Archive for the ‘Art’ Category

GOLD Fundraiser Schedule at the MOCAD, Saturday Night

MOCAD Gold is a first annual fundraiser for the Museum of Contemporary Art Detroit and will feature a broad survey of Detroit bands to play “pop cover songs spanning the last 30 years in their band’s own distinctive style.”

Here’s the line-up:

9:30 – Rabid Eye (ex-Lee Marvin & Genders)
9:45 – Dark Red (ex-Paik, current Chris Turner)
10pm – Esquire
10:15 – Bad Party (ex-White Devil & Tamion 12 Inch)
10:30 – the Silent Years
10:45 – Deastro
11pm – Tyvek
11:15 – the Sisters Lucas
11:30 – the Go
11:45 – T-3 presents

all night – Dee Jay Frankie Banks

MOCAD Gold will include the current Holy Hip-Hop and Re-Fusing Fashion Exhibits. See my review of these exhibits here.

Tickets are $15 for the music part of the evening, with a ritzier early program for $75.

DFT 2007 ACADEMY AWARD® NOMINATED SHORTS and The Dirtbombs at the Magic Stick

I attended a viewing of this year’s Oscar-Nominated Live Action and Animated Shorts at the Detroit Film Theatre. I was pretty impressed with all of the nominees, but my particular favs were LE MOZART DES PICKPOCKETS (THE MOZART OF PICKPOCKETS), I Met the Walrus, and Peter and the Wolf.

Here’s a trailer for I Met the Walrus, which should be of particular value to all of you Beatlemaniacs out there. The description at the beginning pretty much sets up the film, and the animation is remarkable.

I think the winners will be:
MY LOVE (MOYA LYUBOV) in the category of Animated Short and

Czech out last year’s winner in the category of Live Action Short, West Bank Story.

RE: The Dirtbombs CD Release show at the Magic Schtick. I got there at 11:24 and am pretty sure that I was the first person that they turned away when the show sold out. My brother arrived 5 minutes before me and got in. Therefore, I give the show two thumbs way down.

MOCAD-Holy Hip-Hop! and ReFusing Fashion Opening Reception
Right click on image and open in new window for a larger image.

Anyone who thinks a Friday night at an art museum sounds like a staid and snooty affair missed out Friday night on the kind of dynamic cultural event that Detroit can deliver. To celebrate the opening of two new exhibits, Holy Hip-Hop! New Paintings by Alex Melamid and ReFusing Fashion: Rei Kawakubo, the Museum of Contemporary Arts-Detroit (MOCAD) threw an all-night dance party featuring home-grown Hip Hop artists Mike-E Ellison and James “Suburban Knight” Pennington.

Homage Scrummage!

It is, of course, the job of the writer to fit, fashion, and mold together words in meaningful, descriptive, and sometimes passionate and illuminating ways. To investigate the unknown and misunderstood with the implacable determination of the grittiest of hardboiled detectives and to confer unto our readers the prodigiously awe-inspiring yet sometimes uncouth world with soaring verbs and shimmering adjectives, full of moxie and bravado, this is the calling of the writer. Truly, the art of language is the nectar of the mind, and the writer is its steward.

It is with this great and weighty duty that I write the following of Scrummage University:

It’s f-ing awesome!

Metroblogging the DIA: The Grand Opening Today!

The DIA opens its doors at 10am to the general public. The museum will be open for 32 straight hours and admission is free.

Here is a list of today’s festivities:

Friday, November 23

Hardcore Detroitbreak dancers at Farnsworth and Woodward

Break, or Hip Hop, dancing is quite possibly the coolest thing I’ve ever seen live. You can’t just stand there and watch. You gotta share your hips. You gotta bounce a bit in place. You have to sway side to side, at least. Check it out, and try not to get too caught up in the dancing–you’ll forget about the art.

Poetry reading by Rhonda Welsh in African galleries
10:45, 1:45, 4:45

Scottish Storytelling in British galleries (MacStories!)
11am, 1pm, 3pm

Shahida Nurallah Trio (Jazz) in American galleries
12pm, 3pm, 6pm

DSO Percussionist Ian Ding, Kresge Court
1pm, 3pm

U of D Mercy and Renaissance Fencing in Great Hall
1:30, 2:30, 3:30

Scavenger Trio (music), Kresge Court

Vanguard Voices (adult choir) in European galleries

“Vexations” 20 continuous hours of live music, Contemporary galleries
(I have no idea what they’re talking about or what this is. Could it be Erik Satie‘s Vexations?)

