For the Cranbrook Art Museum based in Bloomfield Hills, the motivation to move their focus downtown is partially spurred on by the rush of grant dollars flooding the Detroit arts scene. In 2014, the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation awarded the museum $150,000 for its "Nick Cave: Here Hear" project as part of the Knight Arts Challenge — a series of low-entry grants that require individuals, institutions and non-profit organizations awarded funds to match them within roughly a year of winning.Buy PhotoNick Cave's performance series culminates with a performance called "Figure This:Detroit " presented by the Cranbrook Art Museum at the Detroit Masonic Temple Sunday, Oct. 4, 2015. Dancers from all of the three Dance Lab Performances make their way down the center aisle during the finale with Tunde Olaniran singing on stage as they move through the audience to the music. (Photo: Regina H. Boone, Detroit Free Press)A requirement ...Read More
In an interview with ARTFORUM, Binion discusses the role memory and narrative has on his practice. Read the full story here.Read More
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“Cranbrook Time Machine: Twentieth Century Period Rooms” is a small but utterly charming show of four interiors that all channel the zeitgeist of their respective eras. Drawn from Cranbrook’s vast reserves of furniture and artifacts, these little stage sets variously represent the early Arts and Crafts aesthetic that emerged in England during the late Victorian Period, the 1960s bachelor pad, a 1970s experiment in cave dwelling and a post-modern fun house circa 1980. The show was curated by museum director Andrew Blauvelt and Laura Mott, curator of contemporary art and design. Of the four spaces, “The Bachelor Pad” is easily the most fun with its styling from TV’s “Mad Men.” It’s heavy on modernist furniture by George Nelson, Eero Saarinen and Charles Eames, and rich in accessories ripped from the pages of a Playboy magazine guide to stylish and irreproachable masculinity: ashtrays, tumblers, cocktail shakers and other symbols of virility. Death and virility seemed to ...Read More
Maybe you saw it, an inflatable cartoon speech bubble with the word “TRUTH” emblazoned on it that popped up in neighborhoods throughout Michigan this past summer? What did it mean? As no two “truths” are the same, The Truth Booth meant different things to different people. “Some people saw it as a soapbox, some people saw it as a confessional, some people saw it as a way to engage,” recalls Laura Mott, curator of contemporary art at Cranbrook Art Museum of visitors interacting with the Booth at 11 stops throughout Metro Detroit and Flint. “We never told people what to say, we just said: ‘We invite you into the booth.’” The product of these interactions is now on view at Cranbrook in The Truth Is I Hear You: A Project By the Cause Collective, running through March 19th. At the exhibition’s core is a 43-minute video, pulling from the more than 1,000 ...Read More
For Will Sylvester, everyone has a peculiar truth they want to express, but sometimes they need a nudge or a push to let it come out into the open. Resident of metropolitan Detroit and Flint will offer up their own private versions of the “Truth” in a new exhibit opening Nov. 19 at the Cranbrook Art Museum. The new exhibit, “The Truth is I Hear You,” is the most ambitious of three new shows opening at the museum prior to Thanksgiving. Sylvester, one of the artists, brought the Truth project to life. He collected testimonials from more than 1,000 people at 11 sites scattered around Southeast Michigan — ranging from the elegant Cranbrook Campus in Bloomfield Hills to the Arab-American Museum in Dearborn, the Detroit Riverfront and downtown Flint — to speak up and speak out. “The original idea is this thought that everybody has a truth. As artists, we have our individual truths,” ...Read More
Cranbrook Art Museum to host exhibition based on metro Detroit and Flint-area residents’ visits to The Truth Booth Most of us were probably told as children that honesty is the best policy. But entry into the adult world often carries with it a more nuanced View. To hear the participants of the In Search of the Truth (The Truth Booth) project tell it, having an opportunity to speak one’s truth is actually a rare event. The Truth Booth — a portable, inflatable, and interactive sculpture created by Cause Collective artists Ryan Alexiev, Jim Ricks, Will Sylvester, and Hank Willis Thomas — began its international tour in Ireland in 2011. It stopped in Michigan for two weeks in July and August during a tour that included both political party conventions and all 50 states. Now, results of the Michigan visit will be presented in an exhibit called The Truth Is I Hear ...Read More
Since July 31, the Detroit metro area has been visited by “The Truth Booth,” an ongoing interactive project conceived by Cause Collective, and brought for a two-week intensive visit to Michigan by a $60,000 Knight Arts Challenge grant awarded to the Cranbrook Art Museum. Laura Mott, curator of contemporary art and design at Cranbrook, worked previously with artist Hank Willis Thomas and Cause Collective’s Ryan Alexiev to help get the project on its feet, nearly eight years ago. “We had done a show with Ryan at Mission 17, where I was working,” Mott said. “I met Hank [Willis Thomas] through that. And they were working together already in Cause Collective–‘The Truth Booth’ was an idea they had that was sort of on paper, and I wrote a grant to get funding to build it. And then I moved to Sweden! So I essentially sourced them some seed money to build the ...Read More
The inflatable "Truth Booth," which looks like an oversize cartoon speech bubble, is a portable video studio being used to record personal statements during a global tour now in its fifth year. The stark white isolation chamber was in Philadelphia during the Democratic convention and in Cleveland when Republicans gathered a week earlier. Now it starts a two-week tour of Metro Detroit and Flint. Anyone can be taped privately finishing this sentence: "The truth is . . ." Each person can speak for up to two minutes. There's no cost and reservations aren't needed. On Tuesday, the booth will be on the Woodward Plaza of the Detroit Institute of Arts from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., followed by a Wednesday stop at Dearborn's Arab American National Museum from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Six other Detroit stops, listed at the end of this article, are scheduled Aug. 4-9 and Aug. 13. Freelance journalist Tamara ...Read More
Cranbrook Art Museum's Curator of Contemporary Art and Design Laura Mott discusses what elements make a great art exhibition, her favorite Andy Warhol designed album cover and more on the art and culture blog SLICE Ann Arbor. Read the full interview here. Laura Mott serves as Curator of Contemporary Art and Design at the Cranbrook Art Museum in Bloomfield Hills, Michigan. She assumed this role in November 2013 and is responsible for the Museum’s exhibition programs, as well as the development and presentation of its collection of modern and contemporary art, architecture, and design. Laura began her career in New York working with curator Lawrence Rinder on the Whitney Museum of American Art 2002 Biennial exhibition. After attending graduate school at the Center for Curatorial Studies at Bard College in New York, Laura moved to San Francisco where she served as Curator/Assistant Director of Mission 17, a not-for-profit institution. ...
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