• Jibade-Khalil Huffman, Yesterday (Our Love Went into a Coma) (detail), 2011–, still from the 4-minute, color, silent, digital-video component of a mixed-media installation with CRT monitor and microphone. From “Sonic Rebellion: Music as Resistance.”


    Museum of Contemporary Art Detroit (MOCAD)
    4454 Woodward Avenue
    September 8, 2017–January 7, 2018

    Curated by Jens Hoffmann

    The appeals black music makes to the future, to borrow from theorist Kodwo Eshun, are most powerful when black folk are having difficulty imagining any future at all. Few such moments have generated as many forward-looking sounds as the 1967 Detroit riot, a season of unrest set off when the local PD broke up a party and arrested eighty-two black citizens one hot July night. MoCAD’s “Sonic Rebellion” images and re-images the relationship between music and resistance in the intervening fifty years; the show presents a trove of ephemera and documentary materials on Motown, jazz, early punk, and techno alongside a sprawling selection of recent works by more than forty-five artists, including Jibade-Khalil Huffman, Juliana Huxtable, and Glenn Ligon. Accompanied by a catalogue recounting Detroit’s musical history, the show plans to spill out of the museum for a series of screenings, talks, and concerts—meaning that, like any good riot, a full accounting will require some time in the streets.