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
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 SIGHTINGS: INSIDE THE VAULT Arnold Blanch The Hunters Circa 1947 Oil on canvas 30 x 48 inches Collection of Cranbrook Art Museum (CAM 1970.28) Gift of J. L. Hudson Company With summer fast approaching (though it does not always feel like it in mercurial Michigan!), it’s about time that we let ourselves take a break from our everyday lives of work and obligations to imagine ourselves in the soon-to-be summer sun, carefree and radiant. For some children, summer means boundless days, free from the shackles of oppressive homework. For others, summer is merely a lazy day on the hammock or a leisurely bike ride to the ice cream parlor. For some of us here in Michigan, summer promises treks up north, to the glistening lakes and sun-kissed days. It is truly beautiful here, whether summer or any other season, and it is this beauty that Arnold Blanch captures in his oil painting, The Hunters, which the Cranbrook ...Read More
Photo by James Prinz Photography. Courtesy of the artist and Jack Shainman Gallery, New YorkSeven-month project includes Museum exhibition and Cave’s “Biggest, Baddest Performance Series!” Bloomfield Hills, Mich., March 30, 2015 - This spring, summer, and fall, Cranbrook Art Museum and Detroit will serve as the backdrop for Nick Cave’s most ambitious project to date – Nick Cave: Here Hear. At the invitation of Cranbrook Art Museum, Cave will stage seven months of events throughout the city of Detroit anchored by his first solo exhibition in Michigan at Cranbrook Art Museum, opening this summer. Nick Cave is an artist and dancer, famous for his sculptures, called Soundsuits, which he often stages in public spectacle. The events will kick off in April, when Nick begins “invading” the city of Detroit for a series of site-specific photo shoots. His first stop will be on the Peristyle at Cranbrook Art Museum at noon on April ...Read More
CRANBROOK SIGHTING #7 Sighter: Leslie S. Edwards Sighted: MacDonald Building, J. Robert F. Swanson, Architect, and Pipsan Saarinen Swanson Interiors Location: Harbor Springs, Michigan Date: April 2, 2013 Taking a cue from Chad’s road trip, I decided to seek out Cranbrook-related architecture during my recent spring break trip “up north” to our family’s summer home in Goodhart. Since my family has summered up north for over 40 years, I already knew that many Cranbrook artists and architects vacationed there as well. In fact, many built their own homes and cottages just down the road from ours. This time I was in search of the MacDonald building in Harbor Springs – a design that I recently discovered was a Swanson and Associates project. The Swansons had a long association with Cranbrook – J. Robert F. (“Bob”) was a classmate of Harry Booth’s at University of Michigan’s School of Architecture, and he acted as interpreter for Swedish-speaking ...Read More
CRANBROOK SIGHTING #2 Sighter: Chad Alligood Sighted: Tony Rosenthal, T-Square, 1975-76 Location: Detroit, MI Date: September 24, 2012 Monday morning, 9 a.m. On a typical Monday at this time, I’m settling in to my sweet Knoll-designed desk in our newly-renovated office space at the museum. “Settling in” for me means checking my calendar and email, guzzling Diet Coke, and chowing down on granola bars. But this is no typical Monday: I stepped out of the car with my three museum colleagues into a gritty, industrial corridor on Detroit’s East Side—worlds away from the meticulously manicured lawns and bubbling fountains of Cranbrook’s campus. This is the setting for Venus Bronze Works, a local firm specializing in the conservation and restoration of outdoor sculpture. Giorgio Gikas, the founder and president of Venus, met us in his massive, hangar-like space to examine and discuss his ongoing conservation of T-Square (1975-1976), a large-scale outdoor steel sculpture by Tony Rosenthal (1914-2009) ...Read More
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