DETROIT CITY and People’s Biennial 2014

DETROIT CITY and People’s Biennial 2014

Museum of Contemporary Art Detroit

August 21, 2014

September 12, 2014–December 2017
People’s Biennial 2014
September 12, 2014–January 4, 2015

Opening: Friday, September 12
Museum of Contemporary Art Detroit
4454 Woodward Avenue
Detroit MI, 48201

T +1 313 832 6622

The Museum of Contemporary Art Detroit is pleased to present two new major programs: DETROIT CITY and People’s Biennial 2014.
DETROIT CITY is a multiyear program composed of three series: Detroit Affinities (exhibition), Detroit Stages  (performance), and “Detroit Speaks” (education and public engagement). It is one of the most ambitious undertakings to date at MOCAD.
Detroit Affinities will present ten sequential solo exhibitions representing five pairings: five Detroit artists and five artists from elsewhere. The pairings are intended to reveal correspondences, similarities, and differences in the artists’ respective practices. The dialogues will serve to position Detroit artists in the larger global conversations of contemporary art. The first Detroit Affinities exhibition will showcase the work of the Detroit artist John Maggie (September 12, 2014–January 4, 2015). It will be followed by an exhibition featuring the New York artist Jamian Juliano-Villani (February 6–March 29, 2015).
“Detroit Speaks” is a series of public talks exploring the significance and influence of local art schools and art education, museums and institutions, galleries and artist-run spaces, and the careers of individual Detroit artists. The speakers will include artists, academics, curators, and educators based in Detroit. In the first Detroit Speaks (September 13, 1pm), four invited speakers will answer the question: “What Is a Detroit Artist?” The panel includes Rebecca Mazzei (cofounder of Trinosophes, Detroit), Laura Mott (curator of contemporary art and design, Cranbrook Art Museum, Bloomfield Hills), Michael Stone-Richards (professor of literature, philosophy, art history, and critical theory, College for Creative Studies, Detroit), and Jeffrey Abt (professor of art and art history, Wayne State University, Detroit), moderated by Jens Hoffmann (curator of DETROIT CITY).
All of the “Detroit Speaks” talks will be published as part of the DETROIT CITY publication series at
DETROIT CITY is organized by the Museum of Contemporary Art Detroit and curated by Jens Hoffmann, MOCAD guest curator. DETROIT CITY has been developed in conversation with Rebecca Mazzei, DETROIT CITY dialogue partner, Greg Baise, MOCAD curator for public programs, and Elysia Borowy-Reeder, MOCAD executive director, as well as numerous artists, thinkers, and creative individuals in Detroit and elsewhere.
Also opening: 
People’s Biennial 2014 is the second edition of People’s Biennial, originally conceived by co-curators Harrell Fletcher and Jens Hoffmann in 2009. It is devoted to examining the work of artists and other creative individuals who operate outside the conventional art world. It recognizes a wide array of artistic expression present in many communities across the United States.
For this, the second iteration of People’s Biennial, the curators asked 17 recognized artists or artist duos/collectives from around the United States to connect and collaborate with creative individuals who are known to them but not part of the mainstream art world. Each of their collaborations will be displayed in a free-standing structure in MOCAD’s refurbished Woodward Gallery, creating a creative community of the unknown, the overlooked, and the surprising. The artist duos are:
Jennifer Allora & Guillermo Calzadilla and Robert Rabin
Carson Ellis and Hank Meloy
Wendy Ewald and Denise Dixon
Dara Friedman and Ishmael Golden Eagle
Colter Jacobsen and Lance Rivers
Liz Magic Laser and Wendy Osserman
Sharon Lockhart and Fearless Fred
Cary Loren and Jimbo Easter
Rick Lowe and Jonathan the Plant Man
Ken Lum and Orkan Telhan
Jeffry Mitchell and Vic Oblas
Scott Reeder and Xav Leplae
Alec Soth and George Wurtzel
Hank Willis Thomas and Baz Dreisinger
Transformazium and James Kidd
Lee Walton & Harriet Hoover and Mr. Coppers
Steven Yazzie and Jonathan Bond
People’s Biennial 2014 is curated by Harrell Fletcher and Jens Hoffmann, MOCAD guest curator. 
Also opening on September 12 is the second season of MOCAD’s collaboration with Vdrome, an online platform organized by Edoardo Bonaspetti, Jens Hoffmann, Andrea Lissoni, and Filipa Ramos, exhibiting an ongoing schedule of rotating film and video screenings directed by visual artists and filmmakers whose production lies in between contemporary art and cinema. MOCAD is the first institution to bring the Vdrome film program to its visitors by screening the films on a live feed directly from the Vdrome website, thus reconsidering the way artists’ films are distributed.
About the Museum of Contemporary Art Detroit
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.
DETROIT CITY is generously supported by Quicken Loans. Exhibition programming support is provided by the Taubman Foundation. Additional funding for programming and educational initiatives is provided by the Edith S. Briskin/Shirley K. Schlafer Foundation. Support for MOCAD is also provided by The Michigan Council for Arts and Cultural Affairs and the National Endowment for the Arts.


Museum of Contemporary Art Detroit presents DETROIT CITY and People’s Biennial 2014
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Museum of Contemporary Art Detroit
August 21, 2014

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