Monday, January 08, 2007

As an apt follow-up to yesterday's observations on Detroit, the city will be host to the US debut of the highly acclaimed Shrinking Cities exhibition starting next month. Shrinking Cities examines both the positive and negative effects of urban decline through more than fifty works by artists, architects, filmmakers, journalists, culture experts, and sociologists.

Split between the Cranbrook Art Museum and the Museum of Contemporary Art Detroit, the exhibition opens February 3rd, and a bus will be available to take viewers to both venues. The shuttle bus itself is a fascinating aspect of the exhibit. I spoke with MOCAD curator Mitch Cope about it recently, who would like the bus to take a direct route up Woodward Avenue. The experience of driving the stretch along Woodward between downtown and Cranbrook in Bloomfield Hills is one of almost unfathomable socio-economic contrast. Underscoring this divide is the fact that it is illegal for Detroit public buses to stop in the city of Bloomfield Hills. (I hope the shuttle doesn't get impounded by Bloomfield police...)

The MOCAD portion of the exhibit will focus on Detroit, while Cranbrook will feature European cities such as Leipzig, Ivanovo and Manchester. A series of talks and performances are scheduled in conjunction with the exhibit, including a presentation by music journalist Walter Wasacz at Cranbrook on February 23rd. Check back here for more details.

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