Boston. In 2008, he was the visiting professor and artist in residence at the Savannah College of Art and Design. He received his MFA from the Massachusetts College of Art & Design in 2001 and holds Bachelor's degrees from Boston University and MassArt. He currently is an Assistant Professor of Art Education at the Massachusetts College of Art & Design. Steve Locke is represented by Samsøn Gallery in Boston, Massachusetts. He is the proud product of a Jesuit education.
Support for Steve Locke: there is no one left to blame
provided by Samsøn.
Learn More about Steve Locke below:
In Praise of a Newsstand
, Art Papers
, Nov/Dec 2013.
Steve Locke by William Kaizen
, November 2013. (Full article available Jan. 1, 2014)
The Museum of Contemporary Art Detroit is a non-profit, tax-exempt organization supported through invaluable contributions from individuals and members. The Richard and Jane Manoogian Foundation provides leading support for the Museum of Contemporary Art Detroit since 2006. General operating support for MOCAD is generously provided by Fred A. and Barbara M. Erb Family Foundation, General Motors Foundation, The Kresge Foundation, Masco Corporation Foundation and The Taubman Foundation. Additional funding for programming and educational initiatives is provided by Edith S. Briskin/Shirley K. Schlafer Foundation. Valuable in-kind support is provided by Dykema. Museum of Contemporary Art Detroit is also supported, in part, by The Andy Warhol Foundation For the Arts, Robert Rauschenberg Foundation, Leveraging Investments in Creativity in partnership with the Ford Foundation, and ArtPlace, a collaboration of top national foundations, the National Endowment for the Arts and various federal agencies to accelerate creative placemaking across the U.S.