Exhibition Detail

View of "Made A Universe" screening room at Cranbrook Art Museum. Photo: PD Rearick

Tunde Olaniran: Made a Universe

June 18, 2022 - September 25, 2022
Cranbrook Art Museum

Hailing from Flint, Michigan, Tunde Olaniran is a multi-disciplinary artist, musician, singer and performer. Beginning in 2019, the museum partnered with Olaniran to help create their most ambitious project to date—the short film and exhibition Made a Universe. Olaniran worked with Detroit-based artists to create the film’s scenography, costuming, and props. These elements are re-imagined in the galleries along with a screening room, offering visitors an immersive, parallel journey through Olaniran’s creative universe.

With the narrative arc of a hero’s journey, this contemporary horror film takes its inspiration from archetypes like those found in storylines from The New Mutants, an X-Men spin-off comic book series. Within this premise, the character’s often perceived weakness translates into their unique superpower. The film examines what it means to unlock your power in the face of fear and repression, and how one must unify various fragments of their psyche to connect with the world and themselves on a deeper level.

The series, shot on location throughout Detroit, is co-written, directed, and scored by Olaniran and Paige Wood, and features collaborations across artistic mediums with several multidisciplinary, award-winning artists, including Yo-Yo Ma, Ellen Rutt, Natasha Beste, Lisa Waud, Amy Fisher-Price, Emma Davis, Skyylar Taylor, Talicia Campbell, Matthew Osmon, Terra Lockhart, Rachelle Baker, and Katy Dresner.


Made a Universe Full Film Credits


An experimental short film and 4D installation featuring original music from Tunde Olaniran and Yo-Yo Ma, and new work conceptualized by artists Ellen Rutt, Lisa Waud, Amy Fisher-Price, Skyylar Taylor, Natasha Beste, and Emma Davis.


TUNDE – Tunde Olaniran
LEON – Andrew Otchere
MIKE – Michael Hatten
AARON – Segun “Delusion” Delu
BREE – Morgan Hutson
TIAH – Ash Arder
GLADYS – Carol
MW EVELYN – Ann Burns
RYAN – Richard Newman

Segun “Delusion” Delu, Bree Gant, Celia Benvenutti, Derrick Finley.


Director – Tunde Olaniran
Producer – Paige Wood
Co-Writers – Tunde Olaniran and Paige Wood
Cinematographer / DP – Jeremy Brockman
Art Director / Editor – Katy Dresner
Field Producer – Ryah Aqel
Assistant Director – Jackson Ezinga
First Assistant Camera – Abigail Lynch
Steadicam Operators – @steadibart and Greg Johnson
DIT / Assistant Editor – Nadeem Persico-Shammas
Gaffer – Justin Ward
Key Grip – Andy Westra, Caleb Richardson
Dolly Grip – Costa Kazaleh Sirdenis
Swing – Kirk Yoshonis, Caleb Richardson
Sound Recordist – Wayne Ramocan Jr.
Set Design: Ellen Rutt, Lisa Waud, Amy Fisher-Price, Natasha Beste, Katy Dresner
Assistant Art Director – Duncan Burns
Materials Research – Alana Weiss-Nydorf
SFX Coordinators – Devin Durocher, David Baile
Production Assistants – Karen Cardenas, Costa Kazaleh Sirdenis, Kat Goffnet, Meredith Walker, Josue Fierro, Abigail Barnett
Camera Equipment Provided By – Stratton Camera
Lighting Equipment Provided By – Courtesy Flag LLC., Detroit Power and Light
Key Hairstylist – SaRyn Byers-Johnson
SFX Make-Up – Miranda Collins Assistant
MUAs (to Skyylar Taylor) – Naomi Zeman, Jordan Stephens
Clothing and Jewelry Provided By – SMPLFD, Noir Leather, SKNDLSS, Devon Parrott Titles – Matthew Osmon RAIVAN
Original Artwork – Matthew Osmon, Rachelle Baker Catering: Fried Chicken and Caviar, Stay Fresh Express

SPECIAL THANKS to The Library Street Collective, The Jam Handy, Foster Financial, and Said and Wadha Aqel for allowing us to film in your space(s).

Produced in conjunction with Cranbrook Art Museum and curated by Chief Curator, Laura Mott. Made possible through support from The Knight Foundation, The National Endowment of the Arts, The Library Street Collective, Jennifer and Dan Gilbert, and Don Manvel.


Tunde Olaniran: Made A Universe is organized by Cranbrook Art Museum and curated by Chief Curator, Laura Mott. The film series is produced by Paige Wood. The project is generously supported by The John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, the National Endowment for the Arts, Jennifer and Dan Gilbert, Don Manvel, and additional support by Library Street Collective.

Tunde Olaniran: Made A Universe is presented by Flagstar Bank.

Tunde Olaniran Project SupportersFlagstar Bank