Immigrant Suns (music), Kresge Court

Art After Hours with DJs, coney dogs and sliders for purchase, Prentis Court
(This should be interesting. I wonder what will happen when the bar crowd stumbles in at 2:30. And I’ll probably be there to find out.)

Metroblogging the DIA: The Detroit Connection

In follow up to Scotter’s observation as museums as “no spaces” there were some new items that caught my particular attention for their local Detroit connection. The first item is the oldest item in the DIA in the Americas gallery. The “bird stone,” made of banded slate found on the beaches of the Great Lakes, was discovered in Detroit and believed to be made by natives over 3000 years ago. The second Detroit connection was found in a photograph, from early last century, capturing a Detroit drugstore lunch counter. This image was originally published in France in a book entitled “The Americans.” There is always the Diego Rivera museum just beyond the Great Hall which reminds us of the importance of the local art experience. While this museum is a no space, special care has been taken to include items of local interest. Let us know if you discover any more Detroit connections in the DIA.

Metroblogging the DIA: So what? (for Detroit)

OK, so Detroit’s newly renovated museum is world class. It has new marble walls and beautiful interior architecture. It has a great cafe with cuisine, not just plain food. Like our symphony orchestra, the Detroit Institute of Arts is one of the best institutions of its kind in the country.

But what does this museum really do for the city of Detroit?

It’s very likely that local Detroit artists will never make it into the DIA. The Art Institute won’t reduce crime, or the murder rate. And the poor, who make up a large percentage of the city’s population, won’t be able to afford to come to the museum after this free Grand Opening weekend. And while $55 is a reasonable fee for a year-long membership to an art museum for some, it also buys a lot of eggs, milk, and bread.

So is the city wasting its time with this art hullabaloo when things are so bad?

I really wish the answer was an unequivocal no, but I can’t.

$158 million dollars feeds and shelters a lot of people, so I can’t really say that the cost of the renovation is completely justified. But we also need to consider the value of the museum, not just the cost.

Though in decline for some years, Detroit is still a great city. So many of us are here because our ancestors and relatives had the courage to move away from their birthplaces to come to a new place that offered promise and fruits to make their labors worthwhile. And The Detroit Institute of Arts is an essential part to the greatness of the city itself and it’s revitalization.

To think of it another way, let’s take the word “Institute” from “Detroit Institute of Arts” and apply it to what the museum could mean for the city. Let’s see what other meanings we can eek out of this word.

To institute (v) means to establish, to set in motion, to create. There is even an Ecclesiastic definition that means “to assign to or invest with a spiritual charge.” And that is possibly what the newly renovated DIA can do for Detroit. It’s a motion toward renovation for the city itself, toward revitalization. Art is the product of creativity, but it also breeds creativity, which is exactly what this city needs–daring, unconventional thinkers and creators to use their abilities to solve this city’s problems. Perhaps the new Institute can inspire the city and its citizens to institute a new, creative spirit of change.

As you walk the halls and see all of the great artwork, you won’t be able to tell you’re within the Detroit city limits. But you are within the Detroit city limits. And these artworks aren’t going anywhere else. They’re staying right here. They’re sticking out the hard times with us. Let’s draw inspiration from them, and the museum, and continue to renovate and revitalize this entire city.

Metroblogging the DIA: An Army in Blue

The member preview weekend was staffed by an army of volunteers in signature DIA blue “Ask Me” t-shirts. Even though the directive is written on the backs of the shirt, it is not advisable that you ask a question while your questionee’s back is turned. The volunteers in the exhibit halls were trained experts on the art in their vicinity. During the last year 45 volunteers underwent 60 hours of training before undergoing specialized training based on their area of interest. I had the pleasure of speaking to one retired school teacher from West Bloomfield. The DIA’s Speaker Bureau and Art to the Schools program extend the DIA’s resources beyond the museum and into the community.

Metroblogging the DIA: Bringing the Outdoors In

The old and the new have been incorporated in an aesthetically pleasing manner where portions of the old building façade (left) make up new walls in the renovated space.

Metroblogging the DIA: “Hey you! Look at this! Think about that! Check this out!”

Along with a restored and expanded building, the DIA re-opens with a new, “visitor-focused” interpretive philosophy. Those old, erudite descriptions with fancy words–baroque, mimesis, fauvism, and zeitgeist among them–have gone the way of the dinosaur. That’s right, they’ve been exterminated by a massive comet that crashed into the Earth’s surface, causing a radical change in the Earth’s atmosphere and killing off all life forms unable to live under ground or in the water.

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