previews

Detroit

“99 CENTS OR LESS”

Museum of Contemporary Art Detroit (MOCAD)
4454 Woodward Avenue
May 19 - August 6

Curated by Jens Hoffmann

The largest municipal default in US history occurred when the city of Detroit, roughly $20 billion in the hole, filed for bankruptcy in the summer of 2013. In the years before and after the municipal wipeout, a deflated real estate market made the metropolis a low-cost Shangri-la for artists and artisans looking for space on the cheap. This socioeconomic background provides the context for MoCAD’s sprawling group show, which proceeds from the idea of giving ninety-nine American artists $99 each to spend at 99-cent stores to create new works, which will then be sold for $999 apiece to support the museum. It’s a conceit that has a welcome whiff of candid transparency to it, and one that invites consideration of subjects such as the commodification of artistic labor and the relationship of the museum to the art market. A catalogue and an extensive series of public events on these and related issues will accompany the exhibition